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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book
I read Wrinkle in Time when I was 11 and thought it was the best thing I'd ever read. Wind in the Door and Swiftly Tilting Planet were published when I was an adult. I liked Wind in the Door, but it didn't have the "agic"of Wrinkle. When I picked up Swiftly Tilting Planet, I thought that I would enjoy it, but it wouldn't be up to par with Wrinkle. Boy was...
Published on September 19, 1999

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Disappointing
A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite books ever, so I read the sequals with much anticipation. This book was a little disappointing mainly because Meg and Charles Wallace are not featured that often. Most of the book revolves around a historical family, one side bad and one good, and the attempt to go back in time and change the outcome of events in order to prevent...
Published on June 26, 2004 by A Book Lover


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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book, September 19, 1999
By A Customer
I read Wrinkle in Time when I was 11 and thought it was the best thing I'd ever read. Wind in the Door and Swiftly Tilting Planet were published when I was an adult. I liked Wind in the Door, but it didn't have the "agic"of Wrinkle. When I picked up Swiftly Tilting Planet, I thought that I would enjoy it, but it wouldn't be up to par with Wrinkle. Boy was I wrong!
Planet was the most magnificient book I've ever read. I'm 46 years old and have read thousands of books over my lifetime, including all of Madeleine L'Engle's titles. This story is so inspirational, suspenseful, frightning, heartbreaking and joyful. It's just the best.
I use The Rune when I need a little "igher power"in my life as well as traditional prayers. I recommend it to everyone. It may be complicated for some children, but Ms. L'Engle doesn't write down for anyone. It can be a joyeous experience for the imaginative child and adult as well.
I think I'll sign off and go read it again right now.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the Time Quartet, June 23, 2006
This is perhaps my favorite book in L'Engle's famous "Time Quartet." Set a decade after the events of the previous book, A Wind in the Door, Meg Murray and Calvin O'Keefe are now married and she pregnant when he is sent overseas one Thanksgiving. She takes her mother-in-law to her family's home for the holiday, but the mood of the celebration is shattered when the President calls Mr. Murray with dire news: the Central American dictator Mad Dog Branzillo has gotten his hands on a nuclear arsenal, and his fingers are stroking the button. A cryptic rune uttered by Mrs. O'Keefe sends the 15-year-old Charles Wallace on a quest through time itself on a desperate search for the link between Calvin's family and the Might-Have-Been that he has to change to save the world.

Although this is, like I said, my favorite of the Time Quartet, it's safe to say it wouldn't be as good a book without the previous two. L'Engle tries to make the story self-contained, but there's very little in this book in the way of character development, she relies heavily on readers' conceptions of the characters from the previous novels to drive this story forward. The book is also very episodic -- Charles Wallace goes Within various people at various times, and with each of them he experiences a lifetime. The book almost reads like a series of interconnected short stories linked through the framing sequence of Charles trying to stop Branzillo. As a result, there are multiple antagonists and protagonists alike, giving the book a very epic, far-reaching feel.

This is, like I said, my favorite of the Time Quartet -- I just wouldn't recommend reading it by itself.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably too complicated and upsetting for most kids, March 10, 2002
By 
Anne B. "anneb" (Tarrytown, NY United States) - See all my reviews
I am a mom with two bright boys, ages 8 and 11. My husband and I read this book to the 11 year old, but I also read it to myself.
In this book, the protagonist travels back and forth through time to change history to try to prevent a catastrophe. The changes must be very subtle to avoid paradox. The story line is complex because the reader must keep track of many generations of two branches of the same family. The story is very suspenseful because bad spirits are constantly trying to kill the protagonist, or prevent his success.
The book has good points and bad points.
On the good side:
1. The book presents a peace loving and anti-racist point of view;
2. It also makes a fascinating exploration of historical rumors that when British colonists first arrived in the southern part of the US they found a tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans with some Caucasian features; and
3. I enjoyed the complexity, but you really had to pay very close attention, or you got lost -- like my husband did.
On the bad side:
1. I did not like the idea that, starting from two brothers, the descendents of the bad brother would be bad and the descendents of the good brother would be good over several hundred years and a large number of generations. Each person makes his or her own destiny and decisions of right and wrong. It's not a very good message to send kids that a person's goodness and badness are determined by some ancestor so long ago. This is the sort of attitude that leads to perpetual war in the Balkans.
