Five stars for enjoyment and nostalgia and quality of writing This is so, so formative for me So many of the things I love in literature today are present in this book A Swiftly Tilting Planet has runes and myth and might have beens, and it does time travel wonderfully Adult me wonders if L Engle was referencing Barrie and Dear Brutus with her might have beens child me had never heard of a might have been before This is lyrical and beautiful And it still makes me desperate to see a model of a tesseract Note I just spent ten minutes searching my old journal for notes on the blue eyes brown eyes aspect I know I wrote notes on that a few years ago, about how it really rubbed me the wrong way It didn t so much on this reread but it s there nonetheless This isn t a perfect book But it is a really, really good one.I did find this, from a speech L Engle gave One time I was in the kitchen drinking tea with my husband and our young son, and they got into an argument about ice hockey I do not feel passionate about ice hockey They do Finally our son said But Daddy, you don t understand And my husband said, reasonably, It s not that I don t understand, Bion It s just that I don t agree with you To which the little boy replied hotly, If you don t agree with me, you don t understand I think we all feel that way, but it takes a child to admit it. Wow Out of all of the Time Trilogy novels, I had the fondest memories of this I guess as a child I skipped over a lot of it.We enter the Murray family, but about 9 years or so from the events of a Wind in the Door Meg has married Calvin off screen and is pregnant Sandy and Denys are bankers, and Charles Williams is 15 I admit I wasn t crazy about that, seeing as Meg was the soul of the first two books, and I really wanted to see her interact with CalvinBut I can understand.It sets up well although not as nicely as a Wind in the Door The Murrays are sitting around being smart when the President lets Mr Murray who is magically here this time, neither away nor kidnapped, what do you know that a dictator in a small South American country called Mad Dog Branzillio is threatening nuclear war, and its likely to happen Meg s new mother in law, Mrs O Keefe, manages to get a rune and utters a poem spell She seems to think Charles Wallace is the key to solving this.This I can get The point of the first two books seemed to be protecting Charles Wallace, so this is the one where we get to see his capabilities He s hinted to bein a way Meg can t be, almost a new type of human in them So we get to see his stuff He somehow summons the unicorn Gaudior The two go off on an adventure, traveling through time.Cool stuff, right I admit, I was a little psyched, because I d finally get a chance to see CW in action And as a fifteen year old, his super intelligence and knowledge wont grate as much maybe we will even see a love interest for him.NONE OF THIS HAPPENS.IT SUCKS.This is what happens He saves the world by making tiny changes to Mad Dog s ancestors It seems that the bad brother of two brothers married the wrong person, causing Mad Dog Instead of Blue Eyes, a madman instead of a benevolent ruler he pops into the ancestor, lives as them, and pops out.He literally does nothing Most of the book is the story of a welsh clan that moved to patagonia somehow and married native CW gets subsumed into their identity and doesn t comment or even perceive differences He dives in, we get their particular story, he dives out Once in awhile he has a brief micro adventure which mostly involves waiting for it to be over.He does not grow, he does not meet anyone, he does not fall in love, he just is a vehicle to move these dull stories along Meg just sits at home being pregnant and kytheing details, recognizing the plot links so we have some semblance of a plot No one does anything The book ends with a time swap Instead of nuclear war Mad Dog just doesn t exist CW does not face him, or even SEE him Mad Dog could have been a very interesting character to interact with, but he exists and dies offscreen.It makes no sense I mean, CW can do this he broke causality and time traveled specifically to prevent a result, causing one person to not exist at all This breaks the idea of Naming in the Wind in the Door, and makes a tremendous mockery of any christian idea the trilogy might have had Maddog is not defeated or redeemed, he is unmade into an entirely different person It makes no sense.Neither does the rune thing It s not explained how runes have any real power, and it s jarring considering the christian focus of the first two books It s like L Engle wanted to write an epic about the welsh but needed to frame it as part of the time trilogy to sell it It s tremendously anti climatic, shortchanges virtually every main character, is passive as all get out, boring, and staggers the mind The whole historical idea was handled much better in Many Waters with the Denys twins, and that book shows how it should have been done This No. Wind, Unicorn, And Boy Merged Into A Single SwiftnessWhen Fifteen Year Old Charles Wallace Murry Shouts Out An Ancient Rune Meant To Ward Off The Dark In Desperation, A Radiant Creature Appears It Is Gaudior, Unicorn And Time Traveler Charles Wallace And Gaudior Must Travel Into The Past On The Winds Of Time To Try To Find A Might Have Been A Moment In The Past When The Entire Course Of Events Leading To The Present Can Be Changed, And The Future Of Earth This Small, Swiftly Tilting Planet Saved This one is pretty weak The name thing is especially stupid It takes literally 