From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–Alan Garners novel (CollinsVoyager, pap. 2002), first published in 1960, is a classic multilayered British fantasy with dwarves, elves, wizards, goblins, and a shape-shifter. Listeners may be challenged by the many complex names, places, and creatures that make up the story, which has its basis in Celtic and Norse mythology. The protagonists, Susan and Collin, go to Alderley Edge in Cheshire to stay with their mothers former nurse while their parents are abroad. They immediately set out to explore the countryside and set magical events in motion. In the forest, they stumble upon the great wizard who watches over 140 sleeping knights and their horses who are awaiting the time when it will be necessary for them to save the world from evil. Susan realizes that a stone in her bracelet is the famous Firefrost, whose powerful magic safeguards the knights. When her moonstone is stolen, an adventure-laden quest ensues to recapture the stone from the forces of evil. The story is continued in a sequel, The Moon of Gomrath
. Philip Madoc reads with a strong, deep voice, effecting the right mood for the menacing events that unfold. The haunting musical interludes between chapters add to the suspense. A good purchase for libraries with comprehensive fantasy audiobook collections. Fans of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis will enjoy this title.–Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY
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Reviewers hailed Alan Garner as a great new writer in 1960: "Excellent and overflowing with largesse and imagination is this first novel by Alan Garner!a piece of marvellously sustained invention. This is a fine, new-mint book with echoes in it from the best of the old." Times Literary Supplement "The suspense is superb. Mr Garner has written on eof hose grand tales that may well be read a hundred years hence as eagerly as it is read now." Scotsman. "Absolutely first class. Well written, well told, it mixes legend, fact and fairy tale." Manchester Evening News