Monday, 14 April 2014

The Farthest Away Mountain: Feminist Fantasy

I first read The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks in about 1988 (it was first published in 1976). Many moons later, I just read it to my little girl - and found it even more fascinating than I did first time round. But before I tell you why, let's talk about the front cover of the 1988 Lions paperback edition.

It looks like some sort of Scandi-goddess tarot card! Or is the Book of Hours I'm thinking of?

Look at the verdant pagan symbolism in the border. Look at how Dakin's got the glowing magic ring levitating between her hands, powered no doubt by her sheer awesomeness. Even her hair glows white, no doubt scaring off witches with it's own gleaming purity.

And the mountain? It's dayglo.

Just cool. Like the book.

Most of the other covers of this book that I've seen  look like pastiches of Little Red Riding Hood, with Dakin staring up at the farthest-away mountain looking somewhat daunted. And Dakin is never daunted. Well, not much. So if you ever get the chance get this one. Anyhow, on to the book - and then an analysis of the book.

Get yourself a cup of tea... there's a lot in here....