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The Walking Stones: 10/17/06

The Walking Stones

It seems that the bulk of the young adult fantasy I've read has either taken place in one of three places: the British Isles, New York state, or a fantasy land reachable via magic (usually with the starting point being somewhere on the British Isles). There is one notable exception which is L. Frank Baum who had Oz accessible from Kansas and California.

The Walking Stones falls into the British Isles category with veiled references to an Otherworld, though this other dimension or whatnot is not traveled to, just viewed briefly from afar. It apparently draws on Celtic lore (as many British fantasy books do) but I'm not familiar enough with to say how well the story does. Anyway, it's a classic tale of the passage of knowledge and tradition from one generation to the next. Here the knowledge includes Second Site along with some other magical traditions.

I enjoyed the story for what it was but the characters seemed too one dimensional and their motivations weren't always clear. In real life people tend to react like the Bodach did when their homes are taken via Imminent Domain. I was surprised at how quickly Donald and his parents warmed to the idea of being forced to move out of the glen and into the city to make room for a dam. I suppose their quick submission was in order to keep the story short.

Here is my BookCrossing review:

The Walking Stones is about the balancing act between tradition and progress. Here the tradition is in the form of the stories and magic of the glen and the progress is the brining of electricity to the city at the expense of the glen. Can the old ways of the glen be passed onto the next generation before the glen is flooded?

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