Joy Chant’s Red Moon and Black Mountain is a wonderful portal story that would be classified as YA today. Three English children travel to a world of magic, where they have some quite trying adventures. The eldest boy, in particular, goes through the most difficult adventure most of us ever have: adolescence. But he does so in a horse-warrior tribe, where he is recognized as the saviour who will eventually defeat the Dark Lord in single combat.
Chant infuses these well-worn tropes with a sensitivity that elevates them to the very special. But while her imagery and narrative have faded in the two or three decades since I have read the book, the denouement remains fresh in my mind.