Toothiana Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies

The Guardians: Book Three

by William Joyce

“this was the dream she had given him when all seemed lost during one of their first great battles with Pitch!” (Joyce, 55).

Chapter Five – Chapter Eight

In the morning, the entire village of Santoff Claussen boards Bunnymund’s egg-train and journeys to the Lunar Lamadary. There’s another hint at the time frame of the story as “[t]rains were still not invented yet (Bunnymund would secretly help the credited inventors some decades later)” (31). This indicates that the story occurs prior to major, widespread modern industrialization, and additionally that it takes place a couple decades prior it. To me that would be three to four decades, so still probably in the 1700s.

This chapter prominently serves to re-introduce the Lamas, the yetis, and what exactly the Lunar Lamadary is. This is conveyed through Katherine answering the other children’s questions. But near the end, Katherine is suddenly uneasy. She no longer feels quite right with her old friends. Specifically, “[s]he didn’t really know where she wanted to be — with the children or with North and the other grown-ups. Even Kailash didn’t comfort her. She was betwixt and between” (37). It has become about Katherine’s change and growth.

Katherine eventually joins the other Guardians, ruminating on why Nightlight seems distant. She speculates it’s because he misses the battles. She also wonders the same about North, but in contrast to Nightlight the former bandit has changed a lot. And while it isn’t what Katherine notices about North’s change, I loved how he

“still loved conjuring up new toys for the children. (Just that morning he’d brought the youngest William a funny sort of toy–a round biscuit-shaped piece of wood with a string attached to it’s middle. When jerked, it would go up and down almost magically. North call it “yo-yo-ho”) (43-4).

And that’s just adorable! I love it. North created a yo-yo, and I just–I really like Santa Claus, okay?

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Toothiana Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies

The Guardians: Book Three

by William Joyce

“So Nightlight felt most perfectly at peace when watching over Katherine as she slept” (Joyce, 17).

Chapter Two – Chapter Four

Although Santoff Claussen is in spring and a rewarding sense of peace has descended on the characters, the Guardians have enough sense not to take it for granted that Pitch has truly been defeated. They all continue to be on the look out for Pitch:

“Nightlight…scoured the night sky for signs of Pitch’s army” and “Bunnymund kept his rabbit ears tuned for ominous signs while burrowing his system of tunnels, and Ombric cast his mind about for bits of dark magic that might be creeping into the world” (13-4).

The chapter revisits the mental/emotional connection the guardians formed in Book 2:

“Their bond of friendship was so strong that it now connected them in heart and mind. Each could often sense what the others felt, and when it felt like time to gather, they would just somehow know (15-6).

For some reason here it seems less nonsensical as it did originally. It’s sweet now. The kind of comradeship that comes from understanding and being in sync with others. Also, I’m also a sucker for friendship. In particular, it makes a point to remind us that “[Nightlight] and Katherine’s bond was the greatest” (16). After what happened at the Earth’s core, I can believe it.

The chapter expands a bit on how it feels to them and I wanted to share:

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The Epic of Sundiata Keita

Sundiata, An Epic of Old Mali

by D. T. Niane, translated by G. D. Pickett

An epic about the founding of the Empire of Mali in circa.1230 A.D. by Sundiata Keita.

Mali was an extremely rich – culturally and monetarily – empire in West Africa. And although it’s extent is not completely equivalent to modern Mali, it did include the very literate and cultural nexus of Timbuktu (♥). It also had contact with Islam, which had come into northern Africa since at least circa 700 A.D., shown most explicitly through Mansa Musa.

Basically it’s awesome and I’ve loved it’s history since high school.


So, the epic was really good.

But then, I’ve discovered when I read Stanley Lombardo’s translation of the Iliad that I am moderately excited by narrative combat (One Piece is a good example of this: dynamic fights, excessive odds, failures, character personality expressed through action or voice rather than internal thoughts – basically a lot of what I consider “Epic” mainstays)

But see, I really liked Sologon Djata (as he was more regularly called in the text). And, yeah, I know I usually end up liking the main men in epics (I even liked Achilles), but Djata “was taciturn and used to spend the whole day just sitting in the middle of the house. Whenever his mother went out he would crawl on all fours to rummage about in the calabashes in search of food, for he was very greedy” (15).

