Read Duncton Wood by William Horwood Online


Enter the magical, colourful, poignant world of Bracken and Rebecca, Mandrake the tyrant, Boswell the scribe, Hulver, Comfrey... and all the other moles of Duncton Wood. Set deep in the English countryside, this enchanting story tells of an ancient community losing its soul - but saved by courage and love....

Title : Duncton Wood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780099443001
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 736 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Duncton Wood Reviews

  • Liam Mulkeen
    2019-05-03 21:00

    It seems the world has almost forgot about Duncton wood. The books are hard to find in second hand shops. I would rate the books up there with Lord of the rings, Dune, the dark materials trilogy and watership down. If you like that sort of stuff you will simply be amazed by the moles of Duncton Wood. Amazed it took you so long to read it, for starters. The characters are lovable, you will really care what happens to them and the world they inhabit underground is well developed to the point of fascinating. The religion the moles practice hints to me of pagan celtic nature worship, they revere the standing stones, still standing, left by that civilization in the British isle millennia ago. When they emerge above ground on a spiritual quest and enter our world they see roads as noisy rivers of death and Owls as lethal killers with terrifying screams and hypnotic eyes. Mesmerizing anthropomorphic fantasy. Seriously, do it.

  • Kathleen Dixon
    2019-04-25 23:40

    This is a very short review because I should be working, but I need to return a few books to the library today....If I owned this book I wouldn't give it away (unlike a few that I'm trying to pass on, so that next time I move house there aren't quite as many boxes for the poor removal men to carry (there were over 100 boxes of books!)). What else can I say? There are some excellent reviews done already. For me, Horwood has got the combination of animals and fantasy and faith and countryside just right. I never once wanted to skim through any of the descriptive passages, and I really enjoyed the anthropomorphism (now that didn't touch-type quickly) - moles doing the things that moles do, but also interacting like humans in community.I do hope the library has the next one sitting waiting for me on the shelf. Sadly, this library (in my new town-of-residence) charges for each item reserved. I am not going to pay anything at a free library, so I have to adjust my library habits. But that's got nothing to do with reviewing this book, so I'll get going.

  • Fence
    2019-04-21 21:53

    Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a book about moles, because it a great story of love, hate, violence, forgiveness and courage.A re-read for me, this has always been my favourite of the Duncton books. There are six in all, three in the Duncton Chronicles and three in the other series. But this is the best of them, I felt that the others got a little too bogged down in philosophy and Horwood turned slightly preachy with his pacifist moles.Despite that, I will be on the lookout for the others in this series as I had forgotten how well written they were. These moles are full of life and personality, yet at the same time they remain moles throughout the book.In essence this is a love story between Bracken and Rebecca, but it is also the story of how violence and hatred can be overcome.

