BOOK REVIEW: Black Spring by Alison Croggon

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

Inspired by the gothic classic Wuthering Heights, this stunning new fantasy from the author of the Books of Pellinor is a fiercely romantic tale of betrayal and vengeance.

In a savage land sustained by wizardry and ruled by vendetta, Lina is the enchanting but willful daughter of a village lord. She and her childhood companion, Damek, have grown up privileged and spoiled, and they’re devoted to each other to the point of obsession. But Lina’s violet eyes betray her for a witch, and witches are not tolerated in a brutally patriarchal society. Her rank protects her from persecution, but it cannot protect her from tragedy and heartbreak. An innocent visitor stands witness to the devastation that ensues as destructive longing unleashes Lina’s wrath, and with it her forbidden power. Whether drawn by the romantic, the magical, or the gothic, readers will be irresistibly compelled by the passion of this tragic tale.

My Thoughts:

I collect books faster than I can read them. Most of them I buy, many are given to me as gifts. The only way I could read them all was if I spent my whole life with my nose in a book and lived several centuries.

The books I haven’t yet read are stacked and double-stacked on a bookshelf in my bedroom, and when I’ve read them they go into their proper place, by genre and alphabetically, in my library. Every month or so, I rummage around at the back of my to-be-read bookshelf and pull out a book that has been hidden there far too long.

Black Spring is a reimagining of Wuthering Heights, set in a world of wizards, mutes, vendettas and wild magic. Written by poet, critic and novelist, Alison Croggon it was published in 2012 which means it has been waiting for me to give it life in my imagination for seven years. I love Alison Croggon’s writing and so I knew I was going to love this book. I’m so glad it finally sprang into my hand.

Constructed, like Wuthering Heights, as a story within a story, it follows the well-known trajectory of love, obsession, revenge and tragedy of the original book by Emily Bronte. Alison Croggon, has, however, created something quite new and remarkable with her addition of magical elements. It has given Black Spring an eeriness that Wuthering Heights demonstrated in its famous scene of the ghost sobbing outside in the snowstorm, but did not deliver quite so powerfully elsewhere. Alison Croggon has taken this gothic scene, and extended its spine-chilling, unnerving quality throughout the entirety of the narrative.

She has also simplified and strengthened the primary narrative arc of Wuthering Heights, losing all the bits that most readers skip over. The result is a work of dark, poetic intensity that acknowledges its inspiration but creates its own uncanny, mysterious world.


You might also like to read my review of The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden:

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Kate Forsyth
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