Friday, July 6, 2012

Powerful Stuff: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

CoverI could have sworn I had read Alan Garner's major works; I thought I had bought my hardback of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen to own, not as a first read. But I'm glad I didn't just pass it onto my shelves; I don't remember any of this story, and I'm positive that the powerful images and tense situations will stay with me for a long time, and bring back echos even if it takes me twenty years to read this again.

It's a bit funny, because there isn't much character development here, while there is a lot of action and suspense. But the characters aren't lonely heroes; they are a rather nondescript brother and sister team who don't spend much time speaking to their deep familiar love but do such things as look after each other, take each other for granted, and avoid sitcom bickering during life and death situations. There's also a pair of dwarven heroes, and an adult friend who doesn't waste time disbelieving the things in front of his face. Much of the book is spent on a tense flight from danger, trying to reach safety before the dark finds them. Did Tolkien imprint this on the English, or is it something they've always done well? In this case it worked with me.
BarockSchloss CC License

I'll be adding this book to my "recommended for my kids" shelf before moving it to my general library.


Charlotte said...

The third book in this series is being published this summer! So exciting, after such a long wait.

Beth said...

Wow, good timing on my part! I'd better check to see if I have the second, and if not, fix that.