  • David Sarkies
    2019-05-22 01:47

    The Secret World of the Moles18 February 2017 There are some books out there that it doesn’t matter how long they are, the story is really engrossing and I really don’t want to put them down. However there are other books that start off good but are so long that by the time I start getting close to the end my eyes start glasing over and I quickly begin to lose interest. Then there are books that are basically crap. Well, this isn’t one of the last type of books, and this certainly isn’t one of the first type of books so I guess it falls into the category of being too long. Actually, one of the major flaws that I did find in this book was not so much that it was too long but rather that it contained two distinct stories and thus it could have worked much better, and been much more interesting, if Horwood has divided it into two books. Mind you, I also have books two, three, and four on my bookshelves which makes me wonder if I am ever going to get around to reading them, or whether they are going to be tossed out at the next Church Fete – we will see. Another thing about this book is that the author seems to be using the same method that was first used in Watership Downs, though I had no idea that this was going to be the case until I started reading the book. I don’t guess that is generally a problem but it does feel like somebody is simply trying to copy an idea that was originally quite successful. Actually, it does tend to be pretty hard to be original these days, especially when there are so many influences that are going to go into your writing. However, I guess the originality comes out in how you produce your writings, and if you let your own personality and style dictate your work as opposed to simply copying something else. In fact, it does become pretty obvious when a work is forced, particularly where the author isn’t writing for the love of writing, but simply writing because they see it as an easy way of making lots of money (hint: it isn’t). So, Duncton Wood is a story about moles, though it is more than just a story it is more of an epic. However, as I suggested, it is actually two stories in one. The first half of the book is about this nation (or system as the book calls it) of moles who live in Duncton Wood (which apparently is somewhere around Oxford). It sets up our two main characters – Brachen and Rebecca – and tells us that it is a love story. Then it introduces the antagonist, a mole named Mandrake, who is actually a pretty big mole that came into the system from afar and pretty much took over. However, he didn’t just take over but he also destroyed the religion of the moles as well by preventing them from worshiping at the stone and killing anybody who knew the sacred chants. Except that Brachen was taught these chants and managed to survive and escaped into ancient tunnels to prepare and eventually emerge. So, the two stories are thus: defeating Mandrake and freeing the systems; and then going on a quest to restore the religious beliefs of the moles in Duncton Wood. Religion actually plays a central role in the book, namely because we have Mandrake coming along and dominating the system by destroying the religion and then ruling through brute force. Then we have Brachen go off on a quest to restore the religious rites that Mandrake had destroyed. Furthermore, to emphasise the religious nature of the story, we even have the protagonists let one of the antagonists go free, namely because they do not see a reason to kill him, but also because the antagonist (who isn’t Mandrake by the way but one of his lieutenants), has become such a pathetic individual that killing him will simply make them no better than him. The whole thing about Mandrake dominating the system is an interesting one and he does it namely because he can – he has the power and because he has the power he basically uses it. However, he has a weakness and that is that he hates all religion and actually goes out of his way to basically destroy all aspects of it. Okay, since the religion is based around a standing stone that is located in the middle of the forest, and even Mandrake isn’t that powerful to destroy the stone, there is always going to be a reminder of the religion to the moles, but since Mandrake has ordered the death of all the priests then memories of the specifics start to fade. Mind you, Mandrake also forbids moles from traveling outside, which means that even the sight of the stone becomes a myth. This is another key theme of the story – how time creates myths. By destroying all semblance of the religion means that everybody (or everymole as it is written) forgets the tenants of the religion, which means that in the end Mandrake is the one that they all look up to – he is the biggest and the strongest. However, there must be some sort of issue with his self-esteem if he has to do all of this. Despite being the biggest, and the strongest, he has to destroy any rivals, and religion is a big rival to any dictator, and put himself to replace this. The other aspect of time creating myth is when Bracken goes off on his journey, and he is gone for so long that people begin to forget about him, not so much that they don’t believe he existed, but rather that he takes on some form of mythological aspect. Mind you, we are looking at a fairly primitive society here where even the ability to write and record the past generally doesn’t exist (though we are told about scribe moles, and yes, while they are moles they are also written as if they were sentient beings). In such societies mythologies develop much more often than does one in a society like ours where pretty much everything is recorded. Even then, as time starts to intervene, the past does become more and more of a distant memory, though we are much more able to record those memories than the past. However, to me, a memory is much stronger, and more valuable, than a photograph ever will be because there are just things that a photograph simply cannot catch.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-15 03:46

    As the tagline on the book suggests, this is "A clash of good and evil in the savage kingdom of moles." It bears comparison to Watership Down, but the moles are more anthropomorphic. As well as speaking, they worship the Stone, they scribe books and they have the capacity to love.It is this capacity to love that brings us the story of Bracken and Rebecca, two moles who grow up in the Duncton Wood system. At the time of their birth, the system is being overthrown and then led by two evil moles - Mandrake and Rune. We learn over the course of the book that there are reasons for Mandrake's ability to be so cruel - his upbringing on the wild slopes of Siabod bred him that way - but Rune is pure evil.Rune is perhaps the most interesting character in the book. I find Bracken a bit wishy-washy and whiny to start, and then slightly dense in the middle, and then hard to idenitfy with at the end. Rebecca is a sweet character, but I don't like the way she sighs in her speech.This novel is all over the place regarding pacing. When Horwood is concentrating on the goings on in the Duncton system, describing the moles and their daily lives, he is at his strongest. These parts of the book fly by and I am never less than interested in what is happening to Mekkins and Rose and the Pasture moles.At times Horwood goes into a whimsy of describing every tiny thing and there are a couple of occasions in the book that made me almost want to put it down in disgust - when Bracken is first exploring the Ancient System; when Boswell and Bracken journey to Siabod; when Bracken secretly attends the singing of the Song. These parts of the book really drag.I also disliked greatly the descriptions of mating - these were far too sensual for what is, in essence, a book about animal (however human they may act at times). One instance in particular between Rune and Rebecca is almost obscene and made very, very difficult reading.And the rape/incest scene that we get is a step too far. These parts of the book made me feel deeply uncomfortable and lead me to believe I would never want to re-read, however entertaining other parts of the book are.And there are fun parts. The descriptions of the ever-changing woodland, the plants and the animals are superb - Horwood clearly has a great deal of sympathy and appreciation for the English countryside which comes out in his work. A number of his characters are excellent value for the entry fee - Mekkins is great fun; Rose is gentle and loving; Boswell is both mysterious and down-to-earth.You have to suspend your disbelief massively in order to read this book. As well as the moles writing, they undertake massive journeys - Boswell and Bracken, in particular, travel from Duncton via Uffington to the heart of Wales. This is necessary from a plot point of view, but I just cannot pretend to belief that two little moles could accomplish this.The worship of the Stone colours every little part of this book, which Horwood declares in his notes at the end is an allegory - probably for pagan worship. I understand that this only increases in the future books of the series, which disappoints me, because I found it a little too preachy.All in all, a very uneven book, which was entertaining in parts, but couldn't hold my interest over the long haul.

