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Silver Sun Paperback – December 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: e-reads.com (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759228086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759228085
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,357,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


"Conform, go crazy, or become an artist." I have a rubber stamp declaring those words, and they pretty much delineate my life. Conforming was the thing to do when I was raised, in the fifties. Even my mother, who spent her days painting animal portraits at an easel in the corner of the kitchen, tried to conform via housecleaning, bridge parties, and a new outfit every spring. My father, who was born into a British-mannered Protestant family in southern Ireland, emigrated to America as a young man and idolized the "melting pot" because at last he fit in. Once in a rare while he recited "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" or told a tale of a leprechaun, but most of the time he was an earnest naturalized American who expected exemplary behavior of his children. My mother was a charming Pollyanna who would not entertain negative sentiments in herself or anyone around her. As their only girl and the baby of the family, I was coddled, yet hardly ever got a chance to be other than excruciatingly good.

My "conform" phase lasted right into adulthood. When I was thirteen, my parents bought a small motel near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and I spent most of my teen years helping them make beds and clean rooms. I did not date until I went to college -- Gettysburg College, all of seven miles from home. it was the height of the sixties, and I grew my hair long, but eschewed pot, protests, and "happenings." Instead, I married a preacher's son who was himself conforming by studying for the ministry. Within a few years I was Rev. Springer's wife, complete with offspringers, living in a country parsonage in southern York County, PA.

Here beginneth the "go crazy" phase.

Because I had never been allowed any negative emotions, I began to hear "voices" in my head. First they whispered "divorce" (not permissible), and later they hissed "suicide". They scared me silly. I couldn't sleep; images of knives and torture floated in front of my eyes even during the daytime; something roared like an animal inside my ears; my wrists hurt; I saw blood seeping out of the walls; panic jolted me like a cattle goad out of nowhere. Is it necessary to add that I was clinically depressed? The doctor gave me Valium and sent me to a shrink. The shrink took me off the Valium and told me I had a problem with anger. (No duh.) The next doctor zombied me on the numbing antidepressants which were available at that time. The next shrink said I had an adjustment problem. And so on, for several years, during which I somehow managed to stay alive, take care of my kids, handle the vagaries of my husband, sew clothing and grow vegetables to get by financially, cook, can preserves, show up at church, do mounds of laundry and publish "The White Hart" and "The Silver Sun"--yet not one of the doctors of shrinks ever suggested that I might be a strong person, let alone a writer. All of them were intent on "helping" poor little me "adjust" to being a housewife, mother, and pastor's wife.

Eventually I became resigned to the fact (as I perceived it) that I was an evil, sinful person with horrible things going on inside my head, and I stopped trying to fix me. I stopped going to doctors or therapists. Somehow I found courage--or desperation--to stop trying to conform or adjust or live a role.

"I am going to start taking an hour or two first thing in the morning to do my writing," I said to my husband.

"Fine," he said. He had reached the point where he would agree with whatever to humor the neurotic wife; to him it was just another of my brain farts. But to me it was the most important sentence I ever spoke. With that statement I stopped being a housewife who sometimes stole time to write, and I started being a writer.

Conform, go crazy--or become an artist.

By becoming a writer--by becoming who I truly was--I became well.

It was so simple. Although it did take years, of course; it takes a long time for good things to grow. Trees. Books. Me. Odd thing about books; they not only nourish growth but show it happening. In "The Black Beast, The Golden Swan" and many other of my early novels, you can see me dealing with the yang/yin nature of good and evil, struggling to accept my own shadow. In "Chains of Gold" and "The Hex Witch of Seldom" I start writing as a woman, no longer identifying only with male main characters. In a number of children's books I come to terms with my own childhood. And in "Apocalypse"--whoa, what a fierce, dark fantasy novel, the first thing I wrote after my income from writing enabled my husband to leave the ministry. I hadn't thought of myself as repressed when I was a pastor's wife, but obviously something broke loose when I shed that role. "Larque on the Wing"--whoa again, another breakthrough book that spiraled straight out of my muddled middle-aged psyche and took me places I'd never dreamed were in me.

It's been a long time since those days when I thought I was an evil person. I know better now, and I love and trust me even to the extent of writing "Fair Peril"--a more perilous novel than I knew at the time, interfacing all too closely with my life. Written two years before the fact, it foresees my husband's infidelity and my divorce. The most painful irony I've ever faced is that once I gained my selfhood, I lost my lifelong partner. He had supported me through episodes that would have sent most men screaming and running, but once I became well and strong, he transferred his loyalty to a skinny, neurotic waif all to similar to the young woman I once was. After supporting him through twenty-seven years of stinky socks, automotive yearnings, miscellaneous foibles, and the career change that put him where she could cry on his shoulder, I found this a bit hard to take. But I wouldn't go back to being Ms. Pitiful. Not for anything.

