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Lamp Black, Wolf Grey

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,178 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
In the latest from Paula Brackston, a young artist goes to the Welsh mountains in search of love, but is faced with ancient legends and a mysterious man from the past - Merlin himself.

Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own
Paperback, 318 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published March 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is an interesting book with a very intriguing Welsh setting. There are two storylines, a historical one and a contemporary one. The main character in the contemporary setting, Laura, is likable, yet flawed. I enjoyed things about both storylines, but there were also aspects that I didn't find appealing. I didn't like Laura's relationship with Rhys, but I did like the writing style and the way that Brackston tells a story. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Paula Brackston once again lets her creative juices flow in the wild rustic countryside of her mystical homeland producing a heartbreaking story of beginnings and endings, ancient legend and myth mixed with a contemporary tale. Her characters both corporeal and fabled are impressive in their complexities and completeness. Her heroine is fallibly human so much so at times readers might want to shake her and her brush with fantasy is utterly convincing. Her co-stars are charming, mystical and scar ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I suppose I enjoyed it well enough, as it was a light somewhat romantic? read. I wanted so much more out of Merlin, being a larger than life Legand (with a capital L) I had high hopes. He isn't what I expected in this story.
The begining had me intrigued but then it wasn't so mysterious because I began to predict what would happen (which I can't stand). I love supernatural novels but there needed to be more fire in Merlin and more sense in the connections. Laura is hard to love- and not just beca
Jun 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Finishing this book was like drinking cough medicine for the alcohol: It was weak, it tasted awful, and it upset my stomach. It's like the author took a respectable fantasy story and stripped out all the redeeming qualities before regurgitating it back onto the page. And I almost wish there were a law against writing such insipidly anti-feminist characters.

I think I'll recycle this book so I'm not responsible for it polluting the mind of potential readers.
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The saying "never judge a book by its cover" is very true in the case of Lamp Black, Wolf Grey. I was expecting a story of magic and myth entwined with a modern, romantic time-slip. What I got was very dissatisfying.

The main character of the story is Laura, an artist who moves to Wales with her husband, hoping to conceive a child, which, as the story unravels, she attempts to do by sleeping with other men! She's torn up by guilt after the first affair, supposedly, but then falls in love with so
Jul 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, 2015, fantasy
Is there anyone who describes Wales better than Paula Brackston? Brackston excels in describing the wild Welsh setting, and infuses her home with a sense of rugged beauty and hidden magic.

“Lamb Black, Wolf Grey” tells dual stories in different times, both featuring the Legendary Merlin. Laura, a painter, and her husband Dan move to the Welsh countryside to make a fresh start after years of infertility. Interspersed throughout Laura’s story is the story of Megan, a servant in the house of a wic
The Lit Bitch
Sep 01, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I’ve read a lot of Brackston’s books, mainly her witch books, which are always entertaining and well written. This book was a little different than her signature witch books but it still had some of my favorite elements such as a mystical setting and a strong heroine that many readers can relate it. What I liked about her heroines is that they are also flawed in some way, and Laura is no different. For me though, Laura came with a little more baggage than some of Brackson’s other charac
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Good
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-has
I just feel that there was a lot of wasted potential here. Solidly meh. Also since when is Megan a Welsh name? Maybe it is but it didn’t feel that way when everyone else’s name is Twm or some shit like that. Also Laura was a prat and I hated her.
To be published: August 4, 2015

Painter Laura Matthews has moved to the Welsh countryside from the busy city of London in the hope that a new setting might help her. After years of infertility, the one thing that Laura desperately wants is a child with her husband Dan. But this is made harder as Dan is working in London during the week and only in Wales on the weekend. She meets Rhys, a loner obsessed with Merlin and they have a brief affair. Laura's story is interwoven with that of the magician
Lolly K Dandeneau
not sure why my review failed to post when I wrote it, must be because the power went out... here it is again

I suppose I enjoyed it well enough, as it was a light somewhat romantic? read. I wanted so much more out of Merlin, being a larger than life Legand (with a capital L) I had high hopes. He isn't what I expected in this story.
The begining had me intrigued but then it wasn't so mysterious because I began to predict what would happen (which I can't stand). I love supernatural novels but there
John Lawson
Frustrated Mary Sue artist, trapped in an emotionally distant marriage, moves to a remote Welsh cottage in hopes of achieving fertility. (Whaat???) Contrived stupidity ensues.

