Saturday, October 10, 2015

Book Review: "Lamp Black, Wolf Grey," by Paula Brackston

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey: A Novel
by Paula Brackston
About the book:
Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to lift the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable.

She and her husband, Dan, have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she hopes that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art and give her the baby they have longed for. But this high valley is also home to others, such as Rhys -- the charismatic loner who pursues Laura with fervor -- and Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin.

My thoughts:
If you're a fan of Brackston's "witch books," as I am, you'll find this book to be very similar in tone and story to that series except that the magic this time comes from the legendary Merlin. Brackston is an expert in creating a sense of place, taking the reader through the misty mountains of Wales where legends have been passed down through the ages. One can feel the secrets floating in the air and embedded in the hills. History mingles with the present day as the lives of those long ago continue to influence the current residents of the area. Perhaps Laura's artistic mind made her more susceptible to the moods and hauntings around her. The story was absorbing and kept my interest. My heart was in my throat during the tragic moments, and at times I wanted to beat some sense into Laura for the mistakes she made. But the conclusion was satisfying even though some questions remained unanswered. Brackston continues to weave her own magic with her books, and I look forward to reading more of her writing.

About the author:
Paula Brackston has a master's degree in creative writing from Lancaster University in the UK. She lives in Wales with her family. Visit her online at

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

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