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Duncton Wood is the moving love story of Bracken and Rebecca and the trials they must face and overcome to be as one.
It is unfortunate that this work must be compared to Duncron Down but that is the only book with which I can really compare it to in terms of story-line and excellence.
This book is about moles and unlike anything you have ever read before. The animal kingdom is savage and survival of the fittest is a fact of life or death. This is a book for adults and is at times as dark as it is uplifting. The book was first published in and has since become a best-selling novel.
The narrative begins with Bracken, outside in a storm and finally coming to terms with himself. Rebecca loves life and brings joy to all she encounters but her father is Mandrake, the most feared mole in Duncton, a leader whose control is marked with blood. It is not easy to suddenly have moles as the characters that are centre to the entire work and with whom you must feel compassion towards but that only lasts a very short time.
William Horwood is a wonderful author who, in Bracken, Rebecca, Mandrake, Rune and all other Duncton Wood moles, gives us characters who match any in fantasy literature. The moles are given human elements speech and faith for example and this makes them easily identifiable to the reader.
The research that William Horwood conducted in the writing of Duncton Wood must have been extensive, as there appears to be no guesswork and every single line and chapter rings true.
I am sorry to have to mention Watership Down again but in both these books the English countryside is depicted in such a beautiful way that it helps English readers like I realised what a lovely country we do live in. The Ancient System took in the injured Bracken as a mother tending a gravely hurt pup.
Duncton Chronicles Series
It caressed him with silence, soothed him with its darkness, and its labyrinths were to give him the space in which to find himself again. The theme of love runs strong throughout Duncton Wood, Bracken and Hulver, the aged mole who teaches him so much runs parallel to Rebecca and Rose, the healer who trains her to take over her duties as she ages. Bracken and Bosworth, Rebecca and Cairn, Mandrake and Rebecca, all these relationships are portrayed with great empathy and capable a bringing out great compassion from chrinicles reader.
He tried to comfort her but she pulled away, looking at him from a cold and far-off place he knew he could never reach. His hold on her fell limp and she crossed over to where Mandrake lay, paused for a moment as she touched his dunvton gently, looked back at Bracken and Stonecrop with a fierce and cold pity, and then went out of the clearing and into the dark. This is a long book at over words in length and takes some reading, especially as it is only the first part of a trilogy.
The themes that I felt were contained in it, other than the overriding theme of love, was the comfort that can be gained from faith when faced with a society that is deteriorating around you. I read an excellent review of Duncton Wood on another site where the reviewer had researched the various locations of the mole systems.
Duncton Wood itself is located in Sussex, Uffington is in Shropshire and the system from which Mandrake came is in mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales. This puts into perspective the journeys that the moles undertook during the course of Duncton Wood.
Duncton Wood is a truly breathtaking and enchanting read that reminds us how savage yet full of love the animal kingdom truly is. Links related to Duncton Wood on WilliamHorwood. This Duncton Wood book review was written by Floresiensis. Duncton Wood The Duncton Chronicles: The moles of Duncton Wood live in the shadow of Mandrake, a cruel tyrant dunctton by absolute power. A solitary young mole, Bracken, is thrown into leading the fight to fr Duncton Quest The Duncton Chronicles: When Tryfan, son of Bracken and Rebecca, returns to the sacred Burrows of Uffington, it is to find dreadful signs of death and destruction.
For out of the chilly North have Duncton Found The Duncton Chronicles: Under the ruthless leadership of Henbane of Whern, the grikes have taken over moledom. Soon their ascendancy is to be consolidated by Lucerne, her son by Tryfan, and the la We’ve found that dunctoh readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them.
So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader’s review. Guys, this is honestly just one of the best, most underrated and under-read fantasy novels ever written. Think Lord of the Rings dunctton moles. Watership Down with more plot, more emotional depth and a resonance that makes it hard to shake and keeps readers returning to the wood decades after they first discovered it. Just a beautiful book. Where do I start, I read this book mid 80’s and found I couldn’t put it down.
Chronucles in I’m reading it again and will continue with the rest of the story, its a must read, you will not be disapointed. Haven’t read the duncton books yet,but after reading the reviews i am buying the whole set of 6 books.
I think Duncton Wood may not have the reach or readership that many of the “Animals-as-Characters” stories have enjoyed because, to my knowledge, it never Mass-market dropped in chroniclfs U. I don’t know dunctom many printings it went through, but I was a bookworm boy who had purchased it while living in Singapore, and I attempted to evangelize it to friends in the States and I never saw a single one.
Curonicles was back in when I started looking, and I stopped actively looking for “Horwood” and “Duncton” along book-spines maybe six or seven years later. I loved those bookstores, as they seemed to have a sensible methodology: You bought the book for two, maybe three dollars, you read it, brought it back, and they gave you S1.
