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Riding Over the Threshold of the Summer Stars,
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This review is from: The Moon of Gomrath (Paperback)
The Moon of Gomrath is the second part of the trilogy which Alan Garner has recently concluded with Boneland (Weirdstone Trilogy 3). It's a perfect transition between the two outer novels, moving into altogether darker territories from The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, paving the way for the cosmic struggle for resolution of the final book.
The language which Garner employs here is altogether sparer than in The Weirdstone, and the reader is required to do more work in bringing their own imagination to bear in creating some of the dazzling imagery. This isn't onerous, and it fits with the author's idea that there 'are no original stories'; we have all absorbed elements of folklore and in a sense we're hearing something which may be already be buried in a different form in our psyche. The names used exist in literature, whether it be Celtic, Norse or Anglo-Saxon, the places described are real and even the spells are genuine (though incomplete; 'just in case').
Some of the themes Garner would later take up in other novels, for instance that of 'Old Magic', which is explored in Thursbitch. Here the summoning of Old Magic is central to Colin and Susan's journey in growing away from the wizard, Cadellin and towards an altogether higher calling; Cadellin distrusts it because it can be felt but not known, and is therefore beyond control. Its allure is primal however and once tasted it drives the novel all the way into - and beyond - Boneland.
A quite remarkable achievement in weaving together threads from our shared heritage into a deeply involving narrative.