The Little Prince

This is yet another classic story for children that I've wanted to read for years. I was hoping for something thoughtful, something that would make children and adults alike to stop and think and it's exactly what I got. This may be a book written for children but, just like A Wrinkle in Time, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has wisdom to share to anyone who picks it up.

The book is short, just over 100 pages and there are illustrations on nearly every page. We meet the main character in the beginning, most probably a man but his name is never given. He talks about the dreams he had when he was little and the career he choice as an adult. He is a pilot and it’s after a crash in the African desert that he meets the Little Prince. This tiny boy is from another planet and he recounts the story of how he ended up on Earth and all the things he saw and all the people he met on his journey to the main character.

This novel was just as lovely as I hoped it would be. It might seem somewhat boring but it’s a story that makes you look around the world and think. The book was written 1943 but many things mentioned in it is accurate today as well. I think the mark of a good book is one that you can read anytime and that applies to more than one aspect of history. If you can read something that’s 50 years old and it’s still accurate then that’s a story that can really teach us about life and about who we are as people. The Little Prince certainly does that. Not only does it tell children how important and amazing they are, it also tells adults about the mistakes we make and how we need to view the world more as children because they see no limits.

One thing that I really liked about the story was the fact that we don’t know the name of the main character, or even if it is, in fact, a man. As an adult I can assume that it is a man based on the fact that the character worked as a pilot around 1940, not many women did that. But children don’t see it that way, for them the main character could just as well be a woman and I believe this makes it easier for them to relate to the story. All in all, this is certainly a novel that works for both young and old. I think we can all learn something from The Little Prince and I think it’s important to read books like this from time to time to remind ourselves to look at the bigger picture.

A Wrinkle in Time

This novel is a classic and it’s not hard to see why. Madeleine L’Engle has created a story that has enthralled countless readers and will soon become a movie. It is, I suppose, a book made for children but I think adults as well as kids will get something out of this read.

Meg is a young girl who doesn’t fit into school, she’s not understood by neither teachers nor the headmaster and she’s seen as weird. Her little brother, Charles Wallace, is bullied as well because he is not at all like a regular five-year-old boy. They live with their mother and their twin brothers after their father disappeared a year earlier. The people in town says he left the family to be with another woman but Meg knows in her heart that that’s not true. When Meg and Charles Wallace meets Calvin O’Keefe and Charles introduces them to his friends, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the three friends leave Earth to search the universe in order to save Meg and Charles’ father. It is an adventure that will change them forever and one were the fate of the universe rests on their shoulders.

This novel is made for children and it’s obvious. The plotline isn’t quite as intricate as novels for teenagers or adults are, but the characters have a surprising amount of depth. Charles Wallace is very intelligent and he brings a lot to the story with his analytical way of seeing the world. Meg is considered stupid because she can’t get good grades but she’s smart in her own way and I think a lot of girls can relate to her. She’s twelve in the novel and I believe she’s a good role model for readers in this age. She is often scared, angry and misunderstood but she evolves a lot throughout the novel. Calvin is a year or two older than her but despite being bigger and stronger he never takes over. The spotlight in this story is for Meg. I hope a lot of girls (and boys!) that feel like they don’t fit in can see the strength in Meg and the power that comes from being yourself.

The story explores a lot of interesting things, not only the obvious one which is the fight between good and evil. Meg’s father has been taken by the evil IT and the children must fight so that the light in the universe wins. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which are not human but kind beings that helps the children fight IT. During the adventure Meg and the others also meet beings for other planets and it’s fun to see how different they are and how they view life. I think both children and adults will enjoy this story because it makes you think and it gives the reader a chance to see the world in a new light. And, of course, it’s an exciting adventure through space with a relatable heroin at the helm. What more do you need?

The King of Attolia

This is the third novel in Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series so if you haven’t read the first two (The Thief and The Queen of Attolia) but you plan to then stop reading now to avoid spoilers! If you have read the first books but not the third, these are the reasons why you should continue the series:

The second novel ends with Gen, the thief of Eddis, becoming king of Attolia and the third novel is all about his new life and all the complicated situation he’s put himself in. Unlike many men, Gen never wanted to be king of Attolia, all he wanted was to be with the queen. Being king was something he had to accept if he wanted to marry the queen and now Gen needs to learn to live his new life in a new country surrounded by people who hate him. The Attolians doesn’t accept him, the Captain of the Guard is a constant thorn in his side and his attendants do everything to make his life hell. Political controversies brew in the Attolian capital while Gen drags a random soldier from the royal guard into the political craziness. But it’s not a random soldier and Gen is not doing it for his own amusement. As always, the former Thief of Eddis has a secret agenda with everything he does.

It took me over three months to read this book but that is because a number of reasons, one of which is not, however, that I didn’t like the novel. It’s the opposite, actually. I really enjoy this series and this might well have been the best of the three novels. As always, Whalen Turner is an excellent writer and Gen is just as perfect as always. He is a great main character, he can make you laugh, he can make you angry and he always makes you question how it is that he seems to know everything about everyone. Most importantly, he grows very much in every book and it’s really nice to see him evolve throughout the story. His tentative and sweet love story with the queen is also lovely, mostly because it’s important for him but it’s not mentioned very much. There are no love-dovey scenes between them because the book, the entire series, isn’t about their relationship. It’s about them as people, about their country and about their neighbouring countries. The love story is subdued and it makes it even better and even sweeter.

In this novel we meet a new character in Costis, the guard Gen promotes for seemingly no reason. At first Costis, like most people, dislikes Gen but the more he’s around the new king the more he starts to respect the former Thief of Eddis. Costis brings a new and interesting perspective to the story and with him comes the possibility to see Attolia in a new and different light. We also get to see Gen from a new perspective and Costis is, in my opinion, a great addition to the novel. He has his own side story but the main focus stays on Gen and Attolia’s monarchy.

What I like the most about this series is the fact that nothing is ever as it seems and Gen is so good at tricking people in his surroundings, however, he manages to trick the reader as well. He keeps surprising me and I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble he gets into next and how he’s going to try and get out of it. Whalen Turner's story about the Thief of Eddis is certainly one of the best fantasy novels out there and you should definitely give it a chance!