Beth Bonini's Reviews > The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
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Nov 09, 2011

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Read in November, 2011

The word "breathless" comes to mind.
This is an old-fashioned quest novel, with two human children joining forces with two dwarfs, in order to re-capture and then protect Firefrost (an ancient spellstone). If they fail, all the evil of the world will be unleashed in the form of Nastrond, the Great Spirit of Darkness. They have all sorts of treacherous creatures ranged against them, including witches, goblins, savage birds and a dark shrouded man called the Grimnir (similar to the Dementors in Harry Potter). They have only a handful of friends.

Most of the novel is a great chase, and the plot barrels along at breakneck speed. There is plenty of peril, lots of tight spots (their progress through the underground mine shafts is truly claustrophic), and almost no let-up from the tension. This isn't really my sort of thing, but I'm reading classic fantasy books for a unit on "quest" fantasy and I think that this book will be a worthy addition.

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