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Black Spring

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  882 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Inspired by the gothic classic Wuthering Heights, this stunning new fantasy from the author of the Books of Pellinor is a fiercely romantic tale of betrayal and vengeance.

In a savage land sustained by wizardry and ruled by vendetta, Lina is the enchanting but willful daughter of a village lord. She and her childhood companion, Damek, have grown up privileged and spoiled, a
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Candlewick Press (first published October 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.33  · 
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well, it's about time. FINALLY a retelling of Wuthering Heights that

1) retains the integrity of the original material by being written in the same general tone, style and atmosphere of Wuthering Heights without the author's feeling it necessary to turn heathcliff into a rock star or some such nonsense.

2) does not pretend that catherine and heathcliff were likable people kept apart by circumstances. they weren't. they were both selfish assholes whose romance destroyed everything around them whic
Emily May
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, 2014
I made a little collage for this book that I posted to instagram:

And is it just me or would my college make the perfect setting for a beautiful and grim Wuthering Heights retelling?

karen's review does this book justice more than I think I ever could so I'll leave you with these few snazzy pictures and a short note: This has to be the PERFECT way to do a retelling. Especially for a book like Wuthering Heights, whose praises I have sung from the rooftops on a regular basis. It captures the wild be
Finished this just after midnight on January 1st! My very first read of 2021!

And I’m not mad about it! I was promised updated Wuthering Heights, with a twist, and that is what I got. The author put this in Not!Scotland (or Yorkshire maybe but the coding was pretty fantasy highlands to me), prior to the Reformation, with a heaping helping of Sicilian mores on the side: particularly the vendetta. Then the cherry on top was the addition of magic to the tale- not the metaphorical kind the Brontes we
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, ya
Now I know of a new way of messing up a retelling - an author can create a retelling of a story so close to the original, that it becomes just a poor copy of it. (I think I even want to throw “plagiarism!” somewhere here.)

At first, I thought I would love “Black Spring.” Although from the very beginning the atmosphere in Croggon’s retelling of “Wuthering Heights” was very similar to the original, the writing was so spectacular, I felt that the author’s additions of magic and vendetta to Emily Bro
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OH. MY. God. Finding out that Ms. Croggon's writing another book nearly made me weep. It's going to be awesome, I'm telling you right now.

This was brilliant. I loved it.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages Read: 26

Reason for DNFing:
When I hear about retellings, I'm interested, whether for a book I loved or no. I actually really enjoyed Wuthering Heights, and thought Wuthering Heights + paranormal could be seriously amazing.

Here's the thing: I don't mean retelling literally. I don't want the book to read like it has literally been rewritten, like a lazy student might copy a paper but change every sentence's verbiage to not get caught plagiarizing. The story is, so far as I can tell from the b
Stuti Rai
"If I am wrong," she said at last in a low voice," there is no right, either."

I love Wuthering Heights. I love Black Springs. I love moors and magic, and while I will always be a peninsula girl, I find it not in myself to reproach plateaus. I love the world, there is so much love, I am radiating it.

After a mediocre end to 2013, flax start in 2014, I have found my stride. Two fantastic, superb, will-give-my-one-pair-of-glasses-for-a-reread exciting books; books that I wasn't too sure about. How
Wandering Librarians
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, ya, romance, fantasy
Lina is the daughter of a village lord. She has grown up with her companion, Damek, and they are inseparable, devoted to each other in a way no one understands. Lina is a witch, and although wizards are revered and respected, withes are put to death. Only Lina's status as a lord's daughter protects her. But Lina's life is filled with tragedy, and long after he death, a stranger to the village uncovers the whole sad story.

It was Wuthering Heights. And there really isn't much more to say. In Aliso
2.5 stars - Spoilers

-Wuthering Heights with less enthralling characters, less passion, and more of a YA vibe. Also, a wizard or two.

-The writing was dry and dull, especially all of Hammel's parts.

-There were too many boring info dumps.

