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The Farthest-Away Mountain

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,670 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
Once upon a time, in a village nestled in a mountain valley, lived a girl named Darkin. Darkin wants three things more than anything else: to visit the farthest-away mountain, to meet a gargoyle, and to marry a prince. Everyone in her village thinks she's crazy, especially since no one has ever been to the farthest-away mountain. But one day, when she is nearly 15, she hea ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 13th 2004 by Yearling (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I LOVED this book. Everything a child's fairytale should be. While I enjoy many current junior fiction titles, they just can't capture the vintage charm that stories such as this contain. "The Farthest-away Mountain" is going right up there with "The Ordinary Princess" as a book that will, without question, be read to my daughter. The heroine is brave and kind and good, but not immune from making mistakes or struggling in the midst of trials. I found the moral to be wonderful and the story balan ...more
Sep 19, 2011 Ysabel rated it it was amazing
This book has sentimental value for me. This was the first book I read when I was a young girl, roughly around the age of 7. It made me feel magical, and truly was my escape at the time, which is probably why I love it so much. I remember while reading this, imagining that I was Darkin on this wild adventure to get to the farthest-away mountain. This really is the ultimate fairy-tale! And as a young girl, this book was so incredibly magical to me, I must of read it about a thousand times. Defini ...more
Jun 26, 2016 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy light and simple fantasy or fairy-tale-like stories
The Farthest-Away Mountain was a delightful read.

From purple, orange and blue coloured snow to dinosaurs, this book delivered some unique traits and twists - despite following the rather typical fantasy setting of our protagonist, Dakin, setting out on a quest (oh I do love those adventure/quest fantasy stories, though!). Dakin was a lovely character. Even though she dreamed of marrying a prince, she was courageous and went out to meet the dangers she knew were waiting for her in order to help
Jun 29, 2013 Aaron rated it it was ok
Just fyi, I'm reading this for the first time at 26 years old. I'm reading it because a friend said it was her favorite book growing up.

My first reaction was happiness because I saw this book was written by the same author as The Indian in the Cupboard, which I remember I liked as a child. But then after I read 20 pages, I became scared to go back and re-read my favorite childhood books like The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, The Great Brain, and The Castle in the Att
Mar 23, 2009 Anastasia rated it it was amazing
I recognized this cover immediately when I stumbled across it here, even though I haven't seen my copy of the book in probably a decade. I loved this story because it was one of the first books I read about a girl who was willing to set out on her own to explore the world she wanted to see. She's not forced to head to the mountain because of war or a mysterious quest--she wants to see it, and she goes. The world she finds there might seem overly familiar now that every fantasy archetype risks be ...more
Dec 05, 2013 Melissa rated it it was ok
This was a book that I grew up loving. It was one of my favorites. I was so excited to read it out loud to Lucy. First, Lucy loved the book. My son even sat still for a good chunk of the book to listen and he is 3. Lucy is 6 and she loved it. She understood it mostly and I had to remind her of a couple things here and there. I didn't use all the vocab, sometimes just making it a little simpler. But she liked it.

I give the book 2 stars because reading it wasn't as enjoyable as I thought. I didn'
Dec 05, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing
I just picked this up for a quick re-read. This was a book from elementary school that I read once and loved so much, the name stuck in my head and I was able to look it up years later. I loved fantasy as a child, and I think this book may be one of the reasons why.

Re-reading it, I can see why I loved it. Dakin is independent and adventurous, and the story has really vivid imagery. And I really like that the ending (view spoiler)
Aug 12, 2010 Kayleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-read
I recently reread this, and I have to say that it wasn't even half as good as when I first read it when I was seven or eight.
There were several misspelled words and sentences, and not enough plot development.
I know its a children's book, but that shouldn't mean anything. A book should have correct words and should tell you everything you need and want to know about the story. But sadly not all books are like that.

I remember this book being so good, but the truth is that it really isn't.

