The Dark Crystal by A.C.H.
The Dark Crystal
A Spellbinding Novel of Fantasy and Adventure
An Owl Book
Henson Organization Publishing
Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Copyright 1982 by Henson Associates, Inc.
|This is the cover of Smith's novel. My copy is a bit beat up. Unfortunately, I purchased this one through the Amazon.com used book search before I discovered the wonders of the ABE Search search service where you can choose the condition of your book vs price with hundereds of different booksellers. |
The Dark Crystal is based on the movie produced by Jim Henson and Gary Kurtz, directed by Jim
Henson and Frank Oz, with David Lazer as executive producer, screenplay by David Odell, and conceptual
design by Brian Froud.
Photographs by Murray Close and John Lawrence-Jones.
Cover Illustration by Brian Froud
ISBN 0-03-062436-3 (pbk)
8 pages of color stills from the movie
7" x 4" x 0.25"
Under each of these headings in
the book, there are progressive illustrations representing the three suns slowly combining to one. Nice touch! Shown below are portions of these headings from Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.
Chapter 1 : In the Forge of Thunder|
Chapter 2 : On Aughra's High Hill
Chapter 3 : With So Many Questions
Chapter 4 : In Country Mirth
Chapter 5 : At the Houses of the Old Ones
Chapter 6 : To the Castle
Chapter 7 : Into the Dark
Chapter 8 : The Fire Below
Chapter 9 : When Single Shines the Triple Sun
I wanted to include these quotes
because they provide information about the world of the dark crystal.
Jen and Aughra are talking about the Castle of the Skeksis:
" 'They built it, them. Was a
mountain, Crystal was inside mountain, down a shaft, in a cave, old cave, with a floor. That's where I
was, on the floor, spirals I remember, when I saw it. Lost this." She tapped her empty
socket again. "Then they came, after Great Conjunction done, they cut castle out of mountain rock.'"
- from the chapter "On Aughra's High Hill" page 61
Jen and Aughra discuss the origins of many crystal shards she has collected:
" 'You know what I
think? Skeksis scatter them all over place so right one don't get found.' "
-- from the chapter "On
Aughra's High Hill" page 64
Jen and Aughra speak some more about the origin of the Crystal shard and shed some light onto the
nature of the Skeksis:
"When Skeksis hit big Crystal -- Kakoi they call doing that -- bang,
cracks, and bits, but this shard flies off, huh? Oh, such noise! Tone-deaf, Skeksis went then, that time. I
think that sound still going on in castle. Must be. Too big to decay. On and on."
-- from the chapter
"On Aughra's High Hill" page 65
Jen makes the shard resonate:
"As Jen gazed at the three shards an idea began to form.
Aughra's talk about the sound of the crystal had reminded him of the high-pitched, double notes that had
resounded in urSu's cave as the image of the shard was disappearing.
Jen blew the notes
he remembered. They hung shrill in the air for a long time, under the dome. And then, like an overtone,
the same sound raised an octave became audible. It was a pure sound."
-- from the chapter "On
Aughra's High Hill" page 66
The nature of the urRu, Skeksis, Mystics, and the Crystal is described in this passage:
the division after the Great Conjunction eons ago, the Skeksis had left the urRu to themselves in their
valley. They had to: the object and its mirror image could not be combined except in cancellation of both.
In any case, the Skeksis never had needed the urRu: impractical, old, chanting visionaries, obsessed
solely with their collective inner life, their values diametrically opposed to those to which the Skeksis
Shortly after the division, the Skeksis had discovered that by breaking the Crystal they
could entrap malevolent energies that, on the molecular level, were visible as the dark coloring it took on.
After some research, the Scientist had explained that the Crystal had a spiral linkage in its molecular
structure from which it derived the property of rotating the plane of polarization of a beam of polarized
light. When the three suns were conjoined directly overhead, such a polarized power emanated from
them that it would untwist the spiral linkage, clear the crystal of color, and produce a focused beam of the
most intense concentration. But once the Crystal had been broken, its spiral linkage could not be
untwisted. The light of the Great Conjunction would irradiate the Skeksis with energy, but a left-handed
energy only, darkly colored, rich in malevolence.
The Skeksis had profited prodigiously from the
knowledge and from their control of the Crystal within the fortress they had carved from the mountain that
contained it. Along all the ley-lines of energy around the planet, they had continuously fed noxious pulses,
fomenting misery and weakness throughout their world. And along the same ley-lines they had sucked in
the geodynamic energies. The lightning Jen had seen was focused into the Standing Stones and
transmitted to the castle. The Skeksis controlled the nodal points of the planet by terrestrial
Thus it was that the Skeksis had always been able to ignore the urRu. The spy
crystals had never monitored them, nor had they been visited by Garthim. Apart from the Standing
Stones, nothing at all in that valley ever could have represented a threat to the empirical tyranny of the
Skeksis. The valley of the urRu was an enclave of notions, the province of clouds, nothing more."
from the chapter "The Fire Below" pages 163-164
The last page:
" 'We are urSkeks. Long ago, in our folly and our ignorance, we almost
destroyed this world. We entered the great Crystal, intending to purge ourselves of the imperfections
within. Instead, we shattered the Crystal - and ourselves - into urRu and Skeksis. But the world we
sundered has been made whole by your courage, your sacrifice. You have freed us from this world again,
to return to the next world, rejoined in our original form. Now we make you again one. Hold her to you.
She is part of you as we all are part of each other. You restored the true power of the Crystal. Make your
world in its light.'
The urSkek raised its translucent hand, deflecting the beam of light onto Kira,
who moved in Jen's arms and opened her eyes, her wound healing. The chant reached a
Clasping each other, Jen and Kira watched as the urSkeks traveled up along the beams
of light and, entering the Crystal, apocalyptically transformed, passed through it into another astral
The chamber was silent. The three suns above the Crystal moved out of their Great
THE END, at which the endless spinning world enjoins a new beginning . . .
-- from the chapter "When Single Shines the Triple Sun" page 186
My Take on The Dark Crystal by A.C.H.
This is an excellent novelization. Reading this book really allows the reader to be immersed in the entire world
of the Dark Crystal. I loved experiencing the events of the movie in this excellent adaptation. Smith adds many
dimensions to presenting the world of the Dark Crystal. While providing wonderful visual descriptions, there is also
a strong attention to the sounds of the world. Sounds, from the Mystics nine chord chant, to the tones of the Crystal,
Jen's pipe, Kira's song, and the sounds of the environment, fill the pages as their interrelationships are subtly
described. I really can't say enough about this book. It is a must for anyone that not only wants to relive the events of
the movie, but see it all with so much more development. Much insight into the individual Skeksis, Mystics, and the
nature of the Crystal and the urRu is presented within these pages. My only problem with it is that I want to know
what happens after the Crystal is healed! But, this book ends in the same fashion as the movie with much left to the
The color stills from the movie are much appreciated as well. There are fourteen different images. Twelve of the
images are 3" x 4" and two (Jen on the Crystal and Aughra) are 4" x 6". As usual, as soon as I can get them scanned,
I'll include them on this page. The images look like screen shots from the movie and cover the general action in the
Send any comments or messages to email@LauraKnauth.com
Page last updated: January 21, 1999.