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Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn (Mythago Wood #6) by Robert Holdstock

By Pamelascott

Several years ago, Christian Huxley's father, George, obsessively documented the strange phenomena emanating from Ryhope Wood at the edge of their property. He watched the ancient heroes emerge, shouting both incomprehensible warnings and unmistakable invitations. Recklessly, George followed them into the mysterious sylvan shadows that changed him forever.

Christian himself was not untouched by these living dreams. A childhood encounter with a phantom from another time draws him to the Wood as an adult. Deep in Ryhope, Christian uncovers the lie that permeates his worst nightmares. And like his father, he will be consumed with the Mythago's of Ryhope, especially a young Celtic warrior called Guiwenneth. She is the key to the mystery of the universe, an ancient heroine caught in a timeless tale of bravery and sacrifice.

Now, together with a band of crusaders from a world long gone, Christian and Guiwenneth become part of the unfolding stories both remembered and forgotten. They meet sorcerers in battle and giants who can travel miles in one step. And they discover the meaning of the two gates, Ivory and Horn - one the lie, the other the truth.


[This morning, when I opened my eyes and saw the spring sky above me as I lay in the shallow boat, I realised that my long journey from the heart of the forest was over, and that I had come home again]

(Gateway, 320 pages, ebook, 27 November 2014, first published 1997), bought from Amazon)



Oh, boy was this book, the six in the Mythago Wood series a stinker.

Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn is a prequal to the first book, Mythago Wood and takes place during the same time period as that book, focusing on Christian Huxley and his relationship with the Mythago Guiwenneth.

After the brilliance of Mythago Wood, Lavondyss and The Hollowing, I had high hopes for this book. They were dashed, smashed to smithereens.

So, what is wrong with this book?

A lot. I enjoyed absolutely nothing about it except finally reaching the end. I disliked the book so much it took forever and several days to read.

Unlike other books in the series, Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn is set firmly in the mythical world inside Ryhope Wood. This doesn't work for me. What I enjoyed about the other books is the way the world of Ryhope Wood invades the world outside. It just didn't work being inside Ryhope Wood all the time.

The book is very tedious at times. The story is confusing. No characters speak English except Christian but can magically understand each other. Okay. I also didn't like Christian. He's sort of dull and I didn't believe in his passion for Guiwenneth. The plot leaps all over the place which made it a slow read for such a short book.

I loved Mythago Wood, Lavondyss and The Hollowing but am now dreading the final book, Avilion which I believe is likely to feature similarities with the author's Merlin series so I don't have very high hopes.

Gate Ivory, Horn (Mythago Wood Robert Holdstock

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