the owl service

' "She wants to be flowers," said Huw, "but you make her owls. Why do we destroy ourselves?"
"She wants to be flowers, but you make her owls. You must not complain, then, if she goes hunting." '

The Owl Service
(Page 97+98)

When it comes to Alan Garner, there are six of his books you must read:


I've read all but Red Shift.
But it's only a matter of time.
He's come to be one of my favourite authors in a very short space of time.
I'm only sorry i didn't start devouring his works when i was much younger.
The terror and exhilaration they would have caused me as a child would have been nothing short of bewitching.
Some things are better experienced in the first flush of youth.
Naivety and a healthy respect for the dark and all its creatures naturally gives charge to the type of tales Garner lives to spin.
Luckily, as an 'adult', the dark still gives me comfort and the creeps, so Garner's stories aren't lost on me.
The Owl Service is however my least favourite so far.
I'm unsure why.
Maybe because the children are such little shits i couldn't give a damn what happened to them?
Or that the fantastical element of this particular story was more suggested than seen - perhaps a little under-suggested for my liking.
More than likely it's both.
I like my fantasy to hit me where it hurts and my characters to have depth and at least a smidgen of amiability.
Even the most curmudgeonly, ill-tempered brute needs a relatable characteristic to keep the reader interested.
Or is that just me?

Here's hoping Red Shift will be more to my liking.
And then there's The Stone Book Quartet to look forward to.
Be still my fantasy-loving heart.