After last month reviewing two books by the same author, Kate Atkinson, I now return to pairs of authors connected by theme or genre. And this month, I’m talking about two books steeped in mythology. One is an old favourite that has been around for most of my life; the other is a recent addition to my library. Both are five star reads in my opinion.
The First in a Trilogy: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
I first came across Alan Garner’s debut novel, not as a book, but as a serial on the Home Service (the forerunner of BBC Radio 4) in 1963 and it had such an effect on me that even now, more than fifty years later, I still feel the urge to hide if I see a flock of crows flying in my direction – and on the one occasion I travelled to Alderly Edge for a meeting, I could hardly concentrate on the proceedings inside for staring out of the window at the scenery and noisy bird life.
In a retelling of the old legend of a sleeping army awaiting a call to save the country from danger, two children, Colin and Susan face evil witches, flying spies (see crows, above!) and sinister localised fog, as they try to prevent the eponymous jewel falling into the wrong hands.
This is the first part of a trilogy which took Garner more than fifty years to complete. It is considered as a children’s book, although not written as such. I read it as an adult and return to it periodically. This is a wonderful book for all lovers of Tolkien and C S Lewis. If you haven’t discovered this trilogy before, you are in for a treat.
Potter Meets Buffy: Oath Breaker by Shelley Wilson
After seeing her father die in violent circumstances, Mia is taken by her mysterious Uncle Sebastian to an unusual school where she finds friends and allies, but also makes enemies among the other pupils. So far, so J K Rowling. But this is no Hogwarts; this is not a school for wizards, and there are no potions, charms or magic wands.
Shelley Wilson brings a unique spin to the mythology of werewolves. Mia, trainee wolf hunter, realises things are not as they should be in Hood Academy and she sets out to put things right.
This is a well-written, relatively short, easy read, full of twists and tension, which will appeal to fans both of Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Highly recommended.
Dear readers, I hope you enjoy reading my occasional book reviews, a mixture of old books and new; well known and new discoveries. I make a point of reviewing every book I read, on Amazon and on Goodreads (although, as they say on the BBC, other review platforms are also available); and I would encourage you to do the same, as reviews are very important to writers. And as always, a special plea for a review if you happen to have read one of my books. Happy reading!