  • Leila
    2019-05-17 22:05

    I have all the books in this series and all William's other books too. The Duncton Wood books are superb! Fascinating, magical, absorbing, exciting and I couldn't stop reading any of them until I got to the last page. The fact that the characters are moles adds to the quality for me. I ill be reading the whole series all over again.

  • aza
    2019-05-07 21:53

    Yes, finally. A book with talking animals that I prefer over the legendary Watership Down. YES. THERE. I SAID IT. OH MAN OH GOD OH MAN.A book about talking animals that seem rather unremarkable and harmless in reality, but that are given a wonderful own world of their own, an own history and mythology, and a great adventure to explore this world as a human reader in intricate detail. A book that occasionally makes you forget its characters are animals and which still convincingly transitions said characters as animals - and not as humans doing human stuff and accidentally looking like moles. And in the end it works as a great allegory to great human topics.I was completely thrown into the underground after the first few pages in. Horwood paints vivid pictures in my mind, pictures about underground tunnels and burrows, the trees and grass from tiny mole-perspective, and of course the awestruck sight of looking up to the great Stone - the monolith the moles pray to in some vaguely pagan religion. I think one of the points, if not THE major point why I prefer the moles to the rabbits is this very world. It seems so much more fascinating to me, and Horwood did it so bloody convincing. It's easy to write one of these "talking animals"-books with wolves and slap some mediocre fantasy story around it. We are all accustomed to canines. But doing this convincingly with MOLES and weaving a huge religious allegory around it really left a lasting impression on me.I am used to Horwood's extreme attention to detail, especially concerning everything related to geography (I guess it's a geologist-thing...), but it was bearable to me in this book. I was just so eager to explore this fantastic world. I enjoyed the lovely details about the countryside, be it beautiful Duncton wood or the harsh mountains of Siabod. Other, more to-the-point readers might become bored of this, understandably.Horwood's moles are slightly more anthropomorphic than Adam's rabbits. Their basic behaviour was left as true to zoological facts as possible though, their changes seemed acceptable to me to make things more interesting for the sake of the story (for example the Duncton moles are not exactly solitary). In my inner eye, every mole automatically received their own look, some with lighter or darker fur, some with a sturdier built, some rather fragile looking. That's quite an accomplishment I credit the author with, since I don't really remember any detailled descriptions of the characters. And have you ever looked at a mole? There is not really much to them.I especially liked Mandrake and Bracken. Mandrake was so enjoyably terrifying and twisted. Bracken was the weak outsider you just have to root for. Rebecca was too much of a Mary Sue to me, can't really say that I cared much about everybody's darling that is beautiful AND strong AND loved by everyone. Boswell embodies the "wise old master"-trope very lovely. Rune was the typical Horwood villain: a bit too twisted and violent for my tastes.Speaking of which, the Duncton series is just as much a children's book as Watership Down is. Which is: not at all. We get violence and rape, rather complex allegories to think about and even sex scenes. Horwood prefers to allude to these with flowery metaphors rather than detailled descriptions, but the fights and battles are damn graphic. Just a fair warning.Horwood is an extremelly skilled writer and fantastic storyteller with keen attention to detailled descriptions. If descriptions about the environment that serve no direct point to the plot (but to the atmosphere) bore you, this book might not be for you. If you can't get into these kind of animal books, don't even try it, it won't work. Try lighter and easier to digest stuff like the work of David Clement-Davies. If you like pagan allegories with a slight hint of Shintoism to it and would like a fantasy tale with talking animals to transport this - try it, it might be very worth it. And for any lover of "talking animal" books - I recommend this to you as a total must have!

