Fantastical Books

General Category => Reviews and Interviews => Topic started by: Althulas on Saturday 20, 2018, 04: pm

Title: Review: Duncton Wood series by William Horwood
Post by: Althulas on Saturday 20, 2018, 04: pm
Duncton Wood is in my opinion one of the best and most under read fantasy series in the world. Mostly because all the characters are moles. Yes moles, as in those wonderful creatures that leave little dirt mountains on your lawns. Although anthropomorphized and given their own history and a written form of communication as well as social order. The moles of Duncton wood are still moles and as such have no clothes, technology or weapons and are very moleish.

Duncton Wood is a  true epic fantasy series in the most classic way. It is set in the fictional Duncton Wood in Great Britain where the moles of Duncton are under the rule of the rather evil Mandrake and Rune who are actively squishing the old traditions, namely those surrounding the Duncton Stone; the center of their religion.


Then comes the hero, a young mole named Bracken who leaves Duncton Wood and all that is safe to find himself and a way to win his fight against the evil of Rune and Mandrake while winning the paw of his love, Rebecca, Mandrakes daughter.

The second and third books follow Rebeccaís and Brackenís son Tryfan during a religious war with another order of moles. These are in a way more action packed then the first in the series (which was originally a stand alone novel then years later Horwood wrote two more out of no-where) some think they are not as good as the original Duncton Wood novel but I think they are different rather than worse of bad.

It is a new story with new characters and a new struggle. It has all one could hope for in a battle filled fantasy, great battles, blood, lightning and a showdown at the end with two unlikely heros who save the day.


This series has a great depth of detail and grandness like that found in such epics as Sword of Truth and Recluse. William Horwood has created a world that is filled with those events that while familiar are renewed from the point of view that they are being told from. Classic arc's brought back to life with the one simple change - the race of the characters.

I read this series when I was in my early teens and it really struck me as one of those amazing fantasy series where the writing itself was part of the story, like with David Eddings, J.R.R Tolkien or even Terry Pratchett. Half the enjoyment is the language used. The way it flows and how the world is shaped but just the most simple of things like a adjective here instead of there.

And I am happy to say that it has held up. It has stood the test of time and childhood memories. The tale is just as thrilling and Bracken just as heroic as the first time I read them. His son is still a little and odd and I still love them and enjoy them as one of those series that I turn to too reread now and again just like a comfy old pair of jeans.

The series consists of three novels -

It was followed a few years later by the Book of Silence a follow on trilogy set far into the future of the moles of Duncton Wood. (I have not read it having just learned of itís existence! But I will be as soon as I find copies)


The trilogy consists of -