2. There was one very disturbing sequence about a critical character being severely injured and ultimately dying as a result of child abuse. This portion was really not appropriate for small children.
In sum, though this is an interesting, enjoyable book, I disagree it is appropriate for ages 9-12. It would be better for teenagers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking a stand against the "powers of darkness", October 26, 2000
By 
"kaia_espina" (Quezon City, Philippines) - See all my reviews
A lot of the reviews begin with the reviewers' stories of when they first read the book. Like them, I discovered "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" when I was very young, and I still love it. It is the kind of book you can read again and again as you grow up. Each new time it is read it can reveal new layers of meaning. When I first read it, I thought it was just an adventure story with a unicorn (a really great adventure story, of course). Then I began to see how it took a stand for love and against apathy. In the plot, Charles Wallace has to fight the Echthroi (evil forces). Writing this story was Madeleine L'Engle's own way of fighting the Echthroi, which really exist. Through her story, she warns us about not letting the "Might-Have-Been's" haunt us; she asks us to take a stand "in this fateful hour" against the "powers of darkness." If this is too mystical for some of you to stomach, then you probably have not entered this author's world, which, like the Christian world, is teeming with angels and demons. In this world, everyone must choose sides.
This is a book that children should have on their bookshelves. It may be a little to heavy for them at first, but as they get older, the layers of meaning will begin to become apparent to them. I have given all my younger cousins copies of Madeleine L'Engle books for their libraries. That is one way I know of teaching them how to care about the past-present-future of the Universe.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Disappointing, June 26, 2004
A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite books ever, so I read the sequals with much anticipation. This book was a little disappointing mainly because Meg and Charles Wallace are not featured that often. Most of the book revolves around a historical family, one side bad and one good, and the attempt to go back in time and change the outcome of events in order to prevent war in the present. The time travelling aspect is interesting, and the talking unicorn is very lovable, but I just did not find these historical characters very interesting. Also did not care for the idea that one family line can be inherently bad. Still an enjoyable read, and L'engle has many heartfelt quotations, and Meg's family is still as loving and inspirational. I was also disappointed that Meg has lost her spunkiness. But I guess that is just part of growing up, and she is growing up into a beautiful woman, just like her mother.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a classic race between goodness and evil, January 23, 2002
When I was growing up in the 80s, I was always afraid of nuclear war. Watching movies on TV didn't help the fear either ... and this book, L'Engle taps into that fear in all of us.
Meg Murry O'Keefe and her family had just sat down to a Thanksgiving dinner when her father gets a phone call from the president of the United States telling him that they are on the brink of nuclear war. Being pregnant, Meg couldn't go on this journey ~~ but her baby brother Charles Wallace and the unicorn, Glaudior went on an adventure racing back in time to find out what had happened to Mad Dog's ancestors ... and perhaps stop the castrophe from happening.
It's a wonderful trip down history ~~ one that is just filled with historical notes and tidbits ... and visiting the planet where Glaudior is from ~~ is just pure romantic. This is a book that one couldn't just put down and forget.
I highly recommend this book to everyone again ~~ one can never be too tired to sing L'Engle's praises when reading her books. She is an author that every one should read. She writes with such a flair and a talent that it makes you wish you could write like she does ... then again, we wouldn't have L'Engle to entertain us, would we?
