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The Hollowing (Mythago Wood #4) by Robert Holdstock

By Pamelascott

Alex Bradley, a highly imaginative child, brain-damaged after a bizarre attack, vanishes one day from his home. Months later a body is found on the edge of Ryhope Wood. The wood shields a heart of primeval forest wherein live phantoms and strange creatures - Mythago's - those shades generated over time by our dreams and nightmares.

Alex has in fact been absorbed by the wood, drawn into its green heart - through a 'hollowing'. There his dreams will continue to populate the wood with its Mythago's. But like Alex, they too are damaged: the great heroes he conjures are warped, incomplete and dangerous. Savage and lost, they are compelled to seek their creator. The havoc they wreak threatens those who search for Alex, including his father, Richard.

In the end, it will threaten the very existence of the wood itself and of its natural Mythago's. Richard must quest repeatedly through Ryhope's hollowing's in an attempt to bring his son to safety and quiet the monsters Alex has created.

There his dreams continue to populate the wood with "Mythago's", warped, dangerous hero figures, threatening all those who come in search of the boy.


[Each dawn, since the hollyjack had come to the cathedral bringing her strange dreams, the boy had started to think of waking as the opening of petals, or a form of budding]


(Gateway, ebook, 30 July 2015, first published 1993), bought from Amazon)



After the disappointing, The Bone Forest, the Mythago Wood series returns to top form with The Hollowing.

I loved The Hollowing. This book touches on events in the second book, Lavondyss, focusing on Tallis's disappearance and events from the first book featuring the Huxley's but is a complete, stand-alone tale.

Ryhope Wood and the creatures of Myth spawned within it are much darker in this book, as they area created by the mind of a brain-damaged boy. They Mythago's have always been a bit sinister and odd but they are menacing in this book.

As with the other books in the series, I was impressed by the scope of The Hollowing. Jason and the Argonauts put in an appearance which is pretty awesome.

The Hollowing is fantastic. I'm such a fan of this highly original and highly addictive series. I look forward to reading book 5, Merlin's Wood.

The Hollowing (Mythago Wood #4) by Robert Holdstock

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