- Title: The Whispering Mountain
- Author: Joan Aiken
- ISBN: 9780765342416
- Page: 291
- Format: Paperback
Winner of the Guardian Prize for FictionIn the small town of Pennygaff, where Owen has been sent to live after his mother s death, a legendary golden harp has been found Knowing of the prophesy of the Harp of Teirtu, Owen must prevent the magic harp from falling into the evil clutches of its reputed owner, the sinister and diabolical Lord Mayln But it won t be easy OwenWinner of the Guardian Prize for FictionIn the small town of Pennygaff, where Owen has been sent to live after his mother s death, a legendary golden harp has been found Knowing of the prophesy of the Harp of Teirtu, Owen must prevent the magic harp from falling into the evil clutches of its reputed owner, the sinister and diabolical Lord Mayln But it won t be easy Owen and his friend Arabis are plunged into a hair raising adventure of intrigue, kidnapping, exotic underground worlds, savage beastseven murder.For only too late will Owen learn that Lord Mayln will stop at nothing to have the golden harp.
Recent Comments "The Whispering Mountain"
I read this for the #1968 Club - here is a link to my review:perfectretort/20
Not strictly a prequel to the Wolves of Willoughby Chase sequence (our young hero Owen Hughes re-appears around the time of the plot to slide St Paul’s Cathedral into the Thames at a coronation, in The Cuckoo Tree), The Whispering Mountain can nevertheless be enjoyed as a standalone novel. It also adds to our knowledge and understanding of Joan Aiken’s alternative history of the world in the early 19th century, sometimes called the James III sequence or, as I prefer to call it, the Dido Twit [...]
I love this book. Another one I've read over and over.Aiken is a genius.Owen is an outcast in his town. Grudgingly taken care of by his grandfather, picked on by the bigger boys, Owen is nonetheless trying to make the best of things.Then a chance encounter with an old friend turns into a bigger adventure with a search for a stolen harp, the discovery of a lost race of people, and the search for the truth about his own, and his friend's past.Aiken writes a complex and compelling story, deftly wea [...]
This was a creative and surreal fantasy novel, taking readers to a world filled with magic, both good and evil, with a character who anyone can relate to.
First published in 1968, this romantic and slightly whimsical novel with has all the hallmarks of a children's classic. The extensive use of the Welsh language and its mythology adds a distinctive touch and the characters, especially Arabis, are a delight. The perfect introduction to Joan Aiken's world.
"Although the harp was dirty and broken, Owen thought it one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen, and he could not forbear passing his hand round the graceful, flowing lines of the frame, and then plucking with the tip of his finger at the last remaining string. The sound it gave out was low but piercingly clear; it seemed to fill the whole room with echoes."Owen Hughes has a tough life. His crochety grandfather who runs the Pennygaff museum takes him for granted and constantly finds f [...]
I had to take a couple of runs at this book to get through it over the years. The only connection to the Wolves sequence is a very passing mention that Owen grew up on the good ship Thrush. Other than that, nada.I remember my mom checking this book out of the library when it came out back in 1968 (or probably 1970 for it to get to our tiny rural library). I also vaguely remember it was returned unfinished, and over the years I wondered why. Now I know. Not content with cod-Welsh (happy we are, i [...]
This is one of the first books I actually remember being given and reading as a child (the other two are Bambi and Lloyd Alexander's The Book of Three). I think it might have been what spawned my lifelong love of Things Welsh. Owen's adventures with the Harp of Teirtu and the quest of the Seljuk of Rum to find his missing people are exciting, endearing, and great fun. There's music, poetry, kidnapping, spelunking, a pretty girl with a tame crow, and royalty-in-disguise ("Jamie Neddie Stuart", if [...]
I love the language in this book -- a spectacular display of gorgeous phrases, lost words, and perfectly-pitched dialect, from Welsh idioms to 17th-century scientific jargon to London thieves' cant.
Loved it! I see why the Wolves of Willoughby Chase series stuck in my head for so long, and I kept wanting to find the rest of the series. The range of accents portrayed was amazing! I loved the characters and think this would be a great story to read to kids, with the exception that the end resolved things by killing off the bad guys. Growing up this was my main idea for solving theoretical issues, and I think it's great when I find clever solutions in stories that protect people, and also don' [...]
It is our world and yet it is decidedly Aiken's world too described by her as ‘‘alternate-history fantasies’’ set within the early nineteenth century, this is a wonderful story whose plot, characters and language are as richly woven as the world. A story about a wicked Marquess' desperate attempt to capture an ancient, golden harp and the town's museum ownership and his grandson's attempts to stop him, as with many of the Wolves Chronicles, we have here a story which respects the past an [...]
This book isn't actually a sequel to The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, or either of the two following novels in that series - but it is set in the same world. There are no crossover characters from any of the previous books, but the new characters are fascinating and memorable, and the story is every bit as engaging and enjoyable as any of the others. That would be because Joan Aiken is such a stellar writer. And if this is your first introduction to 18th/19th century British thieves cant, you'll [...]
Eh, since it's written with a lot of Welsh vocabulary and speech it's kinda hard to zip through this book. I often had to look up how to pronounce things properly which I'm super anal about. hahaOverall though, it was a nice little adventure type book with mystery and humor thrown in. Not sure I will continue reading the series it was a little dry for me.
A bit too convoluted.
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.I love Joan Aiken's books so much. Every year or so I go on an Aiken kick where I read a bunch of books in her amazing Wolves series. The thing about those books is that they always look so boring from the cover description and synopsis, but are actually amazing books full of humor, terror, mischief, and clever plot twists that make things fun. You always know the young main characters won't come to any real harm, but anyone else is fair g [...]
