CALL THE DARKNESS DOWN by Dixie Tenny

CALL THE DARKNESS DOWN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ghosts and witches surface in contemporary Wales--when American student Morfa Owen mixes some roots-hunting in with her regular studies at Camarthen College. As we learn via some uncommonly clumsy plot-exposition, Morfa--whose mother is Welsh-born--takes off for Wales on a foreign-study program, hoping to learn something about her mysterious maternal grandparents (who are never mentioned in the family). Once at school, however, other things naturally preoccupy bland young Morfa--the art of pub-crawling, a bouncy roommate, some handsome local lads. . . including Gareth, an intense Welsh Nationalist. Furthermore, she's disturbed by a slew of gothic manifestations: magical appearances by a strange dark man with fierce, warn-ing eyes; a visit to an ancient nearby cave, interrupted by the startling presence of a runaway ""witch-horse""; the usual brushes with deadly violence; plus--a dream that brings new awareness of the ""powers of Light and Darkness."" Could all these clichÉs be connected to those enigmatic grandparents? So it seems--as Morfa learns the Truth about her witch-grandma, whose long-ago spellmaking resulted in the deaths of her own beloved son and the first love (a Welsh Nationalist) of Morfa's mum. And where is Grandma now? In an asylum. But ""she's a witch, Morfa! Her power doesn't lessen because she's locked away!"" So it's up to Morfa--who can ""actually use the inner Power""--to duel with the witch's evil in an outdoor/astral showdown. Murky supernaturalism, seen through the eyes of a tepid narrator-heroine--but there's a bit of off-to-college appeal, and the Welsh background/lore may pull in a few curious readers.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1984
Publisher: Atheneum