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The Last Unicorn

by Peter S. Beagle

“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone” (Beagle, 1).

word of warning: Spoilers are contained below, so if you’ve never read The Last Unicorn I would recommend not reading below the cut

What can I say about The Last Unicorn? From the moment I read the first sentence of the Amazon preview I was hooked. There’s an immediacy to it that snares me. It may be the rhythm of the words or visual and aromal sensations called up by lilacs. Or maybe a bit of both. But I think most of all, it’s the  daintiness (evoked by the short sentence and “lilacs”) interposed on the fact she is alone. Why is she alone? And that question, coupled with the prettiness, pulls me in every time.

Additionally, there’s just something so poetical and lyrical about the writing. I’m normally not one to notice such style, though I have been known to adore pretty writing – i.e. writing that evokes a pretty or vivid visual in my head. That’s here too, but I was struck how the words themselves seemed to have flow to them. I think it helped lure me into the story.


On a personal level, there’s so many subjects addressed in The Last Unicorn that mean the world to me. Before I get into those, I want to mention that in my re-read, I noticed other themes: death, immortality, illusions, true self, and possession vs inspiration. Someday I may write more about them and how they manifest in the story. Until then, here’s some of the subjects that mean the world to me.

First, unicorns. Compared to other mythical creatures, they do fascinate them more than most. I think it has something to do with their range: they can be dainty and vain or deadly and ferocious or kind and ethereal. They can purify polluted water or demand impossible standards of goodness.

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The Horse and His Boy | Characters

from The Chronicles of Narnia

by C. S. Lewis

“‘I say, Aravis, there are going to be a lot of things to get used to in these Northern countries'” (Lewis, 206).

As I said previously:

I happened to find this on my bookshelf while organizing my piles of writing into binders and read it over the weekend. Of the seven books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia, this has always been my favorite. Which is probably why it’s the only one I have with full color illustrations (and which was the specific edition that I read).

The story takes place during “the Golden Age when Peter was High King in Narnia and his brother and two sisters were King and Queens under him” (3). How this happened and who they are is explained in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and their reign (the Golden Age) mentioned.

My main question while reading it was: why did I like it so much, or what made it likable to me? What, if anything, made it stand out against the other Narnian books?

Last time, I discussed how the culture of Calormen is meant to caricature the culture and tone of the 1001 Nights but without Islam, seeing as Calormene worship multiple gods.

In fact when I started reading, I tried to wrap my head around the presentation of the Calormene natives (Bree’s owner and Arsheesh, Shasta’s fisherman father). Both seemed written to be dislikable. And this brought to my mind the idea of characters flaws and how non-white (or non-English coded) characters are portrayed in the story.

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Seven Daughter and Seven Sons

by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy

I was so exited when I found this book. As part of a long planned move, I’ve been plowing through old boxes to get rid of unnecessary items and one of the treasures I came across was this book. I’d always remembered it, but for years I didn’t know where it had vanished to. Imagine how thrilled I was to find it!

So without further, let’s talk about Seven Daughters and Seven Sons.

The beginning – it was so exiting to read it!

“These are the words written long ago by Buran, daughter of Malik, a poor shopkeeper of Baghdad. She put them down so that her children, and their children, and their children, and all those who came after them would know of the remarkable events that had given rise to their illustrious lineage… Read these words, then, and open your eyes wide in amazement at the marvels that Allah has wrought” (1)

The basic story follows the fourth daughter (Buran) of seven who dresses up and disguises herself as a young man and becomes a successfully rich merchant to help her poor family.

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The Castle of Llyr

The Chronicles of  Prydain

by Lloyd Alexander

“‘For generations the daughters of the House of Llyr were among the most skillful enchantresses in Prydain, using their powers with wisdom and kindliness'” (Alexander, 158).

This one will be a bit different than the others. Instead of going chronologically through the plot and my reaction, opinion, and reflection on characters, events, and descriptions, I wanted to focus instead on the idea of an enchantress and the sorcery practiced by women as manifested in The Castle of Llyr.

First – Elionwy’s sacrifice of her magic. As she tells Taran and the others,

“‘Achern cast a spell over me and I remembered very little. Until the bauble was in my hands once more. Then — then it was very strange. In the light of it, I could see all of you. Not with my eyes, really, but with my heart. I knew you wanted me to destroy the spells. And I wanted to, as much as you did.

Yet, it was as though there were two of me. One did and one didn’t want to give up the spells. I knew it was my only chance to become an enchantress, and if I gave up my powers then that would be the end of it'” (201-2).

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