Saturday, 3 August 2013

Black Spring by Alison Croggon

Sponsored post: I received a paperback copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Daphne from Winged Reviews, and Walker Publishers.
Black Spring
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, BLACK SPRING reimagines the passionate story in a fantasy 19th century society sustained by wizardry and the vengeance code of vendetta.

Anna spent her childhood with Damek and her volatile foster sister Lina, daughter of the Lord of the village. Lina has magical powers, and in this brutal patriarchal society women with magical powers are put to death as babies. Lina’s father, however, refuses to kill her but when vendetta explodes in their village and Lina’s father dies, their lives are changed forever. Their new guardian Masko sends Anna away and reduces Lina to the status of a servant. Damek—mad with love for Lina—attempts to murder Masko, then vanishes for several years. Anna comes home five years later to find Lina about to marry a pleasant young farmer, and witnesses Damek’s vengeful return and its catastrophic consequences.

Passionate, atmospheric and haunting, BLACK SPRING will stay with readers long after they turn the final page.

Black Spring by Alison Croggon

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Black Spring(Source: I received a paperback copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Daphne from Winged Reviews, and Walker Publishers.)
This story is a retelling of Wuthering Heights.
Hemmel is a man visiting a town, where he discovers a story about his landlord and a witch, we are then told the story of Damek and Lina from the point of view of Anna, a maid who was born at the same time as Lina, and was her milk-sister.
Damek is brought to live with Lina and her family as her foster brother, but they grow very close, until Lina’s father dies, and a guardian is appointed to watch over Lina.
Are the rumours true that Lina is a witch? What is her relationship with Damek? And how did Damek end up married to Lina’s daughter?

I’m not sure what to say about this one. While I thought the writing was good, the actual story was just a bit of a mess.

Firstly I didn’t really understand the need for the two stories – Hammel who was discovering this story, and then the actual story itself. Maybe it was just to let us know what happened some time after the main events of the story, but I didn’t really see the point. In fact I think this spoiled the story.

Anna as a character was okay, although really she was just a narrator. I understood her position, and her fears, and she seemed like a fairly normal sort of person. Lina on the other hand was pretty full of herself and didn’t seem to care about anyone other than herself most of the time, and it was easy to see why the people of the village would label her a witch, even if she hadn’t had violet eyes.

The storyline was okay I suppose, although I haven’t read Wuthering Heights to say how closely this story resembles the original. The pace was pretty slow though, and although I was curious to find out what happened to Lina, it was spoiled slightly by the fact that we were told right at the beginning of the book that Damek was now married to Lina Junior, and that Lina herself was dead.
The writing in the book was nice and very flowing, and was certainly reminiscent of a classic, and that was probably the best thing about this book. While I liked the writing and the sort-of mystery, I can’t say that I really enjoyed reading this book all that much at all.
Overall; an okay, if slightly strange story, but written nicely.
5 out of 10.

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