The Owl Service School & Library Binding – Aug 1999
|New from||Used from|
|School & Library Binding, Aug 1999||
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
"It is hard to write with restraint about Alan Garner’s talent, so deftly does he build his story...of bright fantasy and somber Welsh legend, of romantic adventure and acid realism.”—Saturday Review
About the Author
ALAN GARNER is the award-winning author of Elidor, The Owl Service, and The Stone Book Quartet . He lives in Cheshire, England.
" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Top Customer Reviews
One summer, it is three teenagers who enact the old story; a young girl and her stepbrother, visiting from the city, and a local boy. At first read, it isn't clear what Alison, Roger, and Gwyn have to do with the legend of Blodeuwedd, since their situation is different on the surface. If I'd only read the book once, I might give it two and a half stars. But upon re-reading, the resonances became more apparent, and I began to see the points in the story that correspond to events in the legend.
I want to give it three and a half stars, but Amazon won't let me do that, and my grade school teachers drummed it into my head that something-and-a-half rounds up to the next whole number. *wink* So, four stars. I would have liked it better if the characters had been fleshed out more before the legend started controlling their lives; the spirit of the old conflict started turning them into unsympathetic jerks before I had a chance to develop a liking for the people they really were. Still, a decent piece of myth-based fiction.
Something is scratching through Alison's ceiling, when she is sick with a stomachache. She and the cook's son Gwyn venture up into the loft, and there find a heap of strangely patterned plates. At first glance, the pattern appears to be an abstract floral; upon closer examination, Alison finds that when she traces around the pattern on pieces of paper, that they form tiny paper owls. Alison's brother Roger is inclined to be dismissive, but Gwyn isn't so sure.
For some reason, discovery sends Gwyn's mother into a near-crazed frenzy, and attracts the attention of the old handyman, Huw. Huw tells Gwyn a tragic old story -- one that is connected to Alison's strange behavior. When their mothers forbid them to speak to one another, Huw reveals his true nature. To save Alison from repeating the cycle, Gwyn learns that he must discover things about his own past...
Like the previous two children's books by Alan Garner, this is about modern-day children swept up in mythical forces, but while the creatures and people of "Weirdstone" and "Moon" were solid and easily-defined, here everything is misted and ghostly. So much so that the climax, while exquisitely written, is very hard to decipher, and which will leave readers feeling deeply unsatisfied. Just what happened?
Garner takes a relatively obscure myth and spins up a strange tale around it. The writing matches that.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This was a bizarre little book. It is a retelling of an old Welsh legend - a legend of a curse that is relived in each generation, again and again, in the same Welsh Valley. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2008 by Steven R. McEvoy
Oh Boy! If you want to read a slow book...this monster is for you! This book had an air of mystery around it that I thouroughly enjoy, but the sad fact is that the author didn't... Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2001
What an amazing book! It's scary, romantic, very very sad... I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves that sort of blurry line where history and legend meet, the... Read morePublished on July 25 2001 by Lee
I read The Owl Service when I was in 7th grade and didn't fully understand it even though it was enjoyable. Read morePublished on May 15 2001 by Catey
This is one of the few works of fantasy, out of so much that I have read in 35 years, that stays with me and that impressed me more than ever when I just read it again, perhaps my... Read morePublished on Feb. 8 2001 by Extollager
The Owl Service is one of those books that should have been edited more carefully. The plot is good, and the characters are thoroughly developed. The problem lies with the writing. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2000
I don't agree with the other reviews when they gave five stars for The Owl Service. The cover and the back of the book looked interesting, so I picked it up at the library and... Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2000