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

“But that was past. This was a different day. And through the friendship he now knew, he could change bad men to good and stone back to flesh” (Joyce, 12).

Chapter One

This book has a beautifully structured plot.

Like E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core! this one begins in Santoff Claussen with the children. They are playing games and it’s actually cute: “In this new game of Warrior Egg tag, to be scrambled meant you had been caught by the opposing egg team and therefore, had a lost a point” (1). There’s a touch of cleverness with the children’s game-naming.

This opening, rather than feeling out of place, works for me. I don’t mind the other children so much. My previous association and attachment to them from Book 1 and Book 2, makes me glad to see them happy. Additionally, the peaceful, happy set-up into story is a relief after the battle at the Earth’s core and North’s near death. I feel good seeing the characters this way.

The chapter proceeds to explain what the children and the Guardians have been doing since their last fight with Pitch. One thing I liked was how

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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.

Examples

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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

from The Sketch-Book

by Washington Irving

Well, I had forgotten I’d already read this. I enjoyed it, more than I think I did the first time. But what it really reminded me of was why I initially wanted to write: painting pictures with words.

There’s so many moments in “Sleepy Hollow” that feel like a pause to describe what everything looks like. And most of it (or some of it) sounds so pretty.

“The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet. Streaming files of wild ducks began to make their appearance high in the air; the bark of the squirrel might be heard from the groves of beech and hickory nuts, and pensive whistle of the quail at intervals from the neighboring stubble-field” (306).

And a little bit later,

“The horizon was of a fine gold tint, changing gradually into a pure apple green, and from that into the deep blue of the mid-heaven” (307).

And also,

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Fairy Tale Friday: The Garden of Paradise 

Andersen’s Fairy Tales

by H. C. Andersen

This was an old Christmas present from my mom that I re-found at the beginning of the year. It’s a lovely old book, probably from a used book store. There’s a handwritten note in it dated to June 1961. And while I have other books with a lot of the same stories, there’s something adorable about this one so I’m going through reading all them. 

The Garden of Paradise (pg. 21-40)

Happy Earth Day


” If it had only been I it would not have happened! never would sin have entered the world'” (21).
“‘I looked at the mighty river, saw where it dashed over rocks in dust and flew with the clouds to carry the rainbow'” (26).
“‘He shall be laid in a coffin, but not now; I only mark him and then leave him for a time to wander about on the earth to expiate his sin and to grow better'” (40).

So much is set up in the first paragraph: what the Prince is like, what his upbringing was like, how he views the world (and whether that’ll be relevant later) and what will be his central goal through the story.

Namely, he’s a very cerebral person interested in knowledge, he never had to want for or search for anything, he views the world (and himself) in a simple and idealized manner, and he wants to reach the Garden of Paradise since he would not make the same mistake of Adam and be kicked out.

There is clear transition from the usual and everyday into a place outside the normal world when he wanders in the forest and it rains. There he meets an old woman who does not look or act the way he expects she should.

“An oldish woman, tall and strong enough to be a man dressed up, sat by the fire throwing on logs from time to time” (22).

And later,

“‘Oh, indeed!’ said the prince. ‘You seem to speak very harshly, and you are not so gentle as the women I generally see about me!'” (23).

She remains unaffected and uninterested in his critique, for she tells him that “‘I have to be harsh if I am to keep my boys under control!'” (23). Namely, she is the mother of the four winds.They are distinctly distinguished. They also have an air (ha!) of the wondrous; they signal supernatural/other forces in a world that is not run by the same rules as reality.

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Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King 

The Guardians: Book One

by William Joyce and Laura Geringer

“But it was said that he once defeated an entire regiment of cavalry with a bent steak knife — while he was eating” (Joyce, 61).
Chapter Six — Chapter Nine

Okay, so I think I’ve been trying to explain the plot a bit too much. Not that the plot isn’t important, but that’s never been the point of doing these little…whatever these are (reviews, responses?).

While my discussion of plot points can certainly occur, my goal here is to express what I enjoyed or found problematic. Basically, I really liked reading this and I want to just share how great it is with all of you.

If you understand some of the plot or if it seems as if I’ve missed some connection between what I discuss, I’d recommend reading Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King.

Speaking of North, here’s when he’s finally introduced:

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Day 133: Apple Spies

APPLE BLOSSOMS GLIDED down from the gnarled bodies of their hosts. White blushing stars set on igniting fragrant brimstone on the fleeing maiden.

She panted heavily, huddling in the nook of the forgotten orchard. The blossoms refused to stop, stubbornly clinging to her black wool cloak. Their shiny ivory spokes were worse than any tracking spell or enchanted edible. The roaming watch-man would spy her in no time. Which was a price she could not afford. 


Written: 18 Jan 2016

Words: 76 wds

Inspired: The Lord of the Rings

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

The Guardians: Book One

by William Joyce and Laura Geringer

“At that moment a young moonbeam shot down from the sky and through the window. Like all beams, it had a mission: Protect the children.” (Joyce,2).
Chapter One

I first read William Joyce’s The Guardians back in 2012 when Dreamworks’ Rise of Guardians, inspired by his The Guardians of Childhood series, premiered. I loved the movie, so when I learned there were books about the same concept, I got my hands on as many as had been released by that point (Book One, Book Two, and Book Three). Since then Book Four has been released and Book Five is scheduled for release next year.

I should add that I’m only counting the novels; there have been three picture books released as part of The Guardians of Childhood, with seven planned to focus on each Guardian.

Have I mentioned yet that I’m really excited about that?

Part of it may be because my introduction to the Guardians of Childhood was actually The Man in the Moon. I found it in a museum store and read it.

Now that I’m thinking of it, I might have actually read that before I saw Rise of the Guardians, because I recall having some sense of the backstory between Pitch and the Man in the Moon.

But anyway! Let’s talk about Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King. (I love his titles! They may be long and cumbersome, but there’s a nice beat to them when I recite them to myself).

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Heliac Mist [Day 107]

MIST ROSE FROM the tops of trees like their departing souls. The leftover frost glittered in the sun as it lifted into the sky, dawn having vanished. Only the sharp, watered down turquoise sky remained. With it, it bore the new day’s newborn sun, hot touch warming the wintry veil that had condensed on the trees. Light glowed through the mist, radial stars gleaming at the stop where blue met frothy white.


Written: 12 Dec 2015

Words: 72

Inspired: weather

Diamond Hibiscus [Day 77]

THE FOREST DRIPPED tears of crystal. Sunlight transformed the residue rain into glittering treasure. Each drop fell from plump leaves down to thick vines and onto lush ferns, fringed smiles welcoming the dawn. Hundreds of hibiscus gleamed — red, pink, yellow — satin petals decked out in diamonds. Only the quiet slinking slither of a long brown snake, belly patterned in bright green stars, greeted the flowers this morning.


Written: 7 Nov 2015

Words: 67

Inspired: the music I was listening to + an enchanting pretty tone I like to write in

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