Review- A Swiftly Tilting Planet By Madeleine L’Engle

a swiftly tilting planet book cover

After reading and enjoying A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle, I was very excited to read the next book, A Swiftly Tilting Planet. This book is the third one in the Time Quintet series. When I read it, I found it even better than I expected. It made me like Madeleine L’Engle’s special way of mixing science fiction and fantasy even more.

In A Swiftly Tilting Planet, we see the Murry family getting together for Thanksgiving. The plot gets really interesting when the President phones Mr. Murry and tells him about a dangerous situation: a leader from South America might use nuclear weapons. This starts an exciting journey. Charles Wallace, who is now a teenager, and a unicorn named Gaudior go on a special mission. They travel through time trying to stop this scary event from happening.

The author dives deeper into kything, a special way of talking using the mind, which she first brought up in an earlier book. This method is used by Charles Wallace and his sister Meg, who is expecting a baby and stays at home. This mind-to-mind communication makes their bond stronger and makes the story more interesting. It’s like they have a secret, silent way to share thoughts and feelings, no matter how far apart they are. This adds a cool and deep part to both their relationship and the whole story.

This book is notable for its in-depth exploration of historical and genealogical themes. L’Engle skillfully blends the past with the present. The character Charles Wallace travels through various periods in American history, influencing events and people to change the future. This examination of how time and actions are interconnected is both thought-provoking and beautifully crafted. The book illustrates how past events can have an impact on the present and future, encouraging readers to consider the significance of every action in the grand tapestry of time. The author manages to present these complex ideas in a clear and engaging manner.

The character growth in this story is notable, particularly that of Charles Wallace. He transforms from the exceptionally intelligent child in the earlier books to a complex and introspective teenager. He wrestles with greater responsibilities and the significance of his mission. This development is portrayed with sensitivity, allowing readers who have followed the series to connect with his journey. Meg’s role, while not central in terms of physical action, is crucial in providing emotional support. Her transition into adulthood and the journey toward motherhood are significant. This aspect of her character adds depth to the narrative, showcasing her evolving role and personal growth. The book effectively illustrates these changes in a manner that enriches the story.

L’Engle’s books often talk about the battle between good and bad, the importance of making choices, and how what we do can affect things later on, even far into the future. In A Swiftly Tilting Planet, she digs into these ideas in a way that shows the characters have grown up. The story tells us that solving big world problems and finding peace starts with what each person decides to do. This idea is very meaningful today. It’s like saying that everyone’s actions, even small ones, are important and can help make the world a better place. This message from the book feels very relevant and important, especially considering the challenges our world faces now.

The story becomes more interesting because it includes different cultural and historical details. L’Engle is good at mixing these parts into the story in a way that doesn’t make it too hard for the reader. She describes the different places and times so well that you feel like you are traveling with Charles Wallace on his adventure. This makes the book not just a story, but a journey through various parts of history and culture, all while keeping it easy to understand and enjoyable to read.

But, if you hasn’t read the other books in the series, you might feel a little lost with the complicated time-travel parts and the detailed ways characters are connected across different times. L’Engle does give some background information, but knowing the stories from the earlier books really helps to get totally wrapped up in this one. It’s like jumping into the middle of a long, twisty story – you can still enjoy it, but you’ll understand and enjoy it more if you know what happened before.

Overall, A Swiftly Tilting Planet is a great example of Madeleine L’Engle’s talent in creating a story that makes you think and also touches your heart. It picks up the themes and storylines from her earlier books and adds new things that make the overall story even better. This book doesn’t just go on with the story; it goes deeper, helping us understand more about the world of the Time Quintet and its main message.

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