Friday, November 16, 2012


By: Alison Croggon
Published By: Walker Books
Released : Available Now
Details: Paperback,287 Pages

Thankyou to Walker Books for the review copy.


Blurb : Goodreads

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, BLACK SPRING reimagines the passionate story in a fantasy 19th century society sustained by wizardry and the vengeance code of vendetta.

Anna spent her childhood with Damek and her volatile foster sister Lina, daughter of the Lord of the village. Lina has magical powers, and in this brutal patriarchal society women with magical powers are put to death as babies. Lina’s father, however, refuses to kill her but when vendetta explodes in their village and Lina’s father dies, their lives are changed forever. Their new guardian Masko sends Anna away and reduces Lina to the status of a servant. Damek—mad with love for Lina—attempts to murder Masko, then vanishes for several years. Anna comes home five years later to find Lina about to marry a pleasant young farmer, and witnesses Damek’s vengeful return and its catastrophic consequences.

Passionate, atmospheric and haunting, BLACK SPRING will stay with readers long after they turn the final page.

BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

“There is luck in being born ordinary.” 

Black Spring is inspired by Wuthering Heights. I have not read any of the classics, yes, I know that may be a tragedy in itself.

Alison’s story within, is of darkness, passion, twisted love, lust, betrayal and vendetta’s, told from three pov’s, Hammel, Anna and Lina’s . Hammel, is more of a narrator at the start.

The story is set in Elbasa, the Red House. These walls have seen a lot.

I was not sure what I was going to find within these pages but Alison took me to several places. The start of the book with Grosz’s warning’s, had me thinking Hammel was going to be getting himself into a whole lot of trouble.....but......

I would be honest and say I found the later half of the book stronger.

Damek and Lina are the major tragedy of this story. There are more, being the vendetta’s.

A vendetta, one man murdered, the relative of the murdered man ,after one month can kill, during daylight hours the one who killed his relative. Then that poor man who by law had to kill the murderer, becomes a murderer and the relative of the original murderer ,male only, after one month can at anytime kill this poor sod. So what you have is a train wreck of villages males being killed until there are no more surviving relatives ( male only) that stemmed on both sides from the original murdered victim.

Lordy, I hope I got that right.

But, in this vendetta, there is also the Blood Tax that must be paid each time. Such a cruel and beyond harsh law, which by the way could be started, due to corruptness as King needs his Blood Tax. As you can imagine, being a male you don’t want to be either murdered or related in any shape or form to anything associated to this crime.

“Blood is blood: and in this country , blood is everything.” 

Harsh. Much.

There is a loop hole, but rarely anybody used it as you might as well take a bullet.

I liked Anna’s story she had to tell us. Hammel is really only there to listen. He gets himself in a pickle with a dog. Were his intentions ever served out?

Lina , her character brings out various emotions within the reader. The more you read, the more you have conflicting thoughts. Is she a witch? Is she a little crazy, blinded by love and her own safety?

Damek is the little boy we watch become a man. An almost, Shakespearean style love, that can only ever be tragic, emerges.

“I know you think me a monster. Maybe you always have,” he said. “But I tell you, I am not so inhuman. I wish I were. With all my soul, I wish I were.”

Damek’s world becomes Lina, he does not think about her position. Lina’s world becomes Damek. When somebody’s world gets taken away from cruel as it may appear, what is healthier?

“Without you, the world is a desert of thirst, with no spring anywhere. Without you, I have no soul, no life. Don’t you understand?”

“Damek is like a rock beneath my feet - I cannot escape him, anymore than I could escape my own soul.” 

Then there is Tibor, fate crossed his path to bring a cruelty to a man that should have been given better in life.

The Wizard Ezra, he is one powerful dude you do not want to mess with. He will mess with you if it suits his needs. You will not win.

This is a tragic tale that I enjoyed reading. Alison does paint a very haunted love affair. I would definitely recommend it to the theater enthusiast and lover of classic tales. For a YA genre book, it is a heavy dark read with no escape of complete happiness for its characters.

Except maybe for...........



  1. I'm so glad you reviewed this, I'd seen it on the Walker site but wasn't sure what it would be like. It sounds quite creepy and definitely gothic

    1. Hi Mandee, I am not sure if I would use creepy, I know the cover appears that way, it is very tragic is what I would say. The characters have a Shakespearean tragedy about them.

      Thanks for dropping by:D


  2. The cover does look creepy! That was my first thought when I saw it. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, it might be too much for me. I've never read Wuthering Heights either, because I think it's too heavy for me. Great review!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    1. It is a creepy looking cover, the eyes are shiney so when you turn the book, they are kind of blood red and she is watching me.....oooooo, lol!!


  3. This sounds well done, and that cover is creep but good.
    I haven't read classics like Wuthering Heights either, don't feel bad.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. It is a very theatrical type of story if that makes sense. The characters can be written in an extreme way. Hmmm not sure if I am making my thoughts clear.


      Thanks for dropping by girls!

  4. I like the Vendetta and Blood Tax parts, very powerful devices to intensify the story.

    1. Hey Miss B,

      Not a lot of fun for the guys, poor loveys.



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