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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
1,860458,482 (3.98)141
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?… (more)
  1. 110
    The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Another British fantasy about the Light versus the Dark and a boy who becomes involved in the battle
  2. 40
    Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones (Polenth)
  3. 10
    The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Another classic British fantasy, good for young readers and adults.
  4. 10
    The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea (Heather39)
  5. 00
    Advent by James Treadwell (LongDogMom)
    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 141 mentions

English (44)  French (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Although a "classic", sadly I didn't enjoy this much. I enjoyed Prydain a lot more.
Maybe one that really is for children only. ( )
  infjsarah | Apr 10, 2023 |
Garner's first first novel, and clearly not his best. It's a bold enough quest, though a tad too long. The first half – scene-setting, etc. – is good, it's the latter half – basically a dungeon crawl plus a furtive, stealth trek – that shortening would improve. Either that or the provision of more background information. The usual Garner is all here: thin characters; mythology; Alderley Edge; terse prose. Every writer has to start somewhere. ( )
  ortgard | Sep 22, 2022 |
High fantasy children's book. This is a strange one, at times it felt like it was doing to fantasy what 'Alien' or 'Red Dwarf' did to sci-fi. It makes things just seem very mundane, not boring, just oddly normal and unglamorous, i quite liked those parts.
It reminded me of [b:Over Sea, Under Stone|11312|Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark Is Rising, #1)|Susan Cooper|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1443993959s/11312.jpg|742] until about the 15% mark when the author just decided to give up and steal as much of [b:The Lord of the Rings|33|The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)|J.R.R. Tolkien|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1521850178s/33.jpg|3462456] as he could get away with, which turned out to be a LOT :P .
The entire rest of the book is one long chase sequence and the near constant thefts from LotR did become a bit annoying.
The language can be a bit tricky for younger readers, there are a lot of names thrown around too and some accent writing. As the plot never slows down there isn't too much in the way of jeopardy or at least suspense, but the speed of events and the ridiculous pileup of fantasy concepts stopped me getting bored.

Its kind of terrible in a way and funny, possibly on purpose? It became so absurd in the latter portions it started to remind me of 'Labyrinth'. Fun enough as LotR's ripoffs go.

Edit: Having now perused some other reviews i'm shocked at how little people seem to grasp what a knockoff of LotR this book is. I really don't think you could get away with publishing this today without being sued.
Its not in the vain of LotR's, its not an answer to LotR, or inspired by or uses similar sources, this story is put together from chunk after chunk of actual plot from the Hobbit, Fellowship and Two Towers. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Two young siblings are staying on the country farm in the English countryside where their mother grew up while their parents go abroad, and they quickly find themselves caught up in an ancient battle between good and evil as the boundaries between the world of modern Cheshire and the old England of wizards and morrigans blur and fade. A weirdstone that was long ago stolen from a wizard has made it down the years and into the children's hands as a family heirloom, and their presence with it back in its former homeland awakens the dark forces that want it. And so begins a journey to deliver the stone to safety that makes companions of the children, their farmer-caretaker, a wizard, and a couple of dwarves.

Susan Cooper meets The Chronicles of Prydain with a heavy splash of Tolkien, if Frodo were a modern-day British middle grader and the Fellowship were skulking through the Cheshire countryside, accidentally seen by a few bemused farmers along the way. So, actually, let's through in a dash of Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well. And it could have been as awesome as it sounds, but it was too short and more than a little too sloppy. I was left wanting much, much more. ( )
  electrascaife | Sep 5, 2021 |
Alan Garner (along with Roald Dahl) was the first author I remember being really enthusiastic about when I was a child. And I am still enthusiastic, this is a brilliant book (i'm being stingy with my 5 stars though). Alan Garner introduced me to a whole world of magic and myth. I really enjoyed reading this again, it is a bit dated, but it doesn't suffer for it.

There is a passage in this book when the group are travelling through some mines which has stayed with me as the most disturbing thing I have ever read and has fueled many nightmares. Re-reading it again, it is still as disturbing as ever (though my wife just said 'meh' and doesn't understand, so it's probably me).

Please excuse the waffle, this review is mostly for me to jog my memory in future.
( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (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, CharlesCartographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lavis, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schleinkofer, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwinger, LaurenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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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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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?

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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.
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Average: (3.98)
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