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.
What would have made Black Spring better?
Lots of things, for example if she would have stopped presenting us 2 dimensional characters.
My main problem is that this story is not inspired by Wuthering Heights, it is Wuthering Heights, just with a less interesting story, less complex characters and far less well written. The story offered me nothing new. We live in a world of wizards and witches but nothing in the writing gives you the impression of such a thing. There is no magic in this book, just a reason to get to a very expected plot twist.
Our characters had no motivation: what was the reason for Ezra's hate? Why did Lina refuse to run? Who did she love and why? Nothing was explained, but in the end you don't really care which is in a way fine, but also bad because a story should make you care.
Also, her daughter was so insignificant it enraged me to no end. Like I said, a shorter, worse version of Wuthering Heights.
What could Alison Croggon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Maybe next time the author can write her own story and not a plot line from another book and just insert a few extra elements to make it look like a new story. It looked and sounded fake.
What three words best describe Kim Hicks’s voice?
Boring. I'm trying not to judge her here, the story was incredible boring as well so maybe it's not her fault.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
From an objective perspective the writing is above average, considering this is for the Young Adult gender. I've read some really bad YA so far with really stupid characters and average language, grammar mistakes and the sort. Not this case.
Any additional comments?
Maybe the author aimed too high. Blinded by her love for Wuthering Heights she thought she could write something to reach that masterpiece, but aimed for the younger ages. Unfortunately, I found the story boring and even infuriating at times because it copied so much from Wuthering Heights, but did it so wrong.
Where does Black Spring rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I enjoyed it. I'll admit it doesn't have the allure of a fast-paced story, as it reads like a good old-fashioned, "around-the-fire" kind of tale. I was still captivated, though I had to settle in for something a bit different than what I usually listen to...lately I've gone with edgier novels. It took a bit, but I finally allowed myself to listen...then I was pulled in.
What other book might you compare Black Spring to and why?
One of my favorite books is Rebecca by Dauphne du Maurier, and this novel goes at about the same pace (not the same style). I know it's a retelling of Wuthering Heights, but I never could grow to like WH the way I did Ms. Croggon's retelling. I suppose I just really liked Anna.
Have you listened to any of Kim Hicks’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Not before, but I will look for her name now. She does an excellent job of narrating.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Only a couple of times. Most of the time, I just listened and enjoyed.
Any additional comments?
This is a somewhat different style than ACroggon's Pellinor series (which I have read and re-read many times). I have waited to see if she would write again, and I wasn't disappointed. I think I would give the book 4.5stars overall, just for surprising me with a telling of WH that I like. Perhaps I'll go back and read WH to see if I'll take a shine to it now?