Alan Garner's The Owl Service … reveals that he is not a man to rest on the laurels awarded him by those enthusiastic children who read with pleasure The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, The Moon of Gomrath, and Elidor. For The Owl Service … is entirely different from his other three, having in common with them only that it is fantasy and takes off from legend. But because certain of Garner's tendencies as a writer are noticeable in all of his books and because these tendencies play an important part in the final effect of The Owl Service, it is rewarding to go back to the beginning and consider his work as a whole.
Garner is one who, from the start, has found his...
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