I wish I
Maria Thermann
Lynne Reid Banks' fantasy story begins with "once upon a time...", always a bad sign and usually the hallmark of inexperienced writers. However, it soon transpires the author aims to present us with a fairy tale about gargoyles, trolls, speaking frogs, magicians and witches; obviously, this requires the age-old beginning of "once upon a time", since the author clearly couldn't think of a more original beginning. Hardly a good start for a story aimed at young adult readers and older children in t ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Meg rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Children aged 6 - 10
I just re-read the Farthest-Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks to my daughter, probably 25 years since I first read it. I recall enjoying the story as a kid, but unlike some fellow second-time-around-readers, reading it now I found depths in it that were even more intriguing.

Fifteen year old Dakin is quite the prettiest girl in the village but she's refusing to do the expected and get married until she's done the things she wants to do 'she wanted to visit the farthest-away mountain; she wanted t
Dec 31, 2015 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter and I started this pretty much right after we finished The Fairy Rebel. I had read this one several times as a child and considered it a favorite. In some ways it holds up, in other ways, not so much. I still love the gargoyle brothers and had fun going "Ahhhhhhh" at my daughter. When I asked her what her favorite part was about the book, she said making the pictures in her head, which is wonderful. As to the not so good, I had to bite back some serious giggles when I realized that t ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Kara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh, how I loved this book!

I remembered this book from when I was <10 years old. I loved it. My fond memories of this book led me to re-read it at 28. I still love it! This is a book for a young person who loves to read. I would recommend it to any child who is looking for a longer more challenging book. The themes are benign and the fantasy charming. There are some very mild scary parts but they come no where near disturbing. It's just precious :)
May 19, 2011 Jessamay rated it it was amazing
This is one of those foundational books for me. I read it as a child, I searched for it as an adult, and re-read it...and it's still magic. It has everything I need in a fantasy, and everything a children's book should have. I think this really influenced my taste in literature. Irrevocably.
May 30, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This was one of my favorite books as a kid. When I was in fourth grade, my teacher read it to us with silly voices for all the characters. I think that is what really made me love the story!
But the idea of the story is really neat and fun. It is a great, original fantasy story!
Echo Velvet
Feb 13, 2016 Echo Velvet rated it really liked it
Shelves: childhood-faves
I read this as a kid, and I remember it being really weird and maybe even a little disturbing (but I probably found it less weird at the time as a kid than I do now looking back on what I remember of the plot...I find memories can be a bit bizarre and warped in themselves like that, e.g. when I think of people I went to primary school with, they look to me much older than primary school children, some psychological effect of self-perception and the fact they were my peers). But it was really enj ...more
Nov 26, 2009 Bry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books ever. I read this as a kid and still have my copy, and have reread it so many times. Even as an adult since it just takes me back!
Negar Bolboli
Apr 26, 2015 Negar Bolboli rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-n-fantasy
all of it reminded me of cartoons full of trolls, witches, goblins and so on, I loved those cartoons as kid.
Hans Anderson
Aug 23, 2015 Hans Anderson rated it liked it
This was one of those books for me that I read in school and thought was just crazy. I could never remember what it was called, so I was pretty stoked when I found it again. It is a classic-style fairy tale that is pretty fun and imaginative. So in that regard it's a really good book. Though it brings up some fundamental issues with the classic fairy tale. Like why do most characters in these fairy tales have almost zero grounds for motivation. In this story, like in many fairy tales, the main c ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Esti rated it really liked it
Lynne Reid Banks' The Farthest Away Mountain is a fairy tale story with engaging peeks behind the scenes. The plot follows Dakin, an adolescent girl from a quaint village who wakes one morning certain that the nearby mountain has called her by name. Despite the fact that no one has visited it in living memory, she sets off to uncover its secrets, meeting a strange and often very funny set of creatures along the way. Many traditional fairy tale elements—an enchanted frog, a giant's castle—are rei ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Nieva21 rated it it was amazing

