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Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 12/2013
  • 9780992776305
  • 108 pages
  • $9.99
Ebook Details
  • 02/2014
  • B00IO87O3G
  • 108 pages
  • $5.17
Paperback Details
  • 02/2014
  • 978-0992776312
  • 104 pages
  • $7.19
Will Ottley
Author
Mountain Garden
Will Ottley, author

This uplifting book of love, personal power and intuition is part fairy tale, part self-actualisation. Buckan, a brave young stag, embarks on a journey to find a mythical garden in order to gain the strength to save his fellow deer from the attacking wolves. The journey tests his faith and courage, and forces him to overcome his deepest fears. A tale of trust and bravery of heart, this compelling and poetic fable shows the importance of intuition and love.

Reviews
When marauding wolves and once-friendly lions threaten the deer realm, a young stag named Buckan is dispatched to ask the Great King Stag for help. The elder stag instructs Buckan to find the Mountain Garden, “a magical pace that he had heard mentioned in the fairy tales of his fawnhood,” and to “embrace the power” he finds there. The king’s warnings that Buckan’s greatest challenges lie ahead and that things “are not always as they seem” prove true as Buckan journeys through the perilous Dark Forest, encountering a conniving bat, a treacherous crocodile, and a hostile mountain goat. Ottley’s first novel is less an animal adventure aimed at children than an allegorical tale about summoning inner strength in order to triumph over dark, threatening forces. Holt’s bold, inky b&w illustrations, which have the feel of violently stroked watercolors, accent Buckan’s journey with dramatic and ominous notes. Though this fable of trust, forgiveness, redemption, and the strength-giving power of love occasionally gets caught up in its own portentousness, readers (especially adult ones) seeking a dose of spiritual affirmation can take heart in its message. All ages. (BookLife)
MOUNTAIN GARDEN - An Appreciation By ROBIN DUTT

May 5, 2014.

Mountain Garden is written in and as a classic picaresque narrative. It contains time-honoured, favourite writing styles including elements of the morality tale, fairy tale, epic and of course, the instructive fable. The pace is measured very deliberately, the words, spare. The stateliness of the actual pace links directly with the tale’s protagonist, Buckan, a creature who bears all the hallmarks of loyalty, spirituality, steadfastness, unselfishness and loyalty – in fact the perfect ‘gentil knight’ as Chaucer has it or the mediaeval knight chevalier based on earlier Arthurian legends.

Buckan is instantly recognisable as an Aslan-type figure and the stag itself is of course particularly linked to royalty – and especially depicted in heraldry the stag is often pure white in colour (with its attendant symbolism) and also depicted with a simple but impressive crown around its lower neck.

The tale is certainly atmospheric.

There seems also in Mountain Garden an undeniable folkloric element set at no particular time. It could be just as plausible to understand that the story is set in the long and distant past or indeed, so far into the future as to be positively post-apocalyptical. The odds are on the former but the latter cannot be eschewed either. In either case, the creatures have come to possess sophisticated human traits such as concepts of rivalry, hierarchy, treachery, position and power and of course, forging or switching alliances.

At times, Mountain Garden has the feel of a mediaeval romance itself based on, however lightly – say, Chaucer’s characterization of birds and animals such as ‘Parliament of Fowles’ or the arrogant farmyard cock Chanticleer in the Canterbury Tales. Tristan and Isolde too, perhaps?

The inclusion of rich, visual description, used strategically makes the text especially magnetic and enjoyable in places.

A spiritual journey, legendary quest, a fauna epic, betrayal versus heroism – Mountain Garden’s strength in the main lies in the fact that it has a familiar structure that resonates and reminds with childhood moments. It takes the reader on a vital journey through danger, right, wrong, faith but most of all – love. 

 

ROBIN DUTT  

Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 12/2013
  • 9780992776305
  • 108 pages
  • $9.99
Ebook Details
  • 02/2014
  • B00IO87O3G
  • 108 pages
  • $5.17
Paperback Details
  • 02/2014
  • 978-0992776312
  • 104 pages
  • $7.19

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