Full disclosure: I only got to page 45 before tossing this book.

Apparently, this author has a Master's in Creative Writing. She certainly has skill at describing picturesque scenery, but when it comes to humanity and relationships and motivations, well, she must have skipped those classes.

One thing that was somewhat interes
Kel (Faerie-bookworm)
Title: Lamp Black, Wolf Grey
Author: Paula Brackston
Genre: Urban-Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 318
Rating: 4.5/5

Setting: Wales

Main Characters: Laura, Dan, Megan, Merlin

Main Supporting Characters: Rhys, Anwen

Summary: Present: Laura and Dan move to Wales to get away from the city life because that is what Laura wants. Dan is still working in London so he spends the week there and is only home on the weekends. Strange things start to happen to Laura while he is gone. Past: In the same area that Lau
Erin Arkin
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, mythology
3.5 stars on this one.

I have mixed feelings about this book because there were things I liked and things I didn't really like on this one. I love Brackston's other stories so I immediately requested this when I saw it. Overall I thought the story was great - I loved how Brackston mixed in the past with Laura's story. The things I didn't like were mostly tied to Laura's interactions with Rhys, her neighbor.

I haven't read many books about Merlin and that was one of the things that drew me into th
Lynne Macdonald
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is a story with the basic premise of Laura being unable to conceive. She feels she is stressed and in a rut about her painting so she and her husband Dan move to Wales to a remote country village where Laura meets an assortment of various character of a possible supernatural origin. A shift in the story occurs where the reader is transported for the past to the present and where the past and future are intertwined. Merlin the greatest wizards who ever lived and his wolf/dog ...more
Aug 11, 2015 rated it liked it
3/3 stars
You can find all my reviews here
*Disclaimer: I won this book from Goodreads First Reads, all my opinions are my own.*

Overall I enjoyed the book, though I think I was hoping for more. The story is split between the present day and back when Merlin was young living in the Welsh mountains. For the majority of the book I much preferred the story of Megan to Laura's. This made the story tough to read because I would get into the story then it would switch to the other time period drawing me
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it
A tale of two different times - Megan and Merlin, Laura and Dan. The modern duo buy a delightful cottage in the Welsh hills and immediately Laura feels at home. A place where she can paint and try to get over the fact she can't have a baby. Loved some things about this, the myths, legends, descriptions of the glorious Welsh scenery and the style of writing. Sadly the characters weren't very engaging and I finished the book without really knowing anything much about any of them. It was a nice, pl ...more
Cynthia W
Wales, magic & Merlin
This was another enjoyable book by Paula Brackston. The author drew me into the story with her description of Wales, both past & present, and with Merlin, as a young man.
The paranormal plot features two heroines, one from the past & one from the present, and intertwines their stories.

I rated it 4 stars, instead of 5, because I realized very early on where the author was taking the characters, although there was a surprise at the end (no spoilers).

Overall, a good,
Sep 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I wish that i could give this three and a half stars but don't think that goodreads makes it possible. Good story about an artist who wants to have a child and feels drwn to a home in the country. There is a side story of a woman connected with Merlin in another time period. Good drama. Nice plot twists. Well done.for more details see my blog post
Rickus Bookshelf
DNF at 42%
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I usually LOVE her books, but I could barely get through this one. I suggest reading any of her other books, especially Winter Witch and Midnight Witch.
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Not a favorite Paula Brackston book but it did have her magical writing. Not many likable characters in this book. The setting was really the only enjoyable bright spot.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really feel like this is more 2.5 stars than 2, but I rounded up instead of down, merely because it is a better book than the ones I previously gave 2 stars.

