Ollie's Reviews > Lavondyss: Journey to an Unknown Region

Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock
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Dec 11, 2007

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Recommended to Ollie by: Lindsay
Recommended for: lovers of high-fantasy stories
Read in April, 2008

Tallis is a girl unlike others: as a baby, a mysterious stag that haunts the countryside appears at her house and leaves her a gift (of sorts); later, phantasmagorical figures follow her as she explores Ryhope wood near her home - the same wood in which her brother Harry (one of the main characters in the first book of this series) disappeared many years before. This piece of high fantasy tells the story of Tallis' entry into the fantastical world beyond the woods, and her attempts to reach Lavondyss, where she thinks she'll find her brother.

This novel is filled with beautiful imagery, especially around the creatures and vegetation Holdstock describes. But the story plods at times, nearly making this reader give up. However, the use of Jungian archetypes (re-named here as mythagos) and psychedelic craziness the book descends into in its later half more than compensate those less exciting passages. Holdstock wants to create a new type of fantasy - which he doesn't quite succeed here - but for his attempt alone this is a worthwhile read.
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