  • Nigel Hill
    2019-05-13 01:40

    Just finished reading this for the second time. Very well written tale. Loved the descriptions of the English countryside, peopled (or should i say moled!) by some wonderful characters. Mandrake is a character never to be forgotten. Bracken and Rebecca and their trials and hardships and two moles you really care about - a poignant story of love and commitment. Having said this the book is certainly not for children as there is quite a lot of violence and adult themes. As an adult fairy tale though, it is outstanding and memorable.

  • Chris
    2019-05-08 00:56

    What if moles were readers and writers, and had a religion?This book.Seriously, read it if you enjoyed Watership Down.

  • Stephen Hayes
    2019-04-23 01:40

    On reading this for the first time, it seemed to have been inspired by the popularity of Watership Down by Richard Adams. What Adams did for rabbits, Horwood does for moles. The system of mole tunnels under Duncton Wood is large, and moles in one part hardly know those from other parts of the system. There also some parts of the system that are almost forgotten, and there are also some customs that have been forgotten as well, so that the moles are using their centre, the silence of the Stone at the centre of the system. This enables a cruel tyrant, Mandrake, to take over the system. Two young mioles, Bracken and Rebecca, the latter Mandrake's daughter, meet, and eventually embark on a liberation struggle. The moles are given a philosophy and a mythology that is very human, and yet it somehow does not seem to diminish their moleness.

  • Denise Kruse
    2019-05-12 22:54

    This is an epic about generations of moles told with a Celtic voice. It is a lovely story for one who enjoys traditional tales of good versus evil and lush, poetic narrative. It fell short for me because the ancient religious story line seems forced, as if the author is thrusting our human thinking on the moles. At one point, Rebecca, the main "fe-mole" character asks Bracken, one of the main mole characters, "Do you believe in the stone?" Unfortunately, I never did. This was recommended to me because I loved Watership Down but the books are very different aside from the obvious small animals. The rabbits seem like rabbits with perils and personalities that are well-explained and understood. The moles are more like little serfs and monks and healers whose personalities are often generalities in my opinion. I like Duncton Wood for its tale(s) of love and redemption. It is not for children because of rather explicit sex and gory battles and stereotypical male/female roles.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-05-21 03:45

    Why isn't this book more well-known!?Duncton Wood combines themes similar to the ones in books like Felidae, The Wind in the Willows and Watership Down, but with Moles as the main characters. Their world is often surprisingly cruel, but their gripping adventures are chronicled here. This book is one that every reader needs to read, and it's really worth it.

  • Lindsey
    2019-04-22 03:02

    I must admit I am facing quite a struggle in trying to write this review. Where to begin? My response to Duncton Wood seems to have almost as many layers as the novel has pages, which is a bold claim. I'll try to tackle it accordingly.To briefly sum up a 582 page novel, it is an allegory of the cycle of decay, destruction, and rebuilding of a civilization, tied up in grand adventure and a spiritual journey into the soul. Oh, and it's about moles. If Richard Adams (Watership Down) and Tolkien wrote a book together (however unlikely that sounds) it might look something like Duncton Wood. First of all, even if Horwood does not consider this his magnum opus, certainly he put his heart and soul into it. It is really more of an epic than a novel, spanning many generations and more than a mole's lifetime, which, apparently, is about five human years. Thoroughly researched, exhaustively detailed and described, and diving into the depths of life, death, worship, love and the meaning of joy. Mole characters vividly imagined and clearly known intimately by the author, and in the end by the determined reader. It is the pinnacle of what he could make it, and his dedication and passion shines in every page. He has a rare gift for bringing you down to a moles-eye view of the world, although time was difficult for me to follow. I also admired his ability to give them character without un-animalizing them.And there were parts of it that were beautiful: Cairn and Rebecca's story; the loving descriptions of Duncton Wood, which is near where the author lives; the first journey through the Chamber of Roots. There were parts that were horrible, horrible: Rune, Rebecca's litter, Mandrake's birth, the marsh, Skeat, the plague. Descriptions that awed with their imagination, power,and ability to paint the picture in the mind: The Ancient System and the Chamber of Dark Sound, and particularly Siabod--part of it may have been our very effective central air conditioning, but Siabod was truly chilling and I saw and felt its unforgiving heights very vividly. As for the actual reading: it was slow going. It took me a month and a half to finish it and I read several other books in the meantime. I would read it in fits and starts, lose interest and come back to it later. Some books of greater length (Harry Potter, for instance) I have read in no time at all, but this was dense reading. (I realize Harry Potter is not in the least a fair comparison. Gone with the Wind would be a more fitting one, and that probably took me at least as long to read the first time.) And the woodland descriptions, beautiful or no, became quite exhausting at times.My verdict: Very well-written, and full of gems, but not recommended for any but the dedicated reader. My rating is once again based on personal enjoyment and not literary merit. And my last word on the matter: it would not hurt Horwood to develop his sense of humor. I suppose perhaps if it were more highly developed he could never have written the book he did, but his sense of the dramatic is a little strong for my taste.

