Posted in Children, Fantasy, Loved It

A Swiftly Tilting Planet

It all started with a Rune

In this fateful hour, I place all Heaven with its power
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath
And the lightning with its rapid wrath
And the sea with all its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness,
All these I place
By God’s almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness.

The Murray family are gathered for Thanksgiving Dinner when an emergency call comes in. Mad Dog “El Rabioso” Branzillo, a South American dictator, intends to follow through on his threat of nuclear war. It seems this will be the world’s last Thanksgiving. By this points in the quintet, Meg is married to Calvin O’Keefe and expecting their first child. Meg’s mother-in-law gives Charles Wallace the ruin. She had been given it by her grandmother to ward of evil. It seems there is power to those words.

That night Charles Wallace goes out and says the rune. A unicorn appears named Gaudior. The Echthros are at it again. It is Charles Wallace’s job to move through time and space to find the Might Have Been that has led to Mad Dog Branzillo being in a position to destroy the world.

In order to accomplish this Charles Wallace needs help. While Charles Wallace is traveling through time, Meg is helping him by finding out more about Madoc and Zyll. Supposedly there were a group of Welsh people that arrived in the New World years before the Pilgrims. It was two brothers Madoc and Gwydyr who left there home land because their father died and it caused a war among the brothers for the throne. Madoc and Gwydyr were the youngest children. So they left and went to the New World. Once they go there the boys get separated. Madoc thought Gwydyr was dead for many years. But he returns on the day Madoc is to marry the Indian chief’s daughter. Both men look similar but Gwydyr’s eyes are close set. Gwydyr has decided to conquer the tribe Madoc has been living with for these years and claim Zyll for his own. The men decide to battle using fire. But they have to make the fire. Maddoc used the rune to make fire. He also foresaw that there would be a baby with blue wide set eyes who would do good for his people. Madoc cllaed the baby El Zarco, or little blue eyes. This is the might have been. Gwydyr left himself open to the Echthros. The projection they want to come true is that Gwydyr’s descendant who would be terrible.

So Meg is doing some quick research into the history of Madoc as well as the history of Vespugia, the South American country where Branzillo rules. As Charles Wallace and Meg (via kything) travel through time they realize the ultimate Might-Have-Been occurred in 1865. Unfortunately, Charles Wallace and Gaudior can’t choose to go there. Meg meanwhile discovers that her mother-in-law is actually a descendant of Maddoc. Her maiden name had been Branwen Zillah Maddox.
Charles does change the Might-Have-Been. And the disaster is averted. Only Charles Wallace, Meg, and Mrs. O’Keefe really know what happened.

This is my favorite of the time quintet. I think it was the time. You know how much I love science fiction. It was really interesting watching how the family line progressed through the age. Especially how the names changed as the language changed. It was also interesting to see how some of the names well kept in the family over thousands of years i.e. Brandon, Zillah, Maddox, Branzillo, Branwen. This is definitely a great book for kids!!

Posted in Children, Fantasy, Liked It

A Wind in the Door

This is the second book in the Time Quintet written by Ms. L’Engle. This story once again deals primarily with Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin. Charles Wallace is having problems at school because he is so different from the other children in school. As a genius son of brilliant scientist parents, he knows things of which even the teachers are ignorant. He tells Meg that he sees a drive of dragons in the garden. Shortly thereafter he becomes ill- deathly ill. At the same time Charles becomes ill, his father, Mr. Murray, has made a disturbing discovery in his study of the cosmos. There appears to be a rip in space and several stars have vanished. He rushes to Washington to deal with the problem leaving his family alone.

Meg goes to the garden looking for the dragons. Instead she meets Proginoskes. What she thought was dragons was actually a cherubim which is composed of wings, eyes, wind and flame. She also meets the Teacher, Blageny. Blageny was sent to get Meg and Calvin (in addition to Proginoskes) to help Charles Wallace. Charles Wallace’s illness is caused by his farandolae.

Farandolae live inside the mitochondria of our cells. Just as mitochondria are independent of us, the farandolae are independent of them. If something is wrong with the farandolae, the mitochondria will die and so will the human host.

Blageny sets three trials that they must pass however he does not tell them what the trials will be. This is where we first see that all the Murray children have destinies. Sandy and Dennys are eventually to become Teachers like Blageny. Charles Wallace has been called to study with the Teachers because he has talent and powers that are needed. Meg is Namer a person with the ability to help people become what they truly are.

Meg, Progo, Calvin, and the school principal, Mr. Jenkins end up going into Charles Wallace’s mitochondria. There they have to battle the Ecthros who are trying to keep Charles Wallace’s farandolae from Deepening. They succeed but they suffer a casualty. Charles Wallace is saved.

I this was great. If it seems hard to understand, its because there is a lot of science fiction terminology. It makes a great deal more sense when you actually read it. There is a blend of sci-fi and religion. The Ecthros that are being battled against are “fallen angels.” We also see that even the smallest among us effects the battle between good and evil.