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Lavondyss: Journey to an Unknown Region (A Novel of the Mythago Cycle) Paperback – July 1, 2004

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About the Author

Robert Holdstock's novels include Mythago Wood, which won the World Fantasy Award; Lavondyss; and Gate of Ivory. He lives in London.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; Reprint edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765307316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765307316
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #915,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Fenella Paine on March 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Generally, I consider myself to be more of a science fiction fan than a fastasy fan. Most fantasy novels seem too much the same to me - wizards, knights, fairies, etc. dressed up in flowery language with cutesy names. Too many modern fantasy writers seem to forget that many of the elements of the fantasy genre are based on much older stories, and those stories on others much older than them. Robert Holdstock quite masterfully taps into the essence of myth, legend, and fairy tale, stripping away all of the modern frippery and exposing them for what they really are - deep rooted stories of fear, desperation and tragedy. For those who felt that the story was too violent, I encourage them to do some research into what life was like in the "olden days." It was not a quaint tale of bucolic bliss but short, brutish, and frequently cruel. Although I loved "Mythago Wood," "Lavondyss" is far superior and complex in examining the genesis and evolution of myth. It is an eerie, uneasy, discomforting book and all the more powerful for that. If you're looking for a story that will give you the warm fuzzies, stick to more standard fantasy fare. If you're looking for a book that will challenge your ideas about myth and story and haunt you for many days after, "Lavondyss" is about as good as it gets.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Noibs on July 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lavondyss is not as accessible as Mythago Wood; however, for me, it was even more rewarding. It's best if you read it slow, savoring the detail, the imagery and the incredible scope. I've read it several times. Each time, after finishing, it tends to haunt me for days and days. I also find it to be profoundly sad, but not in a bad way. I STRONGLY recommend Lavondyss.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Coray on July 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
With patience and dedication, this is a weird and wonderful book.
Lavondyss delves deeper into myth than Mythago Wood dared go, illuminates intriguing areas left dark, but on the flip side, Lavondyss isn't as exciting, as fast paced, as the first book.
I felt that as an embellishment and continuation of Mythago Wood, Lavondyss is definitely deserving of 5 stars, but as a stand-alone it's only worth 4. I would recommend Mythago Wood first, but if after that book you're intrigued at all, then this book is the answer. (An answer that leaves more questions than before, but isn't that like all the best answers?)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By euphbass on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Judging by some of the other reviews, this book is to complex for some people. But if you think you're up to it intellectualy, this is a truly stunning read that will profoundly affect you.

I read this first, and having just finished it's predecessor, Mythago Wood, I have to say that Lavondyss is by far the more developed and powerful of the two. The imagery is simply stunning, particularly the first half of the book. It evokes wonderful images of nature, mythology and fantasy. The second half concerns a quest and it is very abrupt jump from the first half, but you get used to it. While not as visually stunning as the first half, it is none the less very powerful and addictive.

This book is an emotioanlly wrenching tragedy in the classical sense of the word, and the twists and turns are beautifully and wonderfully convoluted and realised, the sort of book that will take several readings to fully appreciate (if I can bring myself to read it again - it is very emotioanlly draining).

If you have a love of mythology, nature, the wildwoods and truly breathtaking fantasy, read this book.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Brian Rutherford on December 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're one of these readers who have just dropped in and have read the other reviews then stop...Lavondyss isn't like the previous book 'Mythago Wood'its better, much , much better. This is an author who went for years with little or no recognition and then he writes a book based on English mythology and he hits paydirt. What would you do? Write another clone. No, Robert Holdstock fired by his success with 'Mythago Wood' writes the novel of a lifetime. A book he always wanted. Lavondyss is steeped in mythology. A different story occurs almost every page and all from the mind of the author but based on the form of the myth. All of them are brilliant and engrossing, terrifying even because this is not the myth of Tolkien(another scholar of mythology) but a myth based on the great stories of Irish and English Mythology where terrible and amazing things happen. You know its a story but it touches you all the same. He has the capacity to tell a story and leave you thinking Bl**dy Hell! Its long..yes, I'll grant you that but you don't want to leave his world and it has a structure so tightly bound that everything you read leads towards the ending. Maybe you Americans have an adversion to stories that have a unsettled ending but the truth is.. its life . That's the way things are and this book had a great effect on me. If you're tired of Sub-Tolkien stories about elves and fairies then get into the real thing. Robert Holdstock is a genius writer who has been ignored for far too long.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have a bad habit of overusing the word "haunting." Ergo, I worry that when I use it here, it won't pack the punch it really should. Let me just say, then, that when I say Lavondyss is haunting, I mean it. This book settled into my bones like a hard winter. It will stay in my mind forever. I feel like I've lived a whole second life by reading it, and I'll probably read it again at my earliest convenience just to see if I catch anything I missed the first time.

I had trouble getting into the previous book, Mythago Wood, but I was glad I read it and am now even gladder, as it provides lots of background that helps make sense of Lavondyss. Lavondyss feels more like a "straight" fantasy novel, though; while there is still the idea that people create mythagos with their minds and that many of the book's mythagos are personally tied to its central character, to me it feels that this time the story and the world stand more on their own and have more of a life outside of the character's psychology. I feel less like I'm reading a slightly veiled book on Jung and Freud, and more like I've been sucked into a seductive, visceral fairy tale. I'm yet again reminded of a work of nonfiction -- this time Robert Graves' The White Goddess -- but this time the analytical part of my mind was content to curl up by the fire and let Robert Holdstock spin his tale.

In Mythago Wood, Steven Huxley's traveling companion was Harry Keeton. Lavondyss centers on Harry's younger sister, Tallis. Born when Harry was already a grown man, Tallis only knew her brother briefly, but she and her family are haunted by his disappearance. Tallis is an uncanny, precocious girl with an instinctive gift for magic, and it's simply enchanting to follow along as she learns the ways of the wood and its spirits.
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