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Mythago Wood: 1 (Mythago Cycle)

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I wound up wanting to like the IDEA behind this novel much more than the actual tale or the subject of the idea. The girl is, we are explicitly told, born to suffer and inspire men to fight because of her suffering and sacrifice.

I also thought the recollections of Steven and Christian about their father's work and coldness toward their family was poignant. John Howe, a modern fantasy illustrator, wrote that " Mythago Wood is a wonderful book written with great style, insight and individuality". In fact, I’d been planning on writing an arcane murder mystery of tremendous age, and that story — an Ice Age murder witnessed by a boy who would be the first ‘storyteller’ — slotted effortlessly into the plot.I am not going to summarize the story as much better reviewers than I have already done so, many times before.

I've seldomly read a book that is so rich and enthralling in its descriptions and really draws me into the mythical woods , where time flows differently, where your subconscious can conjure up archetypes and these can infringe upon your very real life outside of the forest. The Hollowing is a novel — set in Mythago Wood — about the European ‘trickster’ figure, the Jack figure. Ryhope Woods is full of mythological creatures, familiar heroes such as Robin Hood, and Hercules, but also mythological creatures that existed before written memory. I am actually an impostor, my great great grandfather Thomas Newton Keaton changed his name to Keeten when he was conscripted into the Confederate army. These elements of culture include Morris dances, the Green Man, shamanism, Neolithic tribespeople and pre-Roman Celtic traditions.It has received critical acclaim for the quality of its prose, its forest setting, and its exploration of philosophical, spiritual and psychological themes. The interior of Ryhope wood is a pre-Christian British setting in which pagan and shamanistic rituals are common, and one scholar notes that death and mortal remains are prominent and disturbing part of these works. Okay so how does that work well the story itself is pretty straight forward, what the real mystery is and really the most intriguing character are the woods themselves. I believe that the novel was composed of three separate novellas, and that may explain some of the disjointedness. The story itself is super interesting and dark although I do think S and H friendship was significantly underdeveloped.

There is a lot of mythological references both real and imaginary but do not let it put you off the story really is how we deal with the unknown and how we deal with it when forced to face it. I used Walt Whitman’s poem ‘ Darest Thou Now, Oh Soul‘ (Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region…) as inspiration. How many times should we have to read about how darned wild and thick the woods are, and how the girl smelled like tangy woodsy lady funk?If I'd been introduced to this author's work in the mid-late 80s, I would probably have liked it a lot more, as I was just getting into the paganism/green man/ occultism thing. So, while I was quickly pulled in and I absolutely loved the first two-thirds of the book, I experienced moments of confusion in the last section. You will be staggered to learn that all of the humans in question are men, and all but two of the mythagos are. In pursuing explanation and mapping of the wood, he heads to a local airstrip and hires Harry Keeton to fly over the wood.

Indescribably enchanting… a fantasy which celebrates the immensity of love… should be read several times. Earthy, creepy and very much of its time, Mythago Wood deals more in the primaeval tham contempirary fantasy novels.

Embedded in the text is an aspect of the tale of Gawain and the Green Knight, and Jason — an older, more savage Jason than the figure from the Greek myth — appears in a cameo role, a set-piece tale that stands apart from the rest of the book. Brian Aldiss has written that "Ryhope Wood [is] that terrifying metaphor for our mental labyrinths" in which " phylogeny presides over ontogeny" with regard to an individual's history and destiny.

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