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The Moon of Gomrath: A Tale of Alderley    by Alan Garner order for
Moon of Gomrath
by Alan Garner
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2006 (2006)
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The Moon of Gomrath, Alan Garner's second Tale of Alderley, is similar to the first, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. This convoluted and confusing story may discourage even seasoned fantasy readers.

Colin and Susan are still staying with the Mossacks (although the reason is never explained in this episode) and have once again come across Cadellin, elves, dwarfs, and other inhabitants of Fundindelve. All of these are only introduced in passing, making the book not only confusing for those who have not read The Weirdstone of Brisingman, but also for returning readers since even the new characters are hardly explained. The Morrigan is back and this time has released an old evil on The Edge, that tries to kidnap Susan. After her return, she and Colin unknowingly light a fire on The Beacon, calling forth The Wild Hunt. Following the hunters, Colin gets mixed up with a traitor. Now Susan and her magical friends must save Colin, while fighting the old evil. This is the best plot summary I can manage, since I was lost for most of the story, unable to figure out how and why things happened.

With novels for younger readers, it is a good idea to keep the story moving. However, totally skipping exposition confuses and frustrates the reader more than having to put up with some basic, needed background information. By the end of The Moon of Gomrath, there were so many characters that it was hard to keep them all straight, especially since few were properly introduced. We would meet a character and never see them again for many chapters, by that time forgetting who they were. Admittedly, the book is story-driven and not character-driven, but even so, the story is not easy to follow, making for a disappointing read.

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