Now married to a rather remarkable second husband, after living 46 years in Pennsylvania I moved in 2007 to the Florida panhandle, where I spent a year living in a small apartment above the aforementioned husband's hangar in an exceedingly rural (swamps, egrets, snakes and alligators) airport. Now we have a real house about a mile from the airport on higher ground featuring tremendously tall longleaf pine trees with rattlesnakes and scorpions underneath them. Life is an adventure and I mean that sincerely.


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Her descriptive quality of writing is fantastic.
Dave
I enjoyed Springer's references to the religious/cultural customs of past societies, without bogging the story down with largely unnecessary explanations.
catfan13
So I recommend that you grab it while there are still copies available.
Ronald Bieber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Serene Night on February 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book when I was fifteen, and still think it's one of the greatest works of literature I've ever read. This is the store of Alan, and his blood brother Hal, as they struggle to fight against an evil king, find the women they love, and fulfill their destinies.
This novel has some great characterization, and Springer does a great job of portraying the complexities of life in Isle. I only wish they could reprint this series. This is one of her best books!
A must read for fantasy lover and for readers who enjoy complex characterization.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By catfan13 on August 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, which is among Ms Springer's earlier works, is a great read. Springer is a great storyteller, so while I was not surprised at the story's end, I didn't mind taking in the sights along the way.
I enjoyed Springer's references to the religious/cultural customs of past societies, without bogging the story down with largely unnecessary explanations. They simply add a backdrop which gives the story a richer and more believable flavor.
While it is now out of print, the paperback version can be inexpensively obtained from a number of used sources. Give it a try.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dave on June 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is perhaps one ot the best written fantasy novels of the decade. The storyline is superior, writing style is captivating, and the reader becomes a part of the manuscript.
Being a fantasy novel author, I fully appreciate the great efforts that Nancy Springer put into creating characters that the reader can relate to and understand. Her descriptive quality of writing is fantastic.
I highly recommend this book to readers of fantasy of all ages.
Dave
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Bieber on September 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I was in 7th or 8th grade I came across a book called The Silver Sun by Nancy Springer. I read the book multiple times and it wound up being one of my favorites of all time. I don't think there was one day through 7th and 8th grade that I wasn't carrying it around with me and engrossed in it in study hall.

The Silver Sun is a fantasy novel set in the land of Isle, ruled by the tyrannical King Iscovar. The main characters are Hal, the son of the king, and Alan, his half brother.

Throughout his childhood, Hal was hated by his father and physically tortured and kept in dungeons. He escaped and has a quest to take the throne from his father and rule the land peacefully.

At the beginning of the book, Hal finds Alan, who has been robbed and beaten in the forest. Hal nurses him back to health and they soon become blood brothers and partners in the quest to take the kingdom from the evil King, building alliances with local outlaws and building an army in order to do so.

The book is filled with, and basically built around, a whole mythology. In the land in which the book is set, there are many gods. Hal worships the god called "The One", which is, in his belief system, the true god. There is a lot of mythology built around The One- and elves, the original peaceful rulers of the earth, who are immortal until they marry or are killed. Elves are not univerally believed to exist, however within the mythology surrounding The One, elves were once believed to rule the earth until humans took over and corrupted it. The elves are peaceful beings and are believed to live in a land without corruption - a perfect world that they created when the humans took over the earth - that is sheltered from the evil of the human blight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My cousin gave me this book when I was about fourteen, along with the Silver Sun and Sable Moon. I'm now 18, and still read and reread the books. I love them!!! The Silver Sun is definitely the best. Everyone should read them. I am also glad to know there are more books about them. The Book of Suns also is about the world Isle that is the world of Alan and Hal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Zinder on May 20, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is without a doubt the best book ever written. Known by another name The Book Of Suns Nancy Springer is my favorite author and love everything she has written she is what made me want to become a writter myself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alan is a strong and intelligent fighter with clear eyes and a great heart. Hal, his true friend and blood brother, is a mystic as well as a fighter. Destiny spurs them to fight to free their land of the despotic rulers that have enslaved the people for seven generations, or die in the attempt. Their strength comes from their bond with each other, a partnership so strong that the One prophesied it ages ago. This is a must-read book, one whose characters and images will remain vivid for years. Springer is an excellent author, a storyteller with a knack for creating and describing new worlds, and she is at her best in The Silver Sun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex Boyd on January 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm pretty sure it's the Golden Swan, not the Black Beast, that's in this series. There is also a Hal and Alan story in Chance and Other Gestures of the Hand of Fate (which is probably also out of print, but there's a bunch of copies of it floating around).
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