Spring by William Horwood
Book of the Month
The adventure of a lifetime is just beginning…
It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core of a flawless Sphere made by the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon CraeftLords in memory of the one he loved. Her name was Spring and contained in the very heart of this work is a spark from the Fires of Creation.
But while humans have lost their belief in such things, the Hydden – little people existing on the borders of our world – have not. Breaking the silence of centuries they send one of their own, a young boy, Jack, to live among humans in the hope that he may one day find what has been lost for so long. His journey leads him to Katherine, a girl he rescues from a tragic accident – it’s a meeting that will change everything. It is only through their voyage into the dangerous Hyddenworld that they will realize their destiny, find love and complete the great quest that will save both their worlds from destruction.
Their journey begins with Spring…
I have been eagerly awaiting this book ever since I read that William Horwood was busy at work on another fantasy series, his first in sixteen years. The day it arrived through the post was an exciting one, but always with anticipation comes fear… what if my expectations were too high, or worse still, what if the book was not very good?
I have enjoyed William Horwood’s work for many years. As a child I read The Willows in Winter, as a teenager I read Callanish and Duncton Wood and then, as an adult, I made my way further into the Duncton Chronicles whilst also reading the author’s moving, fictionalised biography The Boy With No Shoes. These are all books that I remember with great fondness.
So, it was with fingers, arms and legs crossed that I began reading Hyddenworld: Spring.
I had been expecting a narrative similar to the Duncton novels, eloquent, descriptive and detailed within sizeable chapters. I was wrong; the style was sharp and the chapters snappy, often only two or three pages in length. Early on there were multiple changes in perspective, there was much character and pre-history to digest and, before I knew it, a hundred pages had gone by and it was time to take stock. You will find with any new series that it can often take a little time to become completely immersed and comfortable within the world that has been created. But in time, if it is a good book, the characters will grow on you and the world will come to life.
Everything that I hoped for began to happen. I began to really warm to the characters and to care about what happened to them. The converging storylines came together neatly, the paragraphs lengthened and as Jack and Katherine descended into the mysterious Hyddenworld the book got better and better until, at its end, I was left open-mouthed at just how good it had become. The last fifty pages of this book gave me my happiest reading experience in recent years.
I’m not going to go into great detail about the story and the characters, as this is something that I hope you will find out for yourself when you read it. What I will say is that characterisation is still one of Horwood’s many strong points (and the way that he can still manage to make us see the beauty in the natural world around us). It is not that he creates one or two truly memorable characters; it is that all who appear are memorable and are treated with the same care and respect. Lord Festoon and Parlance deserve special mention though as their story and their relationship is in turn poignant, surreal, and highly amusing (and helps to lighten the mood as death, pain and ecological disaster are all major themes – although having said that the book’s ending blows away all feelings of despair as new life, new love and new starts perfectly epitomise what Spring represents to many).
As the final page turns the reader will be left feeling uplifted, knowing that everything has been left perfectly poised for the second book in the series, Summer, to pick up where Spring finished.
William Horwood is a wonderful writer who, in Hyddenworld: Spring, has written a wonderful book, although I think the best may still be to come later in the series. It was a delight to read and I will not be alone in welcoming him back to the genre that has been poorer for his absence. Welcome back Mr. Horwood, you have been gone too long.
About the author
William Horwood is the author of the bestselling classic Duncton Wood and Wolves of Time series. William has returned to his hallmark fantasy in this epic series following the flow of the seasons. Spring is the first of four books. William lives and works in Oxford. He is currently working on the second book in the Hyddenworld series: Summer.
This Spring book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: Hyddenworld
Hyddenworld: Book 1
It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core o...
Hyddenworld: Book 2
A series of extraordinary events mark the beginning of summer: earth tremors ravage the Hyddenworld; Jack and Katherine have a child, Judith; and a mysterious gem is found ...
Hyddenworld: Book 3
It is August, time of the first harvest, traditional time of plenty. But at the farthest reaches of the Hyddenworld, in sea-bound Englalond, disaster looms. A blight in the...
Hyddenworld: Book 4
Storms rage as the worst winter in living memory ravages the human and Hydden worlds. The prophesied End of Days is here and the universe is dying, yet only a few are even ...
Have you read Spring?
We've found that while 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. Thank you.
Spring reader reviews
Antony from Watford
I have to say so far that I find the book to be absolutely spellbinding, William's ability to describe and paint pictures, more so with this book than even Duncton Wood for me, in my mind has really made it difficult for me to put the book down, so far it is beautiful, haunting and wonderfully well written, the characters are jumping off the page at me and even though I was a bit bewildered by the nature of the quest at the beginning I find myself not caring as I know it will become clearer as I get further into it. A magnificent work by a truly incredible fantasy writer
Jody from Auckland, New Zealand
I loved Hyddenworld, and am looking forward to reading Awakening ... so good to have William Horwood writing again!
9.3/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over t...
The Dark is Rising Sequence
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is ...
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realm...
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know...
The Abhorsen Chronicles
Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. Af...
The Chrestomanci Series
Diana Wynne Jones
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
Charlie Keeper has been forced from her home by a bloodthirsty and terrifying stranger. But in escaping she discovers her house holds the gateway to the Realm of Bellania -...
The Tragedy Paper
Every year at an exclusive private boarding school in New York state, the graduating students uphold an old tradition – they must swear an oath of secrecy and leave b...
The Very Best of Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint, a fantasy author who has left the same mark on the genre of myth and legend much as the likes of Sir Thomas Malory, Christian Anderson, Grimm, who has foun...
The Testament of Tall Eagle
John R Fultz
A young warrior's vision-quest unveils an alien city full of magic and mystery. As a tribal rift threatens to destroy Tall Eagle's people, night-crawling devils sta...
Out of Oz
The marvellous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on...
Alif the Unseen
G Willow Wilson
He calls himself Alif - few people know his real name - a young man born in a Middle Eastern city that straddles the ancient and modern worlds. When Alif meets the aristocr...
After an inexplicable catastrophe on Earth, John Bridgeman is left to scrap out a solitary existence, surrounded by bodies and haunted by the girlfriend he cannot allow to ...
R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass - remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone - are wonders ...
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended contemporary / urban fantasy books/series
- Recommended parallel universe / Alternate reality books
Best of 2016
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through......
Paternus: Rise of Gods
Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth. When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old m...
It is for the entities known as Sleepwalkers to cross the doors between dreams, and hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. Theirs is a world of impossible vistas, wher...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she...
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...