Holdstock delivers once again with a wonderful mythical thriller/quest – breathtaking descriptions, page-turning plot and absorbing mysteries solved by mad, obsessed characters.
Ryhope Wood holds ancient secrets and memories – from legend, history, real and believed – that manifest themselves in physical form. Known as mythagos, they are unpredictable, dangerous and transient…because they are versions of famous heroes and heroines changeable according to how we see and think about them.
As a boy, Christian Huxley saw his father driven insane by his obsession with the mythagos. Worse, he witnessed his mother’s suicide after a terrifying raid from questing warriors who broke out of Ryhope Wood and into the present to retrieve a long-lost artefact. Years later, now a young man exploring the wood in his father’s wake, Christian makes an astonishing discovery that will lead him through a series of dangerous quests, a heart-wrenching love affair and the most difficult decision of his life. The ultimate prize is the Gate of Ivory, the gate of truth…the gate through which he can bring his mother back to life.
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In his 1984 fantasy novel Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock created a new seed-bed of myths. Ryhope Wood is a remnant of ancient British forest that's infinitely huger inside than out; a place where humanity's most deeply felt legends take on solid form. Gate of Ivory takes Christian Huxley (brother of Mythago Wood's narrator) into the haunted heartwoods, where he becomes entangled in the unfinished "Tale of Culhwch and Olwen" from the Welsh Mabinogion. This legend contains bizarre Monty Python-like tasks and trials whose humour Holdstock wryly acknowledges, while at the same time shaping them into a saga with a real sense of doom. The "Legion" undertaking the quest needs all its warriors, shamans and shapeshifters to stay ahead of the angry dead (and worse) pursuing them to the final mystical challenge at the gates of the underworld. En route, Christian brings together two lovers separated by the fact that they come from different versions, told many centuries apart, of the same forgotten myth. His final task is to enter the underworld like Orpheus and make an agonising choice of who to bring back. In Holdstock's hands, old archetypes fuse together with a raw mythic power. Compulsive storytelling. -- David LangfordReview:
‘Britain’s best fantasist.’
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Book Description Harper Collins 1998, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006480020
Book Description Harper Collins, 1998. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0006480020 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0006480020