  • Stuart Douglas
    2019-05-09 03:47

    'Duncton Wood' is a book I well remember coming out and about which I was a little scathing at the time. Just another Watership Down rip-off, I believe I said - and there's some truth in that accusation, but only in the sense that any novel with anthropomorphic animals set in the English countryside and in which humanity plays only a tangential role is published in the long shadow of Richard Adam's masterpiece. But Duncton Wood is more than just a re-tread of old ground, and its influences are wider too. Fittingly for the author of several splendid sequels to 'Wind in the Willows', this book - like them - is tinged throughout by a form of mystical, pagan religion as well as being a love story, an action adventure novel and treatise on the common mole.The writing is a pleasure to read and the author is not afraid to face the 'realities' of life for a small country mammal like a mole, with beloved characters being killed off with little emotion but a great deal of effectiveness. If certain elements of the ending seem a little contrived and designed more to provide a false sense of completeness than anything else, well I can forgive the author those small mis-steps.I sort of wish I had read this when I was 11 - I think I would have liked it a lot.

  • R. Lawrence
    2019-04-29 00:52

    Duncton Wood is a Adventure-Love story like no other. It's the story of two Moles, Bracken and Rebecca, and the adventures they have as they try to protect Duncton Wood from Mandrake an outsider and oddly enough, Rebecca's father. They must face the problems of mole life head on, while maintaining faith in the stone. It's unfortunate that this novel is being compared with Watership Down, due to the fact that Watership Down, a great novel on it's own, falls short when compared against Duncton Wood. The animal kingdom as shown in Duncton Wood is savage and the survival of the fittest is a fact of life and death. This book is classified as a childrens book, but in truth it is for adults. It is at times as dark as it is uplifting. I recently purchased the other five books in the Duncton series.

  • Austen to Zafón
    2019-04-24 01:43

    Not many people in the US know of this book (or even it's fairly prolific author), but it's well known and loved in Britain. Horwood writes beautifully. As with Watership Down, this story is on the surface about animals (moles in this case) but is really about a complex society, complete with moral, political, emotional, and religious aspects. I remember how moved I was by this story when I read it. There's a sacredness about it and you really care about the main characters. It's not for young kids, as there is some violence and the themes would probably go over their heads anyway. This book is the first of nine, although I believe only the first trilogy is available in the US. It's popular enough in the UK though that I found all the rest in paperback at the WH Smith at Heathrow airport! That was in the long ago days before you could just order stuff from amazon UK.

  • Allen Garvin
    2019-05-09 22:41

    A friend of mine loaned this to me in college in the 80s, having picked it up in England (it wasn't published or available in the US until several years later). It's a top-rate anthropomorphic fantasy about moles--it's quite a bit like Watership Down, though the mole community is perhaps a bit more complex philosophically, but ultimately they're really moles, unlike some animal fantasies where the characters are essentially people in animal form. A strong story of love. I never finished the entire series... they eventually get very bogged down in religious philosophy and stuff (or perhaps it was the 1000+ page length of each of of the later volumes). But the first book remains worth reading.

  • Caroline
    2019-04-25 03:59

    I picked this up with the intention of reading all six Duncton books, since it's been so long since I've read them, but once I was nearing the end of this I found I wasn't really in the mood for the rest. Maybe they're not as good as I remember or perhaps I just wasn't quite ready to settle down for an six-book epic series about moles and religion! I used to love this book, and it is still good, don't get me wrong, but I guess it takes a level of commitment I wasn't quite up for. But if you're the kind of person who fancies six thousand-odd pages of religion, genocide, warfare, mysticism, romance, moles then this series is for you. I used to be one of those people. Perhaps I'm not anymore.