-I wasn't a fan of most of the characters - Lina (Cathy) was more or less decent enough, but Damek (Heathcliffe) was awful. I didn't believe in the love or obsession between Damek/Lina at all - Lina did seem to genuinely love Damek, but I didn't buy Damek's feeling
Karen Witzler
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Very good YA-ish shorter retelling of Wuthering Heights with a little witchcraft fantasy and a lot of Albanian vendetta.

The childhood of Lina and Damek in the first half (as told by Anna) is as good an homage to Emily Bronte as you will ever read.

I am now willing to read more by this author and must read Broken April by Ismail Kadare.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I was sold on BLACK SPRING quite quickly. Emily Brontë's WUTHERING HEIGHTS updated with magic and Albanian vendetta culture, done by an acclaimed fantasy author? I'm not the biggest fan of WURTHERING HEIGHTS, but I can see how a blood feud and a bit of wizardry would punch it up.

Unfortunately, BLACK SPRING hews extremely close to its inspiration. The frame story is the same, only providing a bit of interest when visitor Hammel completely disregards maid Anna's tale at the end. Alison Croggon's b
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book scared me so deeply I put the book downwards so I couldn't see the face of the witch on the cover. I don't know if I can look at the front cover again- this book, whilst I was reading it, was far from scary and also, amazingly good with the simple, yet unique style of writing, yet the after taste of it is curious, and I am left in a confused state of what I just read. The story, for one, is so passionate and the love and death that bined together was so gothic and nourishing. The endin ...more

It's been several years since I last read Wuthering Heights (I read it during my junior year of high school and fell in love). When Black Spring popped up on my dashboard, promising an intriguing tale influenced by a novel I love dearly, I was cautiously optimistic. I haven't had the best luck with retellings of my favorite classics (Anna K.: A Love Story being my most recent failure). But with the quarantine, I thought: why not?

I'm glad I took the plunge.


This is definitel
Jan 07, 2019 marked it as to-read
DNF-ed, I got rid of the book last year. I don't mean to say it's a bad book, but it just doesn't get me. LOL ...more
Black Spring managed to do something that I thought would have been impossible... It managed to retell the story of Bronte's Wuthering Heights in a way that was unique and strong enough to stand on it's own.

I loved the atmosphere of this novel, as it was dark and brooding and teeming with magic and curses. The world created in Black Spring is the home of wizards (who were feared and contemptuously respected) and witches (who were cast out and often murdered). There are vendettas that steal the
Knowing this was a tribute to Wuthering Heights going in, I knew it was going to be dark, depressing, and tragic. And it was. It's not the type of book I usually enjoy, but I love Croggon's writing so I picked it up even knowing it was going to be nothing like her Pellinor series. And it wasn't.

Croggon succeeded at writing a beautifully dark tale of a young couple trapped in a harsh society with no place for either them, doomed by their passionate and rebellious natures. The setting is a histor
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘After the last long winter, I needed to get as far away from the city as I possibly could.’

This young adult novel was inspired by ‘Wuthering Heights’, so I approached it with great caution. On the one hand, I wanted to see how Ms Croggon’s story would develop. On the other hand, ‘Wuthering Heights’ is my favourite novel, and I am deeply wary of other authors encroaching on any of its territory.

I was pleasantly surprised. On both counts. While I could recognise aspects of ‘Wuthering Heights’ in
Sajid Rabby
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sajid by: karen
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I really liked this book! I was really in the mood for reading gothic books after finishing Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares, so I picked this one up!

First I had my doubts on whether I would like a re-telling of Wuthering Heights but any doubt faded away soon after starting this book. I loved the way it was written especially the way the eerie atmosphere was portrayed. Loved the narrative structure of the book and the more I read, the more I was drawn to the gothic atmosphere, th
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
In order to appreciate the beauty of this story, one has to appreciate Wuthering Heights. Alison Croggon does a brilliant job of using language that is eerily evocative of the original. But this is not just a retelling with different names, the land that she creates is amazing and magical. This is truly one of the best books of 2013. This book was sheer genius, but it takes a true appreciation of a novel that is not plot driven. It had its moments of intensity, but the strength of the n
Cass -  Words on Paper
That synopsis seems way too telling. But anyway, imagine you're just doing your usual thing, walking around and peeking at what people around you are reading, as you do. And... BAM! This chick with the haunted expression, with the caged-in windswept hair and thick eye makeup is staring back at you! You take a mental note of the title and now you're here. Except this is not the story of how you got here, because this book isn't yet released.

