Book Review: A Swiftly Tilting Planet – Madeleine L’Engle

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this companion volume to "A Wrinkle In Time" (Newbery Award winner) 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.


Surprisingly wonderful! I’m not sure what has changed… maybe L’Engle switched editors? I have no idea but “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” is a great story. Yes, an actual honest to goodness story. It is not just a choppy assortment of events, which is how the first two books seemed to me. I found myself interested in what was going to happen next and becoming emotionally invested in the characters. Plus, any book that has the phrase “I am a mere unicorn” can’t be all bad. Now, this is not to say that L’Engle hasn’t included a larger message in the story. She stays true to form on that but instead of trying to beat you over the head with it, you learn the lesson through reading about how the actions of the characters affect the world around them. It is both delightful and fascinating. The Echthroi have developed into the true villain of the story. They are evil entities bent on conquering the universe as young Charles Wallace sets out on a quest to stop them. What I loved about this story is how the quest takes you back in time and you follow a family generation after generation. The decisions of each generation effect the outcome of, not only the subsequent generation, but the world and then ultimately the universe. Also, I was tickled at how she dropped herself into the narrative for a quick cameo. As you read L’Engles describes a character that is an author, Matthew Maddox. Mathew has written a book, with a story line resembling “A Swiftly Tilting Planet”, going as far as to say, “There was also a unicorn in the story, who was a time traveler.” L’Engle refers to Mathew as a writer who “…had an uncanny intuition about the theories of space, time, and relativity…” Clearly describing, I think, how she feels about herself. A bold move, I liked it :-)

With “A Swiftly Titling Planet” she has redeemed herself in my eyes. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.