The Moon of Gomrath (Tales of Alderley, #2)
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The Moon of Gomrath (Tales of Alderley #2)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  903 ratings  ·  57 reviews
The Moon of Gomrath is the name of the one night of the year when the Old Magic is at its most powerful. Had Colin and Susan known this, they would have never obeyed the strange compulsion that drove them to light a fire on the Beacon. But now it is too late--the horsemen called the Wild Hunt are awake and on the ride, and no one is safe.Colin is captured, Susan falls unde...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1963)
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What a weird and impressive little book.

This one was leaps and bounds better than The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (my review here), which was not by any means devoid of skill or interest, but compares relatively poorly to its sequel. While the same oddments still stand - where are these people, where do the dwarfs come from, how come no one else notices this stuff happening? - the truly impressive thing in this story is Garner's absolute mastery of the action scenes. Page after page is filled with...more
Robert Day
When I was a young boy, I knew of a book called The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and I coveted it but never read it.

Years and years and a little while later, the sun fell from the sky and I was to resort to listening to audio books whilst walking to and from work - it avoided the unpleasantness of walking into lampposts in the dark whilst trying to read paper books.

One of the items on offer was the aforementioned tome and I on listening, I was mightily smitten.. apart from the parts where they were...more
I loved The Weirdstone of Brisingamen with a passion (pay no attention to the appallingly bad cover on the linked edition; it's a shameless knockoff of Star Wars, I know, and it embarrasses me to look at it) so I was really excited to find out there was a sequel.

Can I just say "Er, huh?"

So much is crammed into this book that it's very nearly incoherent -- as if Garner had a million ideas and was afraid he'd never have another chance to use them. The Wild Hunt, the Morrigan, a mysterious ruined...more
I liked this book better than the first book, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. Maybe that's because I've already had some of the world building from the first book and I know kind of what to expect, though. It was weird to me that it was a sequel, but it completely ignored the ending of the last book. There was virtually no reference to it at all, which is amazing considering the total lack of resolution I felt at the end. The only references are in a recurring enemy -- the Morrigan -- wanting rev...more
Graham Crawford
I remember I adored this as a kid.... it really got under my skin. I must have been about nine years old and after reading this I convinced myself the wild hunt was coming for me on the first of May.... and I nailed an iron horseshoe over my bed so they wouldn't get me. A good book that seriously spooked the daylights out of me... and made me get into old English myths and legends.
I re-read this in preparation for Boneland! It was a wonderful re-visiting of a past pleasure. This second book is perhaps the more writerly, edgy (no pun intended) and sophisticated book, but I have to say the first book still stands out for its unbelievably gripping underground scenes and great storytelling. As for Boneland.... have read it now :-) It goes further again from traditional storytelling and more towards edgy and sophisticated... but it's not a kids' book, so must be looked at diff...more
Becka Sutton
Jul 10, 2009 Becka Sutton rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner is the second of "The Alderley Tales". The first of which I have also reviewed.

"Moon" was first published in 1963 and is still in print today. That alone would be testament to its strength - before print on demand came along books generally went out of print pretty quickly due to the cost of print runs.

However "Moon" is not quite as strong a book as it's predecessor - but given the strength of "Weirdstone" that would be a struggle. Taken on it's own merits, how...more
This is an altoghether different proposition from The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. The prose is still bleakly beautiful, but the characters are better developed, more assertive and more independent after their experiences of the last novel, and the story is far more creative. The imagination which created elements like the mara and the lyblacs for the last book is given full rein here. The bodachs, the palugs, above all the Brollachan, are all weird and disturbing creations not found elsewhere in...more
I always preferred this ever so slightly to Weirdstone, and one of the reasons may be that Colin and Susan have a little more agency in this book, while at the same time having less. More stuff happens to them directly and they do things and even have opinions, but they remain, sadly, ciphers, albeit ciphers on the cusp of change. More than that, though, it was the idea of wild magic, magic that exists purely for its own sake, savage and emotional and dangerous, set against the more ordered, cou...more
A.E. Shaw

Another reread. I remember the first time I read this that I was so terrified by the first appearance of the Brollachan that I hurriedly closed the book and made my dad sleep with it under his pillow so that the thing couldn't get out. I finished it very quickly on the next sunny morning. It's one of the books I have an incredibly strong memory of.

