This young adult novel was inspired by ‘Wuthering Heights’, so I approached it with great caution. On the one hand, I wanted to see how Ms Croggon’s story would develop. On the other hand, ‘Wuthering Heights’ is my favourite novel, and I am deeply wary of other authors encroaching on any of its territory.
I was pleasantly surprised. On both counts. While I could recognise aspects of ‘Wuthering Heights’ in the structure of the story, and in similarity of characters and in echoes of language throughout the novel, ‘Black Spring’ has its own tale of betrayal and vengeance. Magic, rather than family, defines the world. The land that Lina and Damek inhabit is a bleak land, full of superstition, suspicion and watchfulness, ruled by wizards and the harsh, strict rules of vendetta. The narrators are Anna (Lina’s maid) and Hammel (a traveller to the magical north).
‘Vendetta is a black vine, a parasite that fruits only graves.’
Lina has the violet eyes that mark her as a witch, she is only protected from persecution by her rank. But her position is no defence against tragedy, can provide her no security against heartbreak. A tragic heroine, with some similarities to Cathy Earnshaw. And Damek? He is no Heathcliff. And yet, he is like Heathcliff in some ways.
I found that I enjoyed reading this novel better if I didn’t compare it to ‘Wuthering Heights’. The story has its own gothic, romantic, tragic trajectory.
‘I shall never complain of the tedium of the city again.’
- Publisher: Walker Books (1 October 2012)
- ISBN-10: 1921977485
- ISBN-13: 978-1921977480
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 299 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review