Last week British publisher Gollancz published a hardback and trade paperback edition of Avilion, the first direct sequel to Mythago Wood – published twenty-five years ago this year – and the seventh book in the interrelated Mythago Wood Cycle.
The plot is as rich and inventive as ever (the wealth of possibilities contained in this primeval, haunted woodland seems inexhaustible), but the tone is lighter, with a wider range. There’s even space for a few jokes, and many surprises. Mythago Wood was dark, intensely focused, and essentially tragic. The family was a source of conflict and every relationship was doomed. By contrast, in Avilion, fathers aren’t monsters, lovers can part without one having to die, and people can decide how they will respond to the events life throws at them, rather than being compelled by fate to behave like characters in a story. This is a wonderful, grown-up fantasy about growing up and moving on, and going home.
In the photo Rob relaxes in his garden with his half Siamese cat, Harry, glad to have Avilion on the shelves and available to fans of the series.