As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

March 25, 2013

A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET by Madeleine L’Engle, 1978

In this companion volume to A Wrinkle in Time (Newbery Award sinner) and A Wind in the Door, fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace and the unicorn Gaudior undertake a perilous journey through time in a desperate attempt to stop the destruction of the world by the mad dictator Madog Branzillo. They are not alone in their quest. Charles Wallace's sister, Meg - grown and expecting her first child, but still able to enter her brother's thoughts and emotions by "kything" - goes with him in spirit. But in overcoming the challenges, Charles Wallace must face the ultimate test of his faith and will, as he is sent within four people from another time, there to search for a way to avert the tragedy threatening them all. (Goodreads)

Review by Emily, basically a bibliophile

Honestly, the first time I read this, it was for the cover. The old cover, the one with the magnificent flying pegasus front and center. I was at the time obsessed with unicorns. And I didn't understand the story a bit, but I loved Gaudior even so. I think that was in first or second grade.
A few years later, I read the story again, and understood it better, and loved it more, even though the paperback that my mother owned had had the cover ripped off because of excessive use. I got another copy, with a less lovely cover, and read it again. This time I knew a little more about the story, and some of the themes that I hadn't gotten at all started showing up. Instead of reading it solely for Gaudior's appearances between chapters, I started reading it for Charles Wallace and Meg, because something was going on, and it was a great, grand thing that they were doing.
Then I read it again, after reading the rest of the series, and things that had made no sense before suddenly did. The reason that Meg and Charles Wallace were hardly fazed by their grand adventures came clear, for one thing. And the tessering that they kept talking about, I knew what it was and what they had done it for. And the kything, too. And I understood a little more of why Meg and Charles Wallace and the twins were needed to keep the Ecthroi from the world. It is because humans must make their own choices, and some make good ones and some make bad, and no one makes right or wrong choices all the time. But we can still try to be better than we were before, if we only have the chance. That is the reason why Charles Wallace risks so much, is so brave, becomes so strong. It is because he believes that those choices are worth protecting.
A while ago, I was looking around in a used book store, and found the book with its old cover, the one that show Gaudior leaping out of the reach of some terrible creatures who are trying to drag him down.
I may read it again soon. I'll probably keep finding things to love about A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET. Indeed, my favorite books are always the ones that I can read over and over and still find unexpected layers in.

Market: Young Adult
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: Love, good vs. evil, forgiveness

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