Joan Aiken was always one of my favorites. Her stories are mysterious and a little dark, though not too scary, but exciting and funny, too. The perfect combo for a great middle-grade read. I love her vivid characters and the way they change and the surprising twists and turns of plot. After reading:This is a little book, and occasionally more brief than I wanted it to be, but Joan Aiken is a fabulous author with valuable insights into what makes a book for children work. Her knowledge of the his [...]
That indefinable Aiken magic. I enjoyed this book so much, and the cover too, that I decided I will have to collect quality early hardback editions of all of Joan Aiken's books for my collection. The cover treatment, (similar to Arthur Ransome's original covers for the Swallows & s series but arguably more skilful), illustrates the whole book on the dust jacket. Small interlocking cameo drawings cover the book, and make no sense until you reach the relevant part of the story, although they b [...]
zomg welsh <3 <3 <3 <3 <3Okay, there are loads of good things about this book. If you've got the accent ability, reading it aloud to kids would possibly be the greatest thing ever. All the different accents of the 19th-century British isles are here and they are almost too fun to bear. The dialogue in this book is its best feature and makes it vastly more awesome than if it were just a good adventure story featuring a harp. I love how you can tell where most of the characters hail [...]
"The Whispering Mountain" is a story that has been with me since I was about ten years old. My local library had an audio play version of it, and I borrowed it so many times I must have blocked many others from ever getting their hands on it. By the time I understood this was actually based on a book, I was three years older and went and bought the book right away (back then, in German; more recently, in English).I have read and re-read it countless times in the 20+ years since, and it is still [...]
This was the fourth book in Aiken's James III sequence, but chronologically, it's a prequel, self-contained and entirely satisfying all on its ownsome. Full of wonderful Welsh dialect and phrases, it's an adventure set in the valleys and mountains and caves around Fig Hat Ben, the Whispering Mountain of the title. We join the action more or less in full swing. Our hero Owen Hughes is bracing himself for a confrontation with some bullies, but soon has a lot more on his mind as the local Marquess [...]
I found this book on my own shelves but cannot figure out from where it came. It was a winner of the 1969 Guardian Prize for fiction, an annual literary award that recognizes one fiction book written for children or young adults that is published in the United Kingdom.Overall, it is a delightful romp - Tolkien-influenced but a much quicker read that is appropriate for all ages. I had a bit of a time getting into it due to the writing style, which is peppered with Welsh words for effect. That sai [...]
When a golden harp is found near the Welsh town of Pennygaff, it sets off a series of events that have unexpected results. As the museum curator, Mr. Hughes believes he should have custody of the harp, but there are several other claimants, including the Marquess of Malyn, who collects items made of gold. Young Owen Hughes, Mr. Hughes' grandson decides to run away to sea, since his grandfather doesn't seem to appreciate him, and writes a note for his grandfather. But then two thieves appear to s [...]
After a legendary harp is discovered in a ruined Welsh monastery by his grandfather, young Owen Hughes must brave wild beasts, lost tribes, and desperate men to save the harp from a murderous lord.This was charming and non-precious YA fantasy. I especially liked the process by which people initially antipathetic toward Owen (his grandfather, his school mates, the universe at large) become his allies. Instead of blinding (and vocalized) character epiphanies, they become grudgingly sympathetic onl [...]
I thoroughly enjoyed this young adult fantasy. A beautiful story and very entertaining. I will admit that the Welsh language used throughout had me confused until I found the 'Glossary of Welsh Words' in the back. Even then I was unsure of how they would sound in real life, but I had no problem at all with the Prince's Scottish brogue. If one knew more of both accents, I imagine it would be very fun for young listeners if someone were to read 'The Whispering Mountain' to them. I, in fact, wish t [...]
Another fun book from Aiken. I am reading the Wolves books in order of publication, so I read this 4th. The edition I read had some editing problems that were enough to be distracting (1996 Tom Doherty). One thing I didn't really understand is why everyone suddenly cared so much about a harp, but it was still a fun adventure. The language might be difficult for middle grade readers, but I think they would really like the story.
Just finished reading this out loud to my daughter, Kate. This was one of my all-time favourite books from childhood, and I read it many times growing up. So it was a joy to read it to her (although I am quite certain I made a complete hash of the Welsh scattered throughout) and Kate really enjoyed it too. The plot is action-packed, the characters are interesting, but it's the language that makes this book so good: the thieves' cant is especially enjoyable. Highly recommended!
Dies Buch war das erste, was ich von Joan Aiken gelesen habe (vor fast 30 Jahren) und ich besitze es heute noch (mit allen anderen Büchern von ihr, die ich kriegen konnte). Absolut lesenswert. Liebevoll gezeichnete Charaktere, wunderschöne Beschreibungen, die einen nicht erschlagen und eine super spannende Geschichte über einen Jungen und seine Freunde, die eine magische Harfe vor einem sehr, sehr bösen Mann retten müssen.
The story is captivating enough to have kept me reading past the pitfalls of excessively clever use of dialect and obscure slang and Aiken's standard dispatch of poor wolves out in the wilderness minding their own business.I thoroughly enjoyed it; some very striking landscape in this one, and nicely twisted plotting.
Aiken + youth lit + Wales = I read this in middle school. Remembering anything about it, other than I liked it, is pretty much impossible. I really need to re-read some Aiken and remember why I loved her work so much as a kid. I also remember that finding Aiken books was a pain in the neck when I was younger. Hopefully she's been re-published a bit now.
Set in the same world as Aiken's Wolves series (listed as Wolves 0 in ). It's an alternate historical novel which "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" tells me is set in an 1830ish Wales where the king is James. Good juvenile, but she uses a smattering of Welsh words (most of which are in a small vocabulary list at the back) and thieves' cant, if that kind of stuff bothers you.
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