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Where mythology echoes louder than story
on 18 November 2014
Like with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen that came before it, The Moon of Gomrath is packed with strong imagery and years of research into old mythology and legend. It also has a strong beginning, with the old mine shafts of Alderley Edge as the scene, a new, previously undiscovered shaft has opened up outside the village pub. Colin and Susan go to find their friend, the wizard Cadellin, to find out more and Susan opens up the gates in the rock. There is the tunnel with its ethereal blue light and the hall of ‘sleepers’ waiting to rise…
All of this I love, and its why I remember reading the book from my childhood, and why it has remained as one of my fond favourites for all these years. However, like with Brisingamen, reading it again now I find myself a bit underwhelmed by it. There is quite a large cast of characters of dwarfes and lios-alfar, but the only characters I feel any affinity to are Colin, Susan, Gowther and Cadellin, and once again, they are following some pre-determined story that they have no particular control over, and one that we are forbidden at guessing at.
I wait with interest as to what Alan Garner does with Boneland some forty years later…