Flashback Friday review from 12th August, 2009
I liked this book better than the first book, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. Maybe that’s because I’ve already had some of the world building from the first book and I know kind of what to expect, though. It was weird to me that it was a sequel, but it completely ignored the ending of the last book. There was virtually no reference to it at all, which is amazing considering the total lack of resolution I felt at the end. The only references are in a recurring enemy — the Morrigan — wanting revenge, and the fact that the characters are the same, plus the backstory about the sleepers in the cave.
The mythology in this one was interesting, anyway. I’m amused at how often the concept of the Wild Magic and the Wild Hunt comes up in fantasy books — here, in the Fionavar Tapestry, in The Dark Is Rising… I like it. The descriptions of Susan riding with them, and the way she gets left behind and feels both joy and anguish, are lovely.
Again, I felt a lack of resolution at the end of this book. Both books just end, with no reactions from the characters, nothing. Just. An end. It’s weird, I like things to be rounded off a little better. It’s not that they stop with big plot things left to happen, but they stop without making it feel satisfying.
It also feels like there should be more books in the series — you have all these comparatively little events, dealing with Grimnir and the Brollachan and the Morrigan, but throughout there’s the threat of Nastrond hovering over it, and the idea of the waking of the sleepers, but nothing happens with them. It feels like the focus is on the wrong thing. In one way it’s nice to have a big story hovering in the background, but when you know you’re never going to find out how that story resolves, it’s not so nice. There’s plenty of room for sequels, but I read that Alan Garner never intended for there to be another book. There’s so much that feels unfinished, though…
At least he didn’t write a shoddy page long epilogue in which we find out exactly what happened to everyone in as few words as possible.
This book is fun enough to just read, but I didn’t really get emotionally invested in it. Characters can die and I don’t really care. Not good!