Thursday, July 25, 2013

Black Spring by Alison Croggon

Lina is the daughter of a village lord.  She has grown up with her companion, Damek, and they are inseparable, devoted to each other in a way no one understands.  Lina is a witch, and although wizards are revered and respected, withes are put to death.  Only Lina's status as a lord's daughter protects her.  But Lina's life is filled with tragedy, and long after he death, a stranger to the village uncovers the whole sad story.

It was Wuthering Heights.  And there really isn't much more to say.  In Alison Croggon's author blurb it says, "This book is my love letter to Emily Bronte, whom I've adored since I was a child."  So her love letter was rewriting Emily Bronte's book.  Plus wizards.

I did not like the original Wuthering Heights.  I am not a fan of Gothic romances, and had no patience for a book full of unpleasant people making their lives, and everyone else's, unpleasant.  They all came to a tragic end, and it's your own damn fault!  Ugh.  Couldn't stand it.  So knowing this was a retelling of Wuthering Heights, I was skeptical going in, but it might be good, you know, if the author decides to do something with it.

But Croggon did not do anything with it.  She just rewrote it.  Exactly as it was.  Only with a slight magic aspect.  A magic aspect, I might add, that added absolutely nothing.  What was the point of Lina being a witch, or there being wizards that wanted to kill her?  Nothing came of it.  It was just the Wuthering Heights story retold, with nothing original added.

So that was disappointing, and also made me wonder, could I do this?  Can I take a book in the public domain, essentially rewrite it, as it is, maybe throw a slight fantastical element in, and get it published?  Why aren't I doing that?

Black Spring comes out August 27, 2013.


  1. I thought about requesting this for review but I'm glad I came across your review first! I think I will be passing on this one. I still haven't read Wuthering Heights. I have a feeling I'd hate it. The addition of magic wouldn't help if the characters are as unlikable as they are supposed to be in the original. Thanks for your review!

    1. I found Wuthering Heights frustrating, so yeah, even with an update and magic it just didn't do it for me.

  2. Oh dear. I hated Wuthering Heights. I wanted to shake everyone.


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