The Family

The Family

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Strange Lands

Reading is one of our favorite adventures.

It takes us through lands unknown, to places we would never travel otherwise.

Take where we're at now for instance. Somewhere in the mythical land of Prydain between Caer Dallben and Caer Cadarn in pursuit of a black cauldron.

We came across the first of Lloyd Alexander's fantasy novels "The Book of Three" this summer at our library. The book was displayed on a table, and Jack picked it up because he thought the cover was cool.

That was the beginnings of our travels through the Prydain chronicles with an assistant pig-keeper and his lovable and equally annoying sidekicks. We're now on the second in the series, "The Black Cauldron."

I can't quite put my finger on how to describe the series. The best I can offer is that it's a twisted mix between C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" and J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Lord of the Rings."

Equally unusual is the land, or should I say time, I found myself traveling through during my own late-night reading adventures.

"A Tale for the Time Being" is about two realistic characters that find themselves somewhere between reality and a mystical world in which time and fate can be altered.

Its central theme, suicide, is not for the faint of heart. Had I known that suicide would be such a prevalent element of the story I might have passed this one by. But the wisdom and pathos woven so beautifully throughout made the tough parts bearable. Especially toward the end.

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