easily expelled, and had dyed with blackness the walls to which, bat-like, it had clung, these tapers served but ill to light up the gloomy hangings, and seemed to throw yet darker shadows into the hollows of the deep-wrought cornice. All the further portions of the room lay shrouded in a mystery whose deepest folds were gathered around the dark oak cabinet which I now approached with a strange mingling of reverence and curiosity. Perhaps, like a geologist, I was about to turn up to the light some of the buried strata of the human world, with its fossil remains charred by passion and petrified by tears. Perhaps I was to learn how my father, whose personal history was unknown to me, had woven his web of story; how he had found the world, and how the world had left him. Perhaps I was to find only the records of lands and moneys, how gotten and how secured; coming down from strange men, and through troublous times, to me, who knew little or nothing of them all. To solve my speculations, and to dispel the a
21-year-old Anodos ("pathless" or "ascent" in Greek--both of which suit him) awakes one morning to find he has been transported to Fairy Land, a magical land of "bewildering loveliness," inhabited by ethereal beings of great beauty and dark creatures of menace. Traveling through the land to find his way home, Anodos pursues mysterious maidens, discovers a hidden palace seemingly made for him, and ponders the nature of reality. Very philosophical with lush, complex, beautiful language (if a bit moralizing), this book was light on plot but dense with poetry.
The overall narrative is a little disjointed. I was captivated by all the stories met along the way. Truly worthwhile and it contains a great many beautiful quotes.
A wonderful, magical story. I never expected it to be so enchanting. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys fantasy.
This fantastic masterpiece has gripped my imagination since I first picked it up a few years ago. George MacDonald, the father of fantasy who deeply influenced Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, Charles Williams, and practically every current fantasy author, crafted this tale of a man's adventures into fairyland which is worth rereading many times over. The story is feels like a collection of short episodes as Anodos travels further and further into fairyland and simultaneously into the fantastic depths of his own soul. Creative like few others, I highly recommend this as a truly great book.