150 pages out of 278 for them to figure out with a startled flash of comprehension that there s gosh a connection between various people named Madoc, Madog, Maddok, Maddox, Mad Dog, Branwen, Brandon, Bran, Zyll, Zylle, Zillo, Zillah, Zillie, Beezie B.Z , Branzillo And then it s on p.195 that we get Certainly the name Zillie must have some connection with Madoc s Zyll, and Ritchie Llawcae s Zylle Really You don t say Give me a break You are insulting the reader s intelligence and characters in L Engle books are supposed to be evenintelligent and extraordinary than normal readers This similar names thing is something that L Engle did in The Other Side of the Sun with several people all named Theron I m not sure what the purpose is, but it doesn t work because it s just unclear to the reader It s like George Foreman and his five sons named George just dumb which is the last thing that readers of L Engle books want There are enough somewhat interesting stories in all of this, but it s not L Engle s best work, not by a long shot. As I said of A Wind in the Door, I didn t know of these sequels to A Wrinkle in Time until I was an adult and read them when my son was reading the quartet I now own this beautiful edition so I m rereading the books along with their respective endnotes but reviewing them separately.If I d read this when I was a child, I might ve been dismayed at the idea of a grown up Meg, in the same way Peter Pan is at the appearance of the adult Wendy But I would ve been won over by the stories told within the time travel sequences, especially the one set in Puritan Salem, as well as the overarching story of two families splintered off from two Welsh brothers a Cain Abel mix of legend, mythology and historical fiction. Okay this book was weird.Charles is almost grown up because he s freaking 15 years old now The twins are in like med school or something like that Meg is married to Calvin and they are having a baby OMG FANGIRL AND SWOOONING Not really bummed that Meg and the twins weren t in this book as much, or that Meg wasn t on the adventure. because Charles didn t really get to go on the last one So it kind of makes up for it right Okay that parts not weird, the weird part was that Charles went to his star watching rock, evil echthroi were trying to catch him, and then he finds a random ass unicorn and flies back in time I m sorry. but what. the hell just happened From then on, there s a clusterfuck of confusion because I honestly had no idea who the heck was talking so I just kind of assumed it was Charles the entire time talking to himself Yup It made the bookinteresting if I do say so myself.The adventure was okay The confusion was very confusing and it didn t help that I was completely exhausted today either I don t really understand why he even went on a trip with a unicorn to begin with I also don t really understand why he was being chased I just didn t understand a whole bunch of this book I have no idea what the next book will have but I hope it s less confusion.Overall, the first book was probably the best and is probably my favorite Still holding out the judgment though because there are twobooks left in this shindig Let s do this At Tara in this fateful hour,I place all Heaven with its power,And the sun with its brightness,And the snow with its whiteness,And the fire with all the strength it hath,And the lightning with its rapid wrath,And the winds with their swiftness along their path,And the sea with its deepness,And the rocks with their steepness,And the earth with its starkness,All these I place by God s almightly help and graceBetween myself and the powers of darkness This book was absolutely amazing, and an instant classic in my mind I now understand why everyone raved about these books It was all because of this story here.As the book begins, we find ourselves in the future Charles Wallace is 15, the twins are finishing up grad school, and Meg and Calvin are not only married, but expecting their first child It s Thanksgiving and the whole family, including Calvin s mom, Mrs O Keefe are gathered together to celebrate But it s not long before trouble starts Mr Murry receives an urgent call from the President stating that we are on the verge of nuclear war with a small country, Vespugia, and their angry leader As the family sits around the table discussing scenaries, quiet, distrusting Mrs O Keefe begins to recite this ancient rune As she leaves, she turns to Charles Wallace and demands, It s all up to Chuck You have to save us all Each chapter is named after a line from the rune, and follows the general concept of what is presented there So, in Chapter 2 I place all Heaven with it s power , Charles Wallace receives his help from heaven, a Unicorn On this Unicorn he travels through time to years and years past in an attempt to change the future This book really drew me in, and reminded me of a Nancy Drew Hardy Boys Mystery It s done really intelligently, with wonderful back stories, and lovely characters And that rune Oh It s my new favorite quote Ever And that same power is avaliable to us today well, probably not a Unicorn, but you know what I mean What an awesome God we serve, one that uses people in such wonderful ways, i.e that by writing a children s novel, we discover a prayer for our spiritual battle Amazing Charles Wallace saves the universe from the forces of evil Dear Lord, I hated this book I m going with two stars because I do try to reserve a one star rating for truly unreadable books This wasn t necessarily bad I just hated it I hated the