1-23-02
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-Boggling, I counldn't put it down!, October 14, 1999
By A Customer
this was a wonderful book i coundn't put it down! I think this is the best in the L'engle series so far. everything thing was so real! i loved ananda and gaudior and the conspect that everything is interconnected with everything else and everything you do affects the future. also i have taken it apon myself to learn the beautiful rune so i end this review with this:
In this fateful hour/ All Heaven in its power/ The sun with its brightness/ The snow with its whiteness/ The fire with all the strength it haths/ The lightning in its rapid wrath/ The wind with their swiftness/ The rocks with their steepness/ The earth with its starkness/ All this I place/ By God's almighty help and grace/ Between myself and the powers of darkness/
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey to What Might-Have-Been, March 30, 2002
By A Customer
I remember arguing with my 4th grade teacher that a straight line is NOT the shortest distance between 2 points, thanks to having nearly memorized "A Wrinkle in Time" and its "tesseract" theories. Having read most of Ms. L'Engle's books, some of them repeatedly, "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" is by far my favorite of her books, and may be my favorite of all the books I've ever read. When I read it as a teenager, it was my first real glimpse into a world outside my very narrow field of vision - the premise that every thing every person does can and often will impact the future, for better or worse. Who knows what "might-have been" in our world now? ...in the book, as in reality, each person chooses what to follow. Several on-the-fence characters make choices that clearly define their futures, and the future of the world. What a life lesson for a person mature enough to realize the implications of their decisions. Also, folks, it's a good idea to pre-read books before reading them to your children, particularly if you or your child is sensitive to certain issues, and this book is no exception. War and child abuse are portrayed in gruesome detail, and molestation is hinted at, all of which are reasons why this book is not listed in the intermediate readers section. Overall, what a great read for those who have the discernment to see the real story.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the Time Trilogy, March 17, 2000
By A Customer
I loved "A Wrinkle in Time." And I was fascinated by "A Wind in the Door." When I first read it, at age 11, I made the mistake of picking it up at midnight. I didn't get to sleep until I finished it, around three in the morning.
But "A Swiftly Tilting Planet," which is much more fantastic than the first two of the series, remains my favorite of the trilogy. It is complex without seeming contrived or overly simplistic (as the first two occasionally felt). The characters are fully human, complete with flaws and faults--even the angelic (or is it Christ-like?) Charles Wallace.
Charles travels through time with the unicorn Gaudior, at each period going Within a person, becoming that person, feeling as he feels and thinking as he thinks. As Charles Wallace, Within a person, is absorbed into that person's conscious, so do I become engrossed in that person's story--it's painful when Charles comes out.
My favorite of the people Charles goes Within is Matthew Maddox, the young writer. Every time I read the novel, I wish yet again that he and his books were real.
I was initially disappointed that Meg, who is so brilliant at math and the sciences, appears to have done very little with her abilities. But nowhere does the book state that she has done nothing; and in fact, it would not be inconsistent with Meg's character to have done less than would be expected of her. Meg has always doubted her abilities, and she has always felt inferior to her mother. Self-doubt is a terribly crippling thing, and I myself can testify that being the daughter of a brilliant mother can be very disheartening--how can you ever measure up to her standard?
A side note: The structure of Italo Calvino's "If on a winter's night a traveler" reminded me vaguely of this novel. It's not a perfect parallel, but if you're an older reader and you liked "A Swiftly Tilting Planet," you might try the Calvino; it's quite interesting.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is probably my favorite of all the Time Trilogy books!, May 4, 1999
By A Customer
After reading A Wrinkle In Time and A Wind In the Door, (both of which are also fantastic) I had to read this one. I was blown away reading this! This IS a complicated book-many times while I was reading I turned back to some of the other parts to understand a bit better. But that was the delightful and interesting part about it! I loved the whole "mad dog" name thing and the way each of the people Charles visited were connected, and yet very different.
I disagree with people who talk about how it's bad that Meg is only a pregnant housewife and Calvin is a famous scientist. It says in the later books about Poly (Meg's oldest daughter) that Meg works with mathematics, numbers and all that.
I reccomend this to L'Engle or fantasy fans, especially those who've read the first Time Trilogy books. But if you can't handle complicated plots, numerous characters and different settings, wait a few more years to read this so that you can fully appreciate this book!
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A Swiftly Tilting Planet (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet)
A Swiftly Tilting Planet (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet) by Madeleine L'Engle (Mass Market Paperback - May 1, 2007)
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