A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle

Published: 1978

Genre: YA science fiction/fantastical realism

Length: 278 pages

Setting: near the Murry’s house, various times in the past and present

Interest: It’s the third book in the Time Quartet I’m reading to Mr. Curiosity as a bedtime story.

Summary: The world is at a crisis point when Branzillo, the leader of Vespugia, threatens to unleash nuclear weapons. Branzillo seems to be linked to Mrs. O’Keefe’s family and she lays a charge on Charles Wallace to avert the crisis. Charles Wallace is visited by the unicorn, Gaudior. Gaudior takes Charles Wallace through time (but not space) where he goes Within different individuals to help them make the right choices and save the world. It always seems to come down to brother against brother, usually with power and a girl involved. Charles Wallace is able to change the past, using a powerful rune Mrs. O’Keefe told him, and save the present.

Final thoughts: I loved reading this book out loud. Even though the chapters are really long, it has such a lyrical quality to the text that makes it a joy to read out loud. The rune that was recited in several parts of the book (and made up the chapter titles) is good enough to turn into a handwriting project for Mr. Curiosity. Besides, it was good to catch up with the Murry family again (L’Engle was one of my favorite authors as a kid).

Charles Wallace again has to use his special abilities to save the world, without really knowing how to do so. L’Engle has the ability to weave the fantastical (unicorns and time travel) into a reality you’re sucked into. Everything doesn’t come out perfect, and we see the tragedies as well as the triumphs in the lives Charles Wallace inhabits. I never did figure out what Charles Wallace changed in the past in order to fix the future.

Title comes from: I’m not sure

Reading challenges fulfilled: 94/100 in my 100 Book Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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