I know you’re thinking “Sounds like a library, but for money”, and you’re right, but my school library was garbage and Singapore’s public libraries were heavily censored.
Had moles on the cover. Had moles in the description. Opened it up, scanned real quick, and yup, it had moles inside. I moved to dunctton it back and the flash of some last words caught my eye and I went to it again. Flipped to here and there and soon enough was dunctoon away by the quality of the writing and the novelty of this being about moles, red in tooth and claw.
So I bought it. I know it was Horwood’s first book, so whether it was purposeful or a happy accident, he wrote Bracken and Rebecca’s romance so deftly that if you hadn’t felt some of those longings, rejections, misunderstandings, and elations in your own life well then you had certainly WANTED to! But a lot is said of that in the other reviews, so let me get to what fourteen year old me liked, and that is really intelligent action and chronjcles that doesn’t shy into “Young Adult” or what passed for it at the time territory chrohicles skimping on the intrigue or the bloodied carcasses of the dead!
Catching some passage out of the corner of my eye wherein a mole kills another mole, rather graphically, and for reasons of religious zealotry, younger me thought “Yeah, I dunctton get behind this! Up close and personal!
Duncton Wood (Duncton Chronicles, #1) by William Horwood
The world building is also fantastic, down to the details of how long the holy scrips can be expected to last before they need to be re-scratched into new bark by younger claws, but overseen by the eyes of wisdom to assure that the religion doesn’t just Neither of these next 2 books is nearly as long, but they sit higher on my shelf than the ones I just mentioned because their feeling is much more genuine, much closer to Horwood’s writing.
It’s set on a rural University campus and is not strictly all-animal: There are students, a population of fairies, a tribe of goblins that have allied themselves with the Rat King, and a pack of dogs. Many of the animals speak, etc, and the novel, while not as pastoral and idyllic as Duncton, is a quiet classic all on its own. He’s not a purebred.
And so he makes his way into the world, which is well constructed and bleak, and the story is beautiful. All of Willocks’ books are bloody great reading, but this is his first “Dogs” novel his previous novels are about, let’s see I bought Duncton Wood at an airport en route on family holiday when I was Cchronicles don’t remember the holiday but this book has stayed with me all of my life.
I loved it and the following books. About 20 years later I discovered a copy of Duncton Wood at a book sale and re-read it Again, I sobbed and laughed and loved this story. I gave my copy to my brother who also loved dncton. Now 35 years later after first reading Duncton Wood, my daughter loves books as much as I do. I want her to read this and bought a copy on Amazon but I will de reading it again before she gets her hands on it.
No book or characters like Bracken or Rebecca have ever got under my skin as those in Duncton Wood. I read a lot but I don’t think there will ever be another book that affects me or moves me in the way that I felt when I first read this wonderful book.
I’m amazed that this isn’t considered a classic and that none of my friends have ever heard of it. I first read Duncton Wood when I was in high school. It was just awesome then when I graduated from medical school I found more time to read and chdonicles I find myself again with the book I so loved.
Every sentence is heart taking, so true and real is the world of mole life created by Hardwood to the reader. Steven – every day I think about Duncton Wood and feel and urge to read it.
Duncton Wood – Wikipedia
Thank you for your lovely review – Lee Fantasy Book Review. I read Duncton Wood many years ago and at first thought I would find it difficult to apprehend the moles being the characters, how wrong was I. This is the greatest book I have ever read, you start having a huge compassion for all the moles, the emotions you go through are unbelievable, I laughed with them and cried with them ended up believing that this is actually how moles are I know and I am no kid Please if you get the opportunity to read Duncton Wood do so you won’t want to put it down.
As a lesbian I really enjoyed the book it made me look at moles in a new spiritual light. My daughter who is also a lesbian enjoyed it also. She joins me in now looking at moles in a new spiritual light.
We became Druidesses after reading this book as well as Buddhists. We have traveled to places such as Stonehenge and danced for the moles and left offerings of bread and milk to symbolize the Earth Goddess of nature and her love for us all. Like some of the other reviewers, I thought moles, yeah right!!! I started it mainly to humour my husband who read this book at school and said I would like it. Thank the gods, William Horwood and ok I have never been so moved by a book, before or since, for me it’s got nothing to do with moles.
It’s life, nature, faith, courage, fear, weakness, greed, power, everything to do with being human, I could not recommend it highly enough, read it now. The duncton series as a hole was a series which was recommended to me at the age of twelve, but which I only managed to track down four years later. Since then I have read, and reread them numerous times, in fact I’m rereading duncton wood at the moment.
I can absolutely agree with the comments in Floresiensis review and those by others, that the writing, characterization and spirituality of the series are something truly staggering especially in a time when descriptive writing seems to have become a thing of the past and many books read essentially like modified film scripts.