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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

The Moon of Gomrath


children’s fantasy

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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

A Tale of Alderley

Copyright © 1960 by Alan Garner

Part One Chapter 6: A Ring of Stones And here, in the midst of so much beauty, they learnt too late that wizards’ words are seldom idle, and traps well sprung hold hard their prey.
Chapter 7: Fenodyree

‘Rocks are old, stubborn souls; they were here before we came, and they will be here when we are gone. They have all the time there is, and will not be hurried.’

[...] I can guess what it is to have the door of wonder and enchantment closed to you when you have glimpsed what lies beyond. But it is also a world of danger and shadows, as you have seen and ere long I fear I must pass into these shadows. I will not take you with me.’
Part Two Chapter 13: ‘Where No Svart Will Ever Tread’

‘The deed is nothing. It is the thought that breeds fear; and we achieve little by lingering.’



Chapter 14: The Earldelving

‘Are you scared, too?’ said Colin.

‘Mortally. I will pit my wits and sword against all odds, and take joy in it. But that is not courage. Courage is fear mastered, and in battle I am not afraid. Here, though, the enemy has no guile to be countered, no substance to be cast down. Victory or defeat mean nothing to it. Whether we win or lose affects us alone. It challenges us by its presence, and the real conflict is fought without ourselves. And so I am afraid, and I know not courage.’



Chapter 15: A Stromkarl Sings

‘And think on, I want an explanation; and it had best be good!’

Fenodyree sheathed his sword, and smiled.

‘It will be interesting, farmer Mossock.’

text checked (see note) Feb 2005

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The Moon of Gomrath

Copyright © 1963 by Alan Garner

Chapter 4:
The Brollachan

‘We do not have to avoid you for our safety, as elves must, but rather for your own. It has not always been so. Once we were close; but some little time before the elves were driven away, a change came over you. You found the world easier to master by hands alone: things became more than thoughts with you, and you called it an Age of Reason.

‘Now with us the opposite holds true, so that in our affairs you are weakest where you should be strong, and there is danger for you not only from evil, but from other matters we touch upon. These may not be evil, but they are wild forces, which could destroy one not well acquainted with such things.

‘For these reasons we withdrew from mankind, and became a memory, and, with the years, a superstition, ghosts and terrors for a winter’s night, and later a mockery and a disbelief.’

Chapter 7:
Old Magic

‘I am thinking that the High Magic is too keen for the task.’

‘I do not understand.’

‘You try too hard. Be not so nimble-witted!’ said Uthecar. ‘Consider: it is said that the sword that lies by the Sleeper in Fundindelve would cleave a hair on water, draw blood from the wind. But would you use its temper to fell this oak? So here: the Brollachan is of the Old Evil – it does not move on such airy planes as Cadellin knows. For the Old Evil the Old Magic is best. Against an army a thousand strong give me the king’s sword, but for this oak I would be having the cottar’s axe.’



Chapter 18:
The Dolorous Blow

‘We’d be a lot better off with guns,’ said Colin.

‘Would you?’ said Uthecar. ‘That is where we part from men. Oh, you may look here, and find us at the slaughter, but we know the cost of each death, since we see the eyes of those we send to darkness, and the blood on our hands, and each killing is the first for us. I tell you, life is true then, and its worth is clear. But to kill at a distance is not to know, and that is man’s destruction.’



text checked (see note) Feb 2005

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