Friday, January 2, 2009

Alan Garner & Rosemary Harris - Weirdstones & Ancient Egypt

I discovered Alan Garner in 1968 as I was buying books on my meagre allowance and exploring the children's books sections of various bookshops. Alan Garner's books were quite wonderful - exciting supernatural fantasies, to which I became addicted. The first of these was The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath.

garner_weirdstone garner_gomrath

Of course after that I looked for his books whenever I was book browsing. The Owl Service was made into a Television Series in 1969, so the cover of my copy has a scene from that, though I am sure I had another edition of it originally. Elidor is the other fantasy of Alan Garner's I have in my collection.

garner_owlservice garner_elidor

Rosemary Harris wrote a charming trilogy set in ancient Israel and Egypt which began with the Carnegie Medal winner The Moon in the Cloud, where a humble animal tamer and musician is forced by Noah of Noah's Ark fame, to fetch a cat in Egypt to make a pair with his (the animal tamer) own cat. The condition is that he must find the cat to be included on the Ark, otherwise he and his wife will be left to drown. The story follows his adventures as he makes his way to Egypt and how he secures the cat.


The story is continued post flood in The Shadow of the Sun and The Bright and Morning Star. All the books are beautifully written and slyly humorous.

harris_shadow harris_star

Coming next - more children's fantasy - Madeleine L'Engle and Peter Dickinson

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