Combine the classic Wuthering Heights – full of lust, betrayal, longing and tragedy – with the talented mind of fantasy writer Alison Croggon, and what emerges is a rich and complex novel taking familiar themes to a whole new level. Black Spring is mesmerising.
Hammel has been advised by his physician to ‘take a rest cure.’ After a tumultuous year he ‘hankers for solitude’ and so seeks solace and refuge in the ‘grim landscapes’ of the Black Mountains. What he discovers when he arrives, sets him on the path of unearthing a tragic history of filled with despair, magic and intrigue.
After Hammel’s prologue the novel is divided into the narratives by Anna and Lima. Anna is virtually an observer; wise, steady, and sensible she grew up with the tempestuous Lima. Lima is Croggon’s version of Cathy – with the addition of innate magical skills, and a big helping of strength and determination. She is set on the path of mutal self destruction alongside the mysterious Damek as their relationship develops and implodes during the course of the novel.
With the cruel appearance of the Vendetta, Croggon delves further into the bleakness which characterised Wuthering Heights. Her description of the Vendetta is cleverly dark and intriguing, rendering it wholly memorable. Moreover it provides this re-working of an old classic with a wonderful twist.
Croggon’s Black Spring has harnessed the gothic mood of its original, before taking it to a wonderful new level. An engaging and gripping read.