  • Ben Frey
    2019-04-21 19:48

    Quite possibly one of the best fictional books ever written. More powerful than it has any right to be. If you read it from the wrong mindset or point of view, I can see how it might not work as well, but for anyone who still holds out hope for a whimsical, powerful, unquenchable love, this book connects to your inner-most longings and brings them powerfully to life. Also, everybody in the book is a mole. Yeah.

  • Paperpaws
    2019-05-08 02:40

    I went in blind with this book, not knowing what to expect, and found a beautifully crafted world filled with many convincingly multidimensional characters and plenty of lore. It occasionally fell flat for me in its execution; there were times where the story called for more suspension of disbelief than I could manage, was too romanticised for my tastes, or felt to be just flat out long-winded or incohesive. This however did not stop be from being drawn in and finding it hard to put the story down. Although I'm in no hurry to continue reading the entire series, this particular book left me feeling enchanted, and I'm very thankful for the wonderful experience this book offered me.

  • Lynn Mccarthy
    2019-04-30 02:03

    Well this is book is still great read it years ago in paper form....Such a great story its a classic I just love this book so glad i got to read it again...

  • Kathy Dolan
    2019-05-13 21:41

    FINALLY finished! It's either taken me 2 years or 3. I've lost count. It became a question in the end of 'I'm not going to let it beat me'.Sort of Lord of the Rings for moles, and yes it's as weird as that sounds.

  • Mary Lowd
    2019-04-28 01:49

    I've been reading this book slowly -- a few pages at a time -- for the last four years. It feels very strange to have actually finished it. Usually, if I like a book, I read it in a couple of days. If I don't like a book... I just fail to read it. I've never read another book like this one -- one that I enjoyed enough that I kept coming back to it, but that I felt no urgency to hurry through at all. It was kind of peaceful. And, I think, I will pick up a copy of the second one. Perhaps in another four years, I'll finish that one.

  • ruzmarì
    2019-05-20 20:58

    I would probably read this novel differently now than when I first read it, but my rating reflects my memory of Horwood's book as a life-changing experience. It was one of my first introductions to the magic of real faith, faith that surpasses words and doubts and restrictions, faith that transcends and makes transcendent. There are five sequels, but this novel remains (to my reading) the centerpiece of the series.

  • James
    2019-04-28 20:41

    Similar to Watership Down, but with moles, this book demonstrates an excellently-crafted world populated by moles (not cutesy anthropomorphic ones but real ones that live and die among nature's often brutal indifference. The author has crafted a believable and interesting mythology to go with the characters, and it is definitely worth reading.

  • Roz Bennetts
    2019-04-25 22:05

    Next to Gone with the Wind this is my second favourite book of all time.Even though the characters are moles they are every bit as well drawn as human characters and I could get quite carried away by adjectives and superlatives in describing this book. And for the record I didn't get on with Watership Down.

  • Ruby
    2019-05-12 23:45

    This was so beautiful to me at the time, and I know when I reread it all the little Orwellian references to religion will come to the surface so easily in comparison. There is something beautiful and sacred I will keep about Bracken and Boswell that I might not let myself completely come to terms with in the later generation.

  • Aimee
    2019-04-29 02:48

    Better than I would have guessed for a book written like Lord of the Rings and about moles. But at 730 pages, too long.

  • Luke Walker
    2019-05-16 03:52

    Nothing short of an epic. Yes, it's long and yes, it's about moles which doesn't sound too interesting. Believe me, it definitely is. Loved it.

  • David Hambling
    2019-05-15 20:40

    When evil - and seemingly invincible - warlord Mandrake takes over the peaceful community of Duncton and bans the people from their traditional worship at the Stone, it's the start of an epic quest for Bracken the Explorer and Rebecca the Healer, with battles, magic stones, plenty of sex, plotting, tragedy, a love story, rape, evil witches, good mystics and a fearsome monstrous Hound.It's very much in Game of Thrones territory , but all the characters are moles.Yes, moles. I know.The story is set in modern England and Wales, and crossing the road is one of the greatest hazards a mole can face: beware the Roaring Owls!Unsuprisingly, this one came out just after Watership Down, though the moles here are rather more anthropomorphic and less animal-like than Adams' rabbits.If you can cope with the basic premise, it decent enough if unsurprising fare, and Horwood has a great eye for pastoral scenery. There's plenty of drama and plot-twisting, and the world-building is very thorough and impressive.But...moles...? For 700 pages...??