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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960)

by Alan Garner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tales of Alderley (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,500407,398 (4.03)114
Recently added byKitKat3277, private library, Paul_and_Jane, Lori76, jonnyr, Jambyfool
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    LongDogMom: A child unexpectedly caught up in old magic and good vs evil in a small village in Britain
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» See also 114 mentions

English (39)  French (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
I found this book odd. I think it would have been better to have read it as a child, when I would have given it my full attention. Because I didn't give it my full attention and read it quite quickly, I forgot some of the minor characters and/or objects, which meant I didn't remember them if they reappeared or didn't remember why they were important. I would have loved an index. If I'd been reading an ebook, I probably would have searched for some of the things I'd forgotten when they turned up again. I found it a bit annoying that the maps gave spoilers about how the story would turn out (for example, a label saying "Fall of the [no spoiler here!]").

I definitely felt that it was part of a series - it ended rather abruptly.

It did feel very Tolkienish, except that the setting was contemporary (England in the 1960s, I think, judging from publication date?). I liked that Susan and Colin got equal time and were equally in charge of their own decisions and their part in the story. Not bad for a story written in the 60s! I also felt that [a:Alan Garner|47991|Alan Garner|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1363273417p2/47991.jpg] wrote about caves very well indeed. I got the impression that he is either a keen caver or someone who once went caving and found it too claustrophobic so never went again! I am not familiar with old English/Celtic mythology, but I suspect there were references that others might pick up on. I did recognize Ragnarok! There were quite a lot of mythical creatures/objects mentioned that were not explained (or maybe I missed them because I read too quickly).

All in all, I would like to read more of the series but I am not in a huge hurry, so they might just end up on my "to read" list for years. ( )
  KWharton | Nov 29, 2018 |
I have mixed feelings, partly because I am an adult reading a book that I would have loved when I was twelve. Garner does a great job in depicting an everyday setting that has become terrifying and strange, and some of the scenes are truly disturbing. The depiction of the children crawling through ever narrowing tunnels deep underground is nightmare territory.

As an adult, I am more aware of the book's flaws. I was bothered by the undeveloped characters, the awkward faux medieval speech, and the confusing multitude of bad guys, none of which I could keep straight. I also noticed a few sections that seemed as if Garner had just finished reading Lord of the Rings and liked it so much that he started accidentally rewriting bits of it.

And, as seems to always be the case when I read British children's fantasy: what are those adults thinking? You encourage a couple of city kids to go play on a giant forested hill, late in the evening, alone, while casually mentioning, oh yes, try not to fall into any mine shafts or dangerous caves, which are all over the place.

But despite these caveats, Garner did capture my attention, kept me reading, and got me to care about the outcome. Even as a cynical grown up person.
( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
I was prompted to read this children's classic fantasy novel, first published in 1960, by seeing a post on Alan Garner in a blog by someone I know professionally involved in teaching children to read and enjoy literature. It's also to an extent a re-read as I read at least some of it as a teenager in the late 70s/early 80s, though I recalled nothing of it. It's wonderfully written and imaginative, the story of two children, Susan and Colin, who get involved with a variety of good and evil fantasy creatures, seeking the significant eponymous stone, chasing through caves and across hills, forests and plains in Cheshire, the author's native area. While it's definitely high quality, and gripping in places, I found it didn't really stir me emotionally quite as much as I thought it might. I will read the famous sequel, The Moon of Gomrath, and probably the third and very much later volume in the trilogy, Boneland. ( )
  john257hopper | Aug 20, 2018 |
I found this book odd. I think it would have been better to have read it as a child, when I would have given it my full attention. Because I didn't give it my full attention and read it quite quickly, I forgot some of the minor characters and/or objects, which meant I didn't remember them if they reappeared or didn't remember why they were important. I would have loved an index. If I'd been reading an ebook, I probably would have searched for some of the things I'd forgotten when they turned up again. I found it a bit annoying that the maps gave spoilers about how the story would turn out (for example, a label saying "Fall of the [no spoiler here!]").

I definitely felt that it was part of a series - it ended rather abruptly.

It did feel very Tolkienish, except that the setting was contemporary (England in the 1960s, I think, judging from publication date?). I liked that Susan and Colin got equal time and were equally in charge of their own decisions and their part in the story. Not bad for a story written in the 60s! I also felt that [a:Alan Garner|47991|Alan Garner|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1363273417p2/47991.jpg] wrote about caves very well indeed. I got the impression that he is either a keen caver or someone who once went caving and found it too claustrophobic so never went again! I am not familiar with old English/Celtic mythology, but I suspect there were references that others might pick up on. I did recognize Ragnarok! There were quite a lot of mythical creatures/objects mentioned that were not explained (or maybe I missed them because I read too quickly).

All in all, I would like to read more of the series but I am not in a huge hurry, so they might just end up on my "to read" list for years. ( )
1 vote KWharton | Apr 11, 2018 |
Another book that I was surprised I hadn't read before. I loved Garner's use of archaic forms of English and was completely freaked out by the claustrophobia-inducing description of getting through the narrow spaces of the cave (although I could have done with a diagram at times, finding some of the scene difficult to picture).

In places I thought it was overly reliant on Tolkein's work, but the evocation of the places around Alderley Edge made up for that in some degree. I left the novel half-finished before I went to sleep and my dreams were haunted by the landscape. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Garnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adamson, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Call, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, CharlesMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schleinkofer, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwinger, LaurenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
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People/Characters
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
In every prayer I offer up, Alderley, and all belonging to it, will be ever a living thought in my heart.
Rev. Edward Stanley: 1837
Dedication
First words
At dawn one still October day in the long ago of the world, across the hill of Alderley, a farmer from Mobberley was riding to Macclesfield fair.
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Book description
Relentlessly pursued by outlandish figures on Alderley Edge, Colin and Susan are saved by the Wizard, who takes them deep into the hill. There, a band of knights lie sleeping until the time shall come for them to be woken and sent forth to fight Nastrond, the spirit of evil. But the stone - the Weirdstone - which is the heart of the magic binding the sleepers, is lost. How it is found, stolen and recovered again involves Colin and Susan in frantic chases through woods and streams and underground mines. Their search leaves us almost as breathless and exhausted as Colin and Susan themselves.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 000712788X, Paperback)

A tale of Alderley When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over the enchanted sleep of one hundred and forty knights. But the heart of the magic that binds them -- Firefrost, also known as the Weirdstone of Brisingamen -- has been lost. The Wizard has been searching for the stone for more than 100 years, but the forces of evil are closing in, determined to possess and destroy its special power. Colin and Susan realise at last that they are the key to the Weirdstone's return. But how can two children defeat the Morrigan and her deadly brood?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:04 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A young girl and her brother are catapulted into a battle between good and evil for possession of a magical stone of great power that is contained in her bracelet.

» see all 5 descriptions

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