In my opinion, this booked never fully delivered on the promise it seemed to set up. Although it felt like it was leading us to a reincarnation story line, I could have lived with the fact that the story changed tact. The problem I had was with what it changed TO. I really dislike stories that vilify people with mental illne
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Laura and Dan Matthews have recently moved to Blaencwm from the big city. Blaecncwm is an extremely old longhouse high up in the hills in Wales. Laura is a struggling artist in need of inspiration, which she hopes she fill find in the countryside, and a woman who very much desires a child, as does Dan. Enter Rhys. Rhys is a neighbor who is very much enthralled with Laura and pursues her relentlessly. Another wonderful neighbor, Anwen, is an older woman who lives nearby. Anwen doesn't always make ...more
Heather Wardrup
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure exactly what to say about this one. I loved the premise, but I just don't feel the storytelling lived up to the potential of the story.

I loved the "living legends", but was very disappointed in how they were presented, as well as how little they were a part of the story (especially Merlin). It was like the author had a great idea, but couldn't figure out how to make it work properly and just went with a "well, I guess this will have to do" writing attitude.

It was a maddening mixture
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Story was ok.

Liked the use of a few Welsh names and words, the story of Gellert, etc.

Felt choppy though the way the two stories (of Merlin/Megan and then Laura/Dan) were told - very jarring just when you were getting back into the other characters. The divide didn't make sense either - the stories didn't relate at all, so the way it was broken up felt like someone just picked a few chapters to cut over to other characters.

Frustrated at the ending - it was open (not in a good way), sort of lame.
Amy Maddess
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
A mist- thin veil separating this world from one that is a magical home to Merlin and his grey wolf is totally my thing.

Ancient Welsh fertility spells and infidelity, however, are not.

Paula Brackston definitely knows what she’s doing, and I will continue my quest to finish all of her books, but this one wasn’t my favourite. I’d recommend it to fans of ‘Outlander’ because the premise is so similar.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Set in Wales, Artist Laura Matthews with her husband Dan, have high hopes for Laura's artistic talents to come forth even more strongly and for the conception of the child they both want. But there are strange factors--unseen presences, a strange but handsome and intriguing neighbor, and people no one else sees.

While I usually like fantasy, somehow this just didn't grab me.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, library
Excellent and creative blend of modern story of a young wife and artist struggling to fulfill her greatest desire to be a mother. In hopes of a quieter life, she and her husband move to the wilds of Wales.
Then begins the historical story of Merlin who lived in the area for a summer and fell in love with Megan. The blend of stories begins when Merlin appears to the modern woman.
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Goodreads Librari...: Correct page count 2 123 Jul 03, 2016 01:59PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 22, 2015 10:54AM  
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Paula Brackston (aka PJ Brackston)is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter, The Winter Witch, and The Midnight Witch(2014).

Paula has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Da
More about Paula Brackston

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“She gazed out at the seductive vista. The countryside was dressed in its prettiest May garb- everything budding or blooming or bursting out in the exuberance of late spring. For Laura, the landscape at thirteen hundred feet up a Welsh mountain was the perfect mix of reassuringly tamed and excitingly wild. In front of the house were lush, high meadows filled with sheep, the lambs plump from their mother's grass-rich milk. Their creamy little shapes bright and clean against the background of pea green. A stream tumbled down the hillside, disappearing into the dense oak woods at the far end of the fields, the ocher trunks fuzzy with moss. On either side of the narrow valley, the land rose steeply to meet the open mountain on the other side of the fence. Here young bracken was springing up sharp and tough to claim the hills for another season. Beyond, in the distance, more mountains rose and fell as far as the eye could see. Laura undid the latch and pushed open the window. She closed her eyes. A warm sigh of the wind carried the scent of hawthorn blossom from the hedgerow.” 1 likes
“The low, white house nestled at the top of the meadows, its back against the hill that rose behind it, protecting it from the north winds. The slate room shimmered under the late August sun. Honeysuckle twisted up over the front door, knitting its way across the wall, heavy with butter-yellow blooms. A barn and a short run of stables formed a farmyard, which had mostly been put down to grass. Foxgloves grew at will. Dog roses spilled from the hedges and tumbled over the Payne's grey of the stone walls.
Laura slowed the car as they skirted the oak woods before the final stretch of bumpy lane. Fractured light fell through the high canopy of leaves, picking out lemon yellow celandines and glowing violets on the dry forest floor.”
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