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Sunday, July 15, 2007


- Sleeping Beauty by Edward Burne-Jones.

I saw a post at Sandalstraps' Sanctuary today - An Enchanted Sabbatical - in which he "comes out of the closet" and admits he's a fan of the Harry Potter books :-). I thought 'd write something similar, for though I'm not so much a Potter fan, I am a fan of fantasy and I love magic.

I grew up reading fantasy books and I still read them. Some of my past favorites ..... The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany ..... The Well at the World's End by William Morris ..... The Worm Ouroboros by Rücker Eddison ... She by H. Rider Haggard ..... all the series of Andrew Lang's multi-colored Fairy Books ...... Conan the Barbarian by Robert E Howard ..... The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis ... and of course, Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Right now I'm reading a novel in a series by Katherine Kurtz .... Camber of Culdi ... which combines magic and Catholicism in a medieval setting. Here's a little of what Wikipedia says of it ...

The novel is set in the land of Gwynedd, one of the fictional Eleven Kingdoms. Gwynedd itself is a medieval kingdom similar to the British Isles of the 9th century, with a powerful Holy Church (based on the Roman Catholic Church), and a feudal government ruled by a hereditary monarchy. The population of Gwynedd includes both humans and Deryni, a race of people with inherent physic and magical abilities. The novel takes place eight decades after a foreign Deryni prince invaded Gwynedd and overthrew the human king. Though still a minority of the population, Deryni control the throne, the Church, and almost all positions of power throughout the realm, and many lead privileged lives at the expense of the human majority. However, a wave of human resentment in starting to surge throughout the kingdom, and a powerful Deryni lord embarks on a quest to restore the ancient line of Haldane kings.

- The Well at the World's End, 1896. Hand letterpress printed with border and type designs by William Morris and original wood engravings by Edward Burne-Jones.


Blogger Talmida said...

I love Burne-Jones!

Have you ever read the Fionavar Tapestry? Can't remember. It was written sort of as an homage to Tolkien (the author, Guy Gavriel Kay, worked with Christopher Tolkien editing his father's work, IIRC). It's not overtly religious like the Deryni books, but has some of the most powerful religious images in it that I've ever read.

Plus it's fun.


2:21 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I've never read in this genre - unless fables/fairy tales count. As a child I remember being really facinated by stuff like Grimm's tales, King Arthur... I've forgotten most of it. I also remember that whatever I was reading was richly illustrated and that really added to the magic for me.

5:10 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Talmida,

No, I've never read the Fionavar Tapestry - I remember you mentioning it on your blog once. I'll have to look it up - sounds great :-)

6:50 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


fairy tales definitely count. When I was in college my boyfriend bought me a serues of fairy books that were illustrated - they were wonderful.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Cura Animarum said...

I'm a big fan of magic and fantasy writings. You know CS Lewis' Narnia is one of my favs, also The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I really would love to read Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books but from the looks of things in our bookstores I'll have to order them online through Chapters or Amazon which means waiting a bit.

10:45 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Cura,

I buy all my books through Amazon now, since I can't drive anymore. I miss browsing through old bookstores sometimes.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Cura Animarum said...

I've purchased a number of them that way too in the past little while. I especially love the used suggestions they often come up with. I've been able to replace some older series with hardcovers costing 4 bucks or less sometimes which is really! Nothing quite like getting a great book AND a great deal at the same time. ;-)

1:22 PM  
Blogger cowboyangel said...


Was Morris' book fairly easy to get through? I've always wanted to read it. He was definitely an interesting fellow.

I have to admit that I'm also a Harry Potter fan. We just went to see the new movie on Saturday. Enjoyed it very much. And, of course, the last book is coming out this coming Saturday. I almost don't want to read it, because I know some of my favorites are going to die off.

I've mentioned Charles Williams to you before and plug him again. Also, have you read Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time trilogy? As a fantasy/sci-fi fan, I think you'd like it. It's interesting how she interrelates Christian themes throughout the series. Definitely one of the classics.

4:51 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


I haven't read any of Charles Williams or Madeline L'Engle - I'll have to give them a try. It was so long ago that I read The Well at the World's End that I don't remember it that well, but it did make a good impression.

I was just thnking today how little I read now. I used to read all the time but now it's really a chore ... the words are so hard to see even when they're large print and I use a magnifying glass that it takes forever and it's tiring. When I found out I had the eye disease, my first thought was how could I go without reading. But thankfully now I can read stuff on the computer.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Sandalstraps said...

As I mentioned in my blog post (to which Crystal linked - thank you Crystal!) Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time books are the only works of fantasy or children's literature that I've ever seen in the bibliography of a theology text (Walter Wink's The Powers That Be, his summary of his Powers books for laity), which in my world is about the biggest recommendation (aside from the fact that they're simply wonderful, enchanting stories) a set of books can get.

5:51 AM  
Blogger cowboyangel said...

Do you ever listen to audio books? I have some friends who swear by it. One woman has done pretty much the entire Harry Potter series on CD. I've been curious, because some readers look like great choices for the material.

I see Sacramento Public Library has chapter one of A Wrinkle in Time, read by Madeline L'Engle herself. She talks about getting the book published, too. Kind of cool. Most public libraries have a ton of stuff you can download right from home. You might check into it.

6:33 AM  
Blogger crystal said...


thanks for stopping by. That is in a way a recommendation for Walter Wink too :-). I'll definitely look for A Wrinkle in Tme.

11:40 AM  
Blogger crystal said...


I should give audio books another try. The first and only time I tried one was a lady (can't remember who) reading Rosemary's Baby (on a tape) ... it was so distracting to listen to her odd voice that I couldn't pay attention to the story :-). Do they come on CDs? The library has them?

11:43 AM  

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