WARNING - Contains major spoilers.---------------------------------------------------I'm not even sure where to begin. I don't even know if I like it or not. No, that's not right - I liked it a lot, it has had a huge impact on me. I guess I don't like how it ended - not the way it was written but what happened itself.I loved the first half of the book unconditionally (it's in two parts). It was set in the English contryside and the main character (Tallis) is a young girl growing up, interacting with the strange world of myth and wood. This was (relatively) straightforward and lovely to read, quite addictive in it's weaving of mythology and nature, growing up and the beautiful imagery it painted, the worlds it hinted at.The second half of the book begins very abruptly, with the young girl of the first half aged to her early twenties, a sudden shock that almost hits you in the face. She is in the mythological wood now, has been journeying for many years, and from here the book becomes progressively more confusing (in a way) and surreal. Yet not confusing in that you have no idea what's going on - the confusion lies in the nature of the wood and they way it is interlinked (is) the human subconscious, specifically that of certain characters. The book is much darker in the second half, more adult (she is adult) and the world and mythology and strangeness is seen now, not hinted at. It is still catching to read, but different, more stressful.Her relationship with Scathach in particularly touched me, perhaps because I have someone of my own. So much between them is missed out in the eight year jump in the story, all the good times, and now they are unsure of each other and their relationship. That he dies is sad, but didn't seem to affect Tallis as much I would have expected. At the end, I was happy to see them reunited, but they were old, and again we are told nothing of their time together - the prologue jumps to many years later and he is dead again, she dying. This, the prologue, was what troubled me the most. That her brother should find her as she dies - too late, and her quest all along was to find him and return with him to their parents. This is too heartbreaking, for it all to be for naught. She never even lived a somewhat happy and full life in the woods, as Wynne-Jones did - she lost the majority of her life span in Lavondyss, the heart wood, the First Wood, in her strange visioning and journeying (the most surreal part of the book). I kept expecting a happy ending, for it all to turn out right in the end, but it never did. It was one loss after another, a life ended in a barren and desolate place.Thus the ending troubled me, and troubles me still. I was too caught up in the characters, particularly Tallis and Scathach, to forget so easily, to really belive it was "just" a book. This is why I like happy endings. Perhaps there is another book? I must look. I know there is a prequel, Mythago Wood, which I will get.The mythology the author builds, the idea of it all, it is quite fascinating and eminently plausible. So real, so confusing.This is a book I would recommend you read if you have any interest in mythology, the origin and nature of myth. It is not an easy book, but I think it is worth it.