wooden dialogue I hated the vaguely racist patina over the Native American portrayal I hated the fact that everyone had the same flipping name I hated that the author circumvented background exposition with awkward over explaining conversations or exclamations to the dog and letters Most of all, I hated that the characters were completely useless as carriers of any individual talent or strength Literally everything in this puzzle was handed to Charles Wallace and Meg It might as well have been any rando off the street doing these Missions because they certainly required no initiative, and explicitly discouraged independent thinking And it had to be that way because that s the way it Was So if it Was, then why did someone even have to do it And why did someone special have to do it The dog really tipped it for me Really, a random magic dog shows up on this night to pick up the remaining slack between what the unicorn and the powers that Be have determined will happen Ugh I came back to addstuff I hated, because I hated it that much I hated that it was apparently totally plausible for the President, 24 hours before nuclear meltdown, to call his occasional science advisor just to give him a heads up about the end of the world Like, how many people must be 2 or 3 degrees away from the President in this way Did he literally sit and call every one of them Maybe the world is about to end because he has a terrible hierarchy of priorities I hated that NOTHING else in the world changed when Whatshername married Thegoodone instead of Thebadone C mon now First of all, rudi flipping mentary time travel Second, don t make the entire premise of your story the fact that everything is so interrelated and how one tiny change might wipe out the universe, and then make a HUGE change and report that the only difference in the timeline of history is that the dictator isn t evil any Oh, and I so hated that Meg is nothing but dog whisperer and baby carrier Meg is brilliant And raised in a freaking female Nobel Prize winning household Not to say that she has to be a renowned scientist or anything, but it just would have been sweet to say what her non house keeping baby growing role is in her world Or at least a short manifesto about feminist choices and the way she is living her feminism in this role The end, for real this time. Though L Engle s storytelling improves after the dull previous outing of A Wind in the Door , Swiftly fails in otherserious ways.The biggest problem is her somewhat silly reliance on hereditary family names from generation to generation names that endure for hundreds of years and somehow continue to intersect.Madoc, Madog, Maddux, and Mad Dog Gwydder, Gedder, and Gwen Zyllie, Zyllah, Zylle two Branwens and a Charles and a Chuck round out the cast I think.Something like four different generations are followed and each generation has its own version of each namesake But it s not just one namesake per generation the 1865 generation has a Zyllie in America and a Zyllah in South America Or is it the other way around Gedder wants a Maddux to get with his sister Zyllah and wants Gwen for himself, but that Maddux is engaged to the Zyllie in America Confusing Yes Does this sound silly Yes.The first generation s usages of the names is fine The second generation is interesting but gets a little confusing like if the families married in the first generation, why are Maddocs still courting Zyllahs And by the third generation it s just absolutely ridiculous that L Engle is still trying to play this name game.All this nuttiness aside, our hero, Charles Wallace doesn t seem to really do much in the story He travels within a particular person in each generation and kind of becomes them But only in the first generation is it clear that Charles himself steps forward and directs his host to act in a certain way After that, Charles influence on his host and therefore on the novel is less distinct.One can infer a few instances where his presence may have made a difference, but overall the effect is to make him seemlike a passive observer than active participant in saving civilization And passivity is a serious flaw in any story. This is the third book in the Time Quintet series that started out with Meg, her brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin.The third book starts with a massive time jump that almost disoriented me the events here start 10 years after those of the last volume with Meg being married to Calvin and pregnant with their first child, Calvin being a scientist and currently away in England , and the family has come together for a Thanksgiving dinner Even Calvin s mother is there and when something peculiar happens and the family is informed that nuclear war has become a real possibility, it s Calvin s mother who tasks Charles Wallace with saving the future by giving him an old Irish rune she doesn t actively know it.In order to do that, he recites the rune, thereby conjuring a winged unicorn called Gaudior.Together, they travel through time to certain moments the wind takes them to where Charles Walles merges with certain characters and experiences the moments in time through their eyes It s about changing the past to ensure a peaceful future.At first, I thought this book would be evenheavy handed than in the previous volumes However, it was soon clear that it was done to actually criticize people like view spoiler the Puritans that would have killed a woman for a witch in their religious mania just because she was different and they, basically, were bored hide spoiler