BENEATH THE HILL by Jane Louise Curry
Kirkus Star


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From the author of Down From the Lonely Mountain, a fine collection of Indian tales, comes a fantasy rooted in the quixotic to contemplative nature of children and the concerns of Celtic-Arthurian legend. It begins, personally, circumstantially, with a trick treasure hunt, and mounts to a harrowing confrontation of good and evil, as the make-believe treasure becomes more-than-real, as the Bane, a scar on the mountainside created by strip-mining, becomes not only a threat to the landscape but also a threat to the existence of the Fair Folk of the Dark Wood (y Tylwyth Teg) who dwell within the mountain. Who are these folk, stranded so strangely somewhere in the Alleghenies? They set sail from Wales many years earlier from their mystical homeland of Tir na'nOg and found themselves, accidentally, in America, where they set up housekeeping in the caverns of a mountain previously inhabited by the Avenaki Indians. In the struggle to contain the evil which the Bane is unloosing, three very individual children find themselves the allies--sometimes wonderstruck, sometimes uneasy--of the Fair Folk. Before a way is found, Miggle, Arthur (Dub), and Stevie learn much about their own character from their farseeing friends. And in the end: ""The Bane grew green. The...spring overflowed even in the drought of August. And the folk came at last to Tir na' nOg."" Despite the stilted medieval speech of the Fair Folk, this will hold conviction for the imaginative child; in the words of Maclin, ""A Keen ear and a keen heart that holds nothing impossible sees much."" It has elements of Green Knowe and Wrinkle in Time--fine company for any fantasy to keep.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1967
ISBN: 0595155227
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World