Ahem. If you just read this I'm sorry for wasting your t
Okay, so the fundamental question in adaptation is what you're really doing here, and this one never answers the basic one; is this an adaptation of Wuthering Heights with the addition of magical beings or is this a fantasy story borrowing from and inspired by Wuthering Heights?

And as I said, that doesn't really get answered, because it's both, and because it doesn't gel to one of those cohesive frames, it makes all the Wuthering Heights stuff sound stupid or the magical stuff sounds like a dive
Madly Jane
Okay, here's my thoughts on Black Spring:

First as a retelling of Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is a metaphysical novel, what some call Visionary Fiction. Yes, it's Gothic and from the latter English Romantic Period, but it's the sort of novel that people read and think about in terms of exactly what it is and what it is about. Part love story, part fairy tale, part revenge tale, it's the kind of novel that one can never quite place in the natural scheme of literary things. It just doesn't f
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*** also published at The Next Read ***

I’m not a big one for re-tellings of the classics. Mostly, they seem to run the range between cliché and blatant plagiarism with a rare few stand-outs. Wuthering Heights, in all its Gothic splendour, happens to be one of my favourite classics, so it was with a great deal of apprehension that I started Alison Croggon’s fantasy twist on this tale – and it wasn’t exactly a brilliant beginning. The format of this YA title is pretty much exactly the same as the
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
It reminded me of Wuthering Heights: two self-centered people become passionately obsessed with each other, and they call it love.

I don't know whether to credit Croggon's writing style, or her choice to filter the story through the voice of a reasonably nice character, but this book was finishable. (I never made it through Wuthering Heights. Ugh.)
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a strange, lyrical, vicious little tale.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Intriguing take on Wuthering Heights. It makes you think about how dark the actual story really is. How was it ever considered a romance?
C.J. Sarcasm & Lemons
Read more:

This is one of those books where I thought, "Hey, that cover is pretty. And look! It's a gothic romance! Based off of Wuthering Heights! That sounds neat!" Now let me tell you, my feelings about Wuthering Heights were: I enjoyed the story immensely even though I hated most of the characters. My experience was very similar with Black Spring. I wanted to wring Lina's spoiled little neck half the time, but the story itself was quite good--and would
Mel Campbell
It's a massive compliment to Alison Croggon that I enjoyed this book as much as I did, because I LOATHE Wuthering Heights. What I admire about Black Spring is that its metatextual relationship to Wuthering Heights is both more obvious and more subtle than I'd expected. But while I can appreciate this book intellectually, emotionally it didn't resonate. I'm left cold by this story and these awful characters.

From reading other aggrieved Goodreads reviews, it seems to me that some readers wanted Bl
Novels On The Run
BOOK REVIEW by Michelle - 16th November 2013 :


“There is luck in being born ordinary.”

Black Spring is inspired by Wuthering Heights. I have not read any of the classics, yes, I know that may be a tragedy in itself.

Alison’s story within, is of darkness, passion, twisted love, lust, betrayal and vendetta’s, told from three pov’s, Hammel, Anna and Lina’s . Hammel, is more of a narrator at the start.

The story is set in Elbasa, the Red House. These walls have seen a lot.

As much as I ended up really enjoying this, I do have to admit that I ABSOLUTELY HATED THE FIRST HALF. almost to the point of DNFing it.

The first half of the book was a scene by scene reenactment of Wuthering Heights with the added nuance of magic thrown in.

Even though I ended up really enjoying the struggles between Line and Damek I do wish Alison Croggon had brought more originality to her novel overall.
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Alison Croggon is the award winning author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Books of Pellinor. You can sign up to her monthly newsletter and receive a free Pellinor story at

Her most recent book is Fleshers, the first in a dazzling new SF series co-written with her husband, acclaimed playwright Daniel Keene. Her latest Pellinor book, The Bone Queen, was a 2016 Aurealis Awards B

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