One day a girl named Dakin hears a far mountain call to her. When she asks the mountain, if it did call her to come to it, it nods to her affirmatively. Dakin is almost fifteen-years old and dreams of nothing, but visiting the 'farthest-away mountain' as it's referred to, seeing a live gargoyle, and marrying a prince. So when boys from the village start asking her to marry them, she tells her family her reasons for firmly refusing them and remains without a husband. Her reasons being that she mu
Jul 07, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Oh, so many mixed feels. I loved this when I was younger, but I can't really decide what I think of it now. It's a quest story, which is amazing, since usually quest stories are dominated by male heroes rather than female ones. However, the heroine conquers by having hysterics and displays of emotions rather than any true virtue of her own-- well, kindness, I suppose. What, an obstacle? LET ME LAUGH AND MY JOY WILL DEFEAT IT! What, another obstacle? LET ME CRY AND MY SORROW WILL DEFEAT IT. Her r ...more
May 20, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
I remembered a few things about this book that I remember being my first favorite chapter book in elementary school, and I finally was able to remember enough about it to Google it and find the title a few months ago. Such a fun book to read aloud to the kids. I was into it as much as they were and ended up reading longer than I normally do each night because nobody wanted me to stop.
Jul 05, 2016 Melanie rated it it was ok
I read this book because of the author's reputation with The Indian in the Cupboard. I did not enjoy this book because I felt that the story was not plausible. The characters did not behave logically. I felt as if I were reading a story written by a young author which really surprised me considering the success of her other books. I wouldn't recommend it.
Jun 10, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
This gets three stars as a compromise - I would give it two, as it's a cute but predictable and unexceptional fairy tale, not in the same league as more sophisticated and gripping books such as Ella Enchanted. My daughter loved it though and told me it was the next book I HAD to read, so it obviously hits the mark with younger readers.
Jen McConnel
Jul 29, 2012 Jen McConnel rated it it was amazing
Dakin is an unusual girl. Not content with living in her quiet village and getting married one day, Dakin vows to visit the Farthest Away Mountain, meet a gargoyle, and wed a prince. One morning, the mountain calls to her, and so begins her rapid adventure battling the force of evil that has consumed the magical mountain. Through wit, bravery, and a few well-timed tears, Dakin defeats the evil wizard who has held the mountain in his thrall and recovers the mystical ring which will allow the reig ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Audrey rated it really liked it
I re-read this book last night, after a hard day and in need of some comfort. And, I am happy to say, it ages well.

The story concerns a young girl named Dakin, who is independent, honest, kind, clever, brave, and very self-motivated. If you're looking for a fantasy/fairy-tale book that provides an excellent role model for girls, you've found one. Though she is wonderful, she is not without her flaws and moments of confusion, and she makes compelling friends along the way. My only real complaints
Feb 20, 2009 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The strong-willed.
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2009
I'm rereading this, as it was one of my favorites when I was first starting to read chapter books. I still think it's beautifully written and vivid, the illustrations adding depth to the world, but my child-mind had made it a much more engrossing memory than my adult-mind can fathom.

What made me love this was Dakin's need to travel and SEE things. The Farthest Away Mountain calls to her and she decides, wisely, that she should see what it has to offer before rooting herself somewhere. As a wand
Stephanie Eardley
Nov 27, 2015 Stephanie Eardley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking for this book for years! I read it in elementary school, but forgot the title. I am one who loves mountains and so when the mountain called to the girl I felt an immediate connection to the story. I am so happy Goodreads suggested this to me!
May 30, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
One of my all time FAVORITE BOOKS from childhood. I remember almost the whole book vividly- and I don't remember anything, worst memory ever- but I can still picture the images this story conjured into my brain as a young girl. Sigh. Amazing.
Feb 18, 2011 Darlene rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone. It is a quick fun read.
Recommended to Darlene by: Cherylllr and Yvensong
Shelves: young-adult, children
A female that had brains, courage and a heart and soul that cared deeply for others. What more could we want from our main character? And Lynne Reid Banks took her on an adventure as fun and terrorizing as the boy in the _Indian in the Cupboard_ books. I would have given it five stars but in the end she was to marry. I wish more independent thought could have come in to show a woman of substance, it was copyrighted 1976 so Banks could have been braver.

All in all, though, it was a fun read and ha
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Lynne Reid Banks is a British author of books for children and adults. She has written forty books, including the best-selling children's novel The Indian in the Cupboard, which has sold over 10 million copies and been made into a film.
Banks was born in London, the only child of James and Muriel Reid Banks. She was evacuated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada during World War II but returned after
More about Lynne Reid Banks...

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