- Performer: Philip Read By Madoc
- Composer: Garner Alan
- Audio CD (July 1 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Audiobook, Import
- Label: Na
- ASIN: B0017SXCHM
- Other Editions: Hardcover | Paperback | Audio Download | Mass Market Paperback | Library Binding | Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Unknown Binding
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
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The Moon of Gomrath Audiobook, Import
Alan Garner s exciting and atmospheric tale of magic and evil which began with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen continues with the Moon of Gomrath . Colin and Susan are not safe from the evil Morrigan and once more find themselves back in Fundindelve with the wizard Cadellin.
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The story picks up not long after the events of "Weirdstone of Brisingamen," with Colin and Susan encountering magical creatures yet again. While walking in the woods, they encounter an elf named Atlendor and a dwarf called Uthecar, near where Cadellin the wizard guards the sleeping knights. (For a better explanation, read the first book) The lios-alfar (elves) are migrating to Alderly, because a mysterious force is causing some of them to vanish, and Atlendor the elf king is bringing his people together to gather what magic he can. Unfortunately, proximity to the ugly constructions of humans is causing the "smoke sickness" in the elves, and Uthecar asks that Susan lend him the bracelet that Angharad Goldenhand gave her.
But Susan is suddenly kidnapped by an evil force, and reappears quiet and strange. She has been taken over by the evil Brollachan, and the dwarves and Cadellin are able to help Colin restore her to normality -- though she will never be quite the same. Unfortunately, evil is still stirring in the form of the Morrigan and her sinister cohorts. And when Susan and Colin light a fire to keep warm on a hill, they inadvertantly set off the band of magical horsemen, the Wild Hunt...
There is no lag in quality in "Moon of Gomrath," and perhaps the biggest flaw is that to understand anything at all, you need to read the first book. Such things as the lios-alfar, Cadellin and his knights, Angharad Goldenhand and the bracelet, and the kids' relationship with all of the above.
This is not a retread of the first book, either. Instead of the hideous svart-alfar (goblins), this time we focus on the beautiful lios-alfar. These "elves of light" are as entrancing as Tolkien's elves, though significantly shorter and slighter. The descriptions of their smoke-sickness is heartrending, as their "changing" from what we think of as life is saddening. Cadellin and the dwarves are featured less prominently than in "Weirdstone," though we do have the evil Pelis the False adding a little spice to the dwarves as a whole. Other creatures are added, such as the bizarre bodachs and the savage palugs.
The elves are not the only sad things about this book, and that give it the feeling of a book for older kids. We are told that if someone wears Angharad Goldenhand's bracelet it "leads her ever further from human life," and that someone who uses a certain object "may not know peace again, not in the sun's circle or in the darkling of the world."
The writing is still quite formal, but evocative of the landscapes and the various unusual creatures present in it. Garner is among the most talented of the minimalist fantasy writers, and he never overburdens the reader with too much information. Colin and Susan are the same excellent characters, but in a sense they, too, are older as they seem to be growing into individual personalities. That doesn't stop them from inadvertantly causing a lot of trouble. The Morrigan is hideous and malevolent, needless to say, and Cadellin is the same wise and thoughtful wizard as in the previous book.
Perhaps the worst thing is that there is no third Alderly tale to look forward to. But the two that exist are some of the best fantasy ever penned.
In this is the sequel to 'The Wierdstone of Brisingamen' we finds young Susan and her brother Colin still staying at Highmost Redmanhey. Their time with Gowther and Bess Mossock in Cheshire has been peaceful since the defeat of Selena Place (the Morrigan). Now that time comes to an end, when, seeking to speak with Cadellin, they become part of the hunt for the Brollochan. For the first time they meet with Albanac, one of the elder men, and the dwarf, Uthecar Hornskin. And proud Atlendor who is impatient to continue north.
Shortly thereafter, the Brollochan seizes control of Susan's body, and it is only by virtue of her bracelet, the Mark of Fohla, that it is driven off. Then Colin must undertake a quest along the old, straight track to find the magic that will bring Susan back to the living. But unlike the first volume in this series, this time there is a price for the use of Angharad Goldenhand's bracelet. It calls on an older magic than that of Cadellin, and soon ancient forces walk the land. And this is only the beginning, as the children find they must once again do battle with the Morrigan to protect the human world from the dark powers that lurk on its edge.
Once again, Alan Garner creates a world half from his own imagination and half from the vivid tales and legends of the British countryside. Evil palugs and fierce bodachs course through the night in a landscape filled with strange places and names that seem to have double and triple meanings. Best of all, the Old Magic is awakened, and the Wild Hunt rides again. There is so much in this short volume that the reader is literally stunned into belief.
Garner does not people his books with an excess of characters, and all, from Colin to Cadellin are larger than life. Everyone plays true to archetype, but all are individuals with their own wisdom. And so there are few players that one cannot come to love. In a tale that is a conflict between good and evil, Garner does not let the good become shallow or too monochromatic. The Moon of Gomrath is a powerful story at all levels, from child's adventure to morality play, and resonates long after the last page is turned. Garner proves once again that magic is never really lost.
I first read this book over 20 years ago, and having picked up a copy recently was as enchanted now as then.
Garner's greatest strength as a writer (personal opinion) has been his ability to describe, to evoke the mood and time and place for his fantasy - and by doing so to juxtapose the real and fantasy elements of his world in a way that makes both seem somehow more real than either would be alone.
In addition, if you move past his technical craftsmanship, he has managed to bring the world of Celtic myth to life in a way and with a realism that I have never seen equalled.
Ignoring both of those factors, the two books comprise a fantastically good read that I couldn't possibly put down.
My only regret in reading these books, is that given the time since their origional publication it seems unlikely that there will ever be a third, and there VERY definitely needs to be - there was too much story still to be told.
Read, enjoy, love - I did!
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