Welsh Heritage for Teenagers: Alan Garner, Jenny Nimmo, Catherine Fisher
Chapter 5 concentrates on Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi (“The Four Branches of the Mabinogi”) and the tale of Taliesin. Alan Garner’s Carnegie Medal-winner The Owl Service (1967) is examined alongside Jenny Nimmo’s The Magician Trilogy (The Snow Spider, 1986, Emlyn’s Moon, 1987, and The Chestnut Soldier, 1989) and Catherine Fisher’s Darkhenge (2006). All three works are intrusion fantasies, in which the traditional narratives of Wales literally erupt into the primary world of the novels and become something much more powerful than just “old tales.” All three fantasy works reimagine (and have contemporary teenagers re-enact) particular scenes from Welsh legend in order to explore the transition from childhood to young adulthood in terms of personal, national, cultural, and class identity.
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