The/The Moon of Gomrath Weirdstone of Brisingamen Analysis

Alan Garner

The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

In The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, two children, Colin and Susan, are caught up in a struggle between the powers of good and evil as they try to return a magical weirdstone to the safe custody of the wizard Cadellin Silverbrow. The sequel, The Moon of Gomrath, deals with two rescues: first that of Susan, who is possessed by an evil spirit known as the Brollachan, then that of Colin, who is taken captive by the forces of evil. The latter are defeated with the aid of the Wild Hunt.

The first novel opens by retelling the legend of Alderley, concerning a wizard who bought a white mare from a local farmer. Leading the farmer into a secret cavern beneath the ridge known as Alderley Edge, the wizard showed him 140 knights in silver armor. All but one had a milk-white mare beside him. The knights were waiting in an enchanted sleep for the day they would save England from its greatest peril. The farmer was paid with as many jewels as he could carry away. Though he often searched, he never found the cavern again.

The story line begins with the arrival of Colin and Susan to stay for a few months with Gowther and Bess Mossock, who farm by Alderley Edge. After attracting the attention of the forces of evil, Colin and Susan are trapped by a band of goblinlike creatures known as svarts. They are rescued by Cadellin, who takes them into the Fundindelve, a cavern in which a king and his knights lie sleeping. There he tells them of the loss of Firefrost, the weirdstone of Brisingamen, whose power preserves the Sleepers. Only later does Susan realize that the weirdstone is none other than her Tear, a jewel given to her by her mother, who was...

(The entire section is 682 words.)