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*The Moon of Gomrath: A Tale of Alderley* by Alan Garner - tweens/young readers book review

   



 

The Moon of Gomrath: A Tale of Alderley
by Alan Garner
Ages 9-12 216 pages Odyssey Classics October 2006 Paperback    

Perhaps it was the style of the age in which this classic childrenís tale is written that had me feeling lost and confused at first. Being the second of the two-book series "A Tale Of Alderley" likely created some of this confusion. I am sure that had I read the first book, the storyline would feel more complete. Other than this one flaw, there is good reason for readers to have embraced Alan Garnerís books for more than 50 years. The Moon of Gomrath, sequel to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, is certain to continue to appeal to children, young readers and young adults who enjoy fantasy adventure. Originally released in 1963, this timeless book has recently been reissued Harcourt's Odyssey Classics imprint.

Thies tale opens with Colin and Susan, two children living in their Cockney guardians' British home. Elves, weakened and ailing from manís environmentally damaging ways, seek shelter and refuge with the wizard Cadellin. The elf-leader Atlendor and his people have traveled far to aid one of their remaining strongholds. A mysterious plague threatens their numbers and as they vanish, the fear grows. Unwillingly, they join forces with the two children, the wizard Cadellin, the dwarf Uthecar, and Albanac, the descendent of Dune, in their battle against an evil sorceress: the Morrigan.

Unique writing style, faced-pace plot, and consistent intensity will keep readers glued to Gomrath's pages. Garner allows readers to imagine the landscapes and characterís appearance, with only hints to lead the imagination. Filled with sleeping warriors, old and new magic, sorcery, and charmed jewelry, the adventure roars around every corner. Myriad elves, dwarves, humans, wizards, and fantastic and magical creatures grace the pages. The crumbling building that appears renewed with the power of the moon and a mystical island are two of my favorite scenes in the book.

The Authors Notes at the book's end total four-pages and include a list of references from which Garner gleaned precious grains of fact and mythology. These bits and pieces waere creatively woven along with names of actual ancient places and mythology from Scotland, Britain and Ireland; Celtic mythology predominates.

Garner's other books remain in readers' hearts to this day. His first book was written when he was just 22 years old. His interest in this genre began with a friendly farming neighbor, a man bursting with knowledge of why and how mountains, mounds and rocks were named in their area, who filled young Alanís mind with local and classical history, folklore and mythology.
   


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