Coming back to it now, it's so pacey and single-minded, it's a wonderful contrast to virtually everything around 'these days'. The web of myth and pa...more
Continuing on from The Weirdstone of Brisingamen: A Tale of Alderley, The Moon of Gomrath sees Susan and Colin continuing to be drawn into the magical issues which entangled them. They have made an enemy, and victory in one battle has not won any wars.

Again the tone of the story is high legend, the magic overwhelming, frightening, inexorable. A series of frightening events, and the kind of throbbing, highly-cadenced description which is rarely found in more recent stories.

A good tale for childre...more
This tale picks up soon after the events in The Weirdstone of Brisingamen when 12-year-old twins Colin and Susan are still staying in Cheshire whilst their parents are abroad. Evil witch the Morrigan has, along with her allies, finally been defeated, but Susan no longer has the teardrop heirloom, the weirdstone of the title. In its place is a curious silver bracelet, its shape echoing the young moon, and it is the moon -- from the title of this sequel to Susan's crucial role -- which runs as on...more
I really appreciate both the attention to landscape and the incorporation of local legend/ folklore/ mythology. The folklore referenced is very specific to the real-life setting of the story, adding to the sense of place (and to the novelty from my perspective - this didn't feel like the same old fantasy tropes repackaged). I also like the concept of "old magic" (i.e. nature/pagan magic) vs. "high magic" (think wizards).

My one complaint is that while the landscape feels real and well-developed,...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Another book I read years ago and remember enjoying, though it made little impression on me. More good vs. evil Susan possessed, driven to "other realms" ending in a pitched battle. As I said, an enjoyable youth book.
Garner's books are not high adventure but they are very charming and are certainly enjoyable reads.
The Moon of Gomrath takes Susan and Colin further into the mysteries of British mythology. It's darker and more complex than Weirdstone, and Susan at least appears to have more agency in this novel, and takes some decisions into her own hands.

The introduction of wild magic an the Wild Hunt into the story in conflict with the high magic of Cadellin is a very interesting twist, and the fact that Cadellin is powerless in the face of the wild magic makes the reader stop and think that even seemingl...more
Fraser Sherman
In the sequel to Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Colin and Susan find themselves drawn back into magic when an evil spirit gets accidentally released in the neighborhood. This is entertaining, but unlike the first book feels more like an installment than a standalone tale. The ending, for instance, is more about setting up Susan's future than wrapping up the story. Given how much I disliked Garner's later Owl Service, I don't know whether I want to try the concluding volume, which came out a couple o...more
Ancestral Gael
Why did I choose this book? Because I had listened to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and enjoyed it very much.

What did I like? The pace of the adventure was faster than The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and the same characters gained some depth.

I love the seamless weaving of celtic and local myth, and folklore into the storyline as well as the concept of old and new magic. I appreciated the way Alan Garner chose to describe occurrences and, more importantly, feelings ascribed to the afterlife or in...more
Nev Percy
Jan 01, 2013 Nev Percy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the fantastic and the uncanniness of mythology
Recommended to Nev by: Phil Preshaw
Shelves: book-club, fantasy
Colin and Susan -- the owner of the Weirdstone of Brisingamen q.v. -- get into another scrape in this second book, as the Old Magic that is deeper, more powerful and less intelligible than the High Magic mastered by the white wizard, Cadellin Silverbrow, draws them in. Cadellin therefore takes a back seat, and Uthecar the dwarf, the mysteriously heroic Albanac, and finally the little lios-alfar elves of Atlendor son of Naf (!) are the children's guides and guardians whilst they themselves remain...more
T.E. Shepherd
Like with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen that came before it, The Moon of Gomrath is packed with strong imagery and years of research into old mythology and legend. It also has a strong beginning, with the old mine shafts of Alderley Edge as the scene, a new, previously undiscovered shaft has opened up outside the village pub. Colin and Susan go to find their friend, the wizard Cadellin, to find out more and Susan opens up the gates in the rock. There is the tunnel with its ethereal blue light an...more
Feb 13, 2012 Joan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: folklorists
Shelves: fantasy, j-books, fiction
I know this is considered classic fantasy, but I really did not enjoy it all that much. The first title (Weirdstone) was better paced than this one. Both books suffer from endings that are incredibly abrupt. Garner seems to have felt that once the story was over, stop at once. No tying up of loose ends, no congratulations that the good side won, just stop as soon as victory was won. In fact, I didn't even realize at first that I was at the end. It was only when I started to read the next page th...more
Jesse Owen
Firstly apologies for the image, Amazon don’t have the correct cover listed so I’m relying on a photo I took of it – eek!

The Moon of Gomrath was (as I said in my review of The Lost Stone Of Brisingamen) a lot better than the original book, their seemed to be more action and I felt much more engaged by the story. In a way it’s almost like most of the things I didn’t like about the first story had been corrected for this one – yay!

This book had the adventure and the magic (more below) that I had b...more
Natasha Hurley-Walker
More dreadful running around not knowing what's going on and using Magical Artifact A to defeat Baddie B during Weather Effect C. Worst part was when the kids built a fire to warm themselves up, and it inexplicably summoned three horsemen, who summoned three more, who rode around summoning even more Bad Stuff. Or Old Stuff. Whatever. A wizard did it...

It's particularly grating trying to get through this just after reading A Wrinkle in Time, where the (super-advanced) physics is real, explicable,...more
Colin Leslie
I first read this book when I was much, much younger but it was every bit as enjoyable this time round. Garner's evocation of place, folklore and Celtic mythology is sublime and the whole book glows with ancient power.

It was clearly written as a children's books and the writing is a little simplistic but the power behind the story lifts the book beyond categorisation.

Anyone interested in Celtic mythology should read Alan Garner, child or not.
Andrew McCrae
A frequently returned to "children's" book, sequel to the unique and superb "Weirdstone of Brisingamen", which is a 'childhood' and lifelong love.

Alan Garner paints a picture of Alderley and magic that becomes part of you, and you can't help but go back to them, even late in adulthood. Because the magic is still their, even though (like Peter and Susan in another magical series), I had seemingly long grown too old to return. The characters are lovable, the place evoked is as real as my home coun...more
I reread this book as part of my preparations for Garner's forthcoming novel "Boneland."
A sequel to the Weirdstone of Brisingamen a more difficult story and Garner's storytelling skills at that point were are in his career are not quite up to it, when his writing is at it's best it's wonderful, like when Susan is possessed or the last chapter, but it often falls below that level rarely being as compulsive as the Weirdstone. Much is left unresolved giving a pointer to the sequel now written, almo...more

This is the sequel to 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen' and follows Colin and Susan as they try to continue life as normal, while knowing that the world of magic is hidden from them. But The Morrigan has returned and she has a personal grudge against the siblings, and she has released something much worse to help her. The wizard, the elves and the dwarves band togther to help, but it is Susan and her bracelet, the legacy of the old magic, that will have to face them all. This got a bit muddled in...more
Robin Guest
Really quite extraordinary how he portrays Celtic myth and prehistory as coexisting with the present. This has stayed vividly with me since I first read it. On a different level from The Weirdstone of Brisingamen: A Tale of Alderley, already so much more than a children's writer. Looking forward to Boneland (with some trepidation)...
"The second book in a two book series (the first is ""The Weirdstone of Brisingamen""). Set in the NW of England (close to where we live, so it is great to be abel to explore some of the countryside mentioned in these books). Alan Garner drwas heavily on themes from Celtic mythology to create a magical, frightening and wonderful world, into which two mortal children are drawn. A fabulous retelling of the eternal ""good vs. evil"". One of those children's books that is still possible to read in a...more
Much more interesting than Weirdstone, which felt a bit thin to me. Garner makes his fantasy elements organic in a way that not all authors do when calling on British folklore. We don't need crystal towers and lost lands, just the moon shining down on the track and turning it to silver before our eyes. Beautiful first American edition (1967), published by Henry Z. Walck, if anyone remembers them, and printed on real paper that ensures this copy will endure for another fifty years. Thank you, ILL...more
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Alan Garner OBE (born 17 October 1934) is an English novelist who is best known for his children's fantasy novels and his retellings of traditional British folk tales. His work is firmly rooted in the landscape, history and folklore of his native county of Cheshire, North West England, being set in the region and making use of the native Cheshire dialect.

Born into a working-class family in Conglet...more
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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (Tales of Alderley, #1) The Owl Service Elidor Red Shift Thursbitch

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