The Young and the Re-Released

From the writer of A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle, is a novel that is very different from her famous book. And Both Were Young was originally printed in 1949 but only, unfortunately, after it was aggressively edited. In 1983, the original version was published much to L’Engle’s delight. And Both Were Young is not considered sci-fi like A Wrinkle in Time. Rather, I found the book to be more of romance combined with a mystery. And Both Were Young is not your typical romance or your typical mystery mind you. I actually am not that into books that place a heavy emphasis on the romantic element, unless we are talking about the romantic era, so one of the main reasons why I liked this book is because the romance is pretty adorable. The mystery is a part of the plot but not as important as the changes the main character goes through throughout the book.

At the beginning of the book there is an epigraph, a piece of a poem entitled “The Dream” by Lord Byron: “I saw two beings in the hues of youth Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill… And both were young–and one was beautiful.” These lines of poetry are where the book gets its namesake. The book is not arranged in chapters but in six parts. Part one is called “The Prisoner of Chillon” after the poem by Lord Byron.

The mystery is a part of the plot but not as important as the changes the main character goes through throughout the book.”

The story begins post World War II at the chateau of Chillon in Switzerland next to Lake Geneva. The main character’s name is Phillipa Hunter, nicknamed “Flip.” Her father, Philip Hunter, is an artist who is going to be traveling around Europe to paint illustrations of the lost children from the war for a book in the hopes that someone will help them. Phillipa is left at a Swiss boarding school at the recommendation of her father’s new admirer, Eunice Jackman, who is trying to get rid of her. Phillipa’s new boarding school is very strict with many rules the prescribe when you can talk, where you can be, when you have to go to bed and how you have to address the teachers. Phillipa is against the school from the beginning mainly because she would rather be with her father and also because the school was Eunice’s suggestion.

Even before beginning at the school, Philippa already has started a friendship with a boy named Paul Laurens, whom she met at the lake outside the chateau. While attending the school, Phillipa continues her friendship with Paul in secret, sneaking away from the school to meet him at an old abandoned chateau up the mountain. Slowly but surely, their friendship begins to turn into a romance, which they also keep a secret for a little while.

The romantic settings of the mountains in Switzerland reminded me of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. ”

At the school, Phillipa has problems with her classmates because she is quiet and shy. Her classmates decide to tease her with a mean nickname, “Pill.” This abuse continues, and it frustrates Phillipa and Paul, who both come to hate the school.

While at school Philippa befriends her teacher, Madame Perceval. Madame Perceval is the art teacher who happens to be a fan of Philippa’s father’s work. Philippa looks up to Madame Perceval because she also wants to be an artist some day just like her father and Madame. Madame in turn acts as a mentor to Philippa.

The mystery in And Both Were Young is centered around Paul’s past. The mysterious vibe is increased when a strange man begins wandering the mountains. The mystery comes to its climax near the end of the book, but I won’t ruin that for you here.

One of the things that I liked the most about this book was that the romantic settings of the mountains in Switzerland reminded me of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I really enjoyed imagining the clear lakes and snow covered mountains in And Both Were Young. Another thing I enjoyed was the action of all the skiing that takes place in the book. Flying down snow covered mountains sounds really cool and now I kind of want to try skiing.




Livi’s Library: Wings of Fire, ‘Legends Darkstalker’

Welcome to Livi’s Library, our new blog on books written by avid reader and Shield staff reporter, Olivia Watts. 

Scholastic released “Legends Darkstalker,” the prequel to popular series Wings of Fire by author Tui T. Sutherland, on June 28, four years after it released “The Dragonet Prophecy,” the first book published in the series that now includes 16 published books, with the next book to be released the day after Christmas.  

The series has gained popularity with both preteen and especially teen readers. The teenage fans of Wings of Fire have expressed their love of the series on and off line by making fanart of their favorite characters, writing fanfics from the perspective of characters from the series and of their own invention, and even making shirts and stickers with the characters on them. The series fits into children, teen, adventure and fantasy genres.

Each book in the series takes place from the perspective of a different character. The prologue and epilogue of each book are also from the perspective of a different character or are sometimes told in the third person. The series takes place in three arcs consisting of five books each beginning with books one through five followed by books six through ten. The third arc began this summer with book 11, “The Lost Continent,” and will continue to book 15. The 12th book, “The Hive Queen,” is set to come out Dec. 26. Scholastic will release “The Poisin Jungle,” book 13 and the third book of the third arc, on June 25, 2019. 

One thing all the books have in common is that all of them are from the perspective of dragons. In the series the dragon species are separated into seven tribes that are dispersed into different regions according to their abilities across and around the continent they inhabit. The seven dragon tribes are the Icewings, Nightwings, Skywings, Rainwings, Seawings, Sandwings and Mudwings. Their continent is called Pyrrhia and is actually shaped like a dragon, which is kind of funny, and is divided into individual kingdoms amongst the dragons. The Mudwings live in the messy swamps, the Icewings in the frozen North, the Sandwings in the desert, the Rainwings in the humid rainforest, the Seawings in the deep sea, of course, and the surrounding islands, which are called “The Bay of a Thousand Scales,” the Skywings in the high mountains, and no one knows where the secretive Nightwings live.

The teenage fans of Wings of Fire have expressed their love of the series on and off line by making fanart of their favorite characters and by writing fanfics from the perspective of characters from the series.”

“Legends Darkstalker” takes place 2,000 years before the beginning of the series. This may seem like too much time to be relevant, but is actually very connected to the later stories. This book is unique from the rest of the series because it takes place not just from the perspective of one dragon, but from the perspective of three excluding the prologue and epilogue. The book takes place from the perspectives of Darkstalker, Clearsight and Fathom. Darkstalker, for whom the book is named, is the main antagonist of the story and is part NightWing part Icewing. Darkstalker is extremely powerful because he can read minds and see the future and he is an animus, which means he can cast spells on objects and dragons by saying or thinking them. Clearsight is a young NightWing with the power to see the future like Darkstalker. She gained this power by hatching under a full moon. Darkstalker gained his future seeing and mind reading powers by hatching under three full moons. This is because the NightWing’s powers are directly linked to the three moons that revolve around their planet. Fathom is a SeaWing animus who is a couple years older than Darkstalker.

One of the things I love the most about this series including “Darkstalker Legends” is how there are almost always multiple mysteries happening at once.”

My favorite character is Clearsight because she’s pretty smart and very resourceful. She is always planning by looking into the future and thinking about how her and other dragon’s current decisions might affect the future. Through carefully making decisions and viewing the future, over time she learns how to avoid the terrible futures she sees and how to make the futures that are good and safe happen instead. She also tries her hardest to protect her family and friends from all harms, which is why in the book her gift is viewed as a blessing and not a curse. She uses what she was given wisely and tries her best to help others, not to get ahead or hurt other dragons.

One of the things I love the most about this series including “Darkstalker Legends” is how there are almost always multiple mysteries happening at once. This can be a bit hard to keep straight but adds to the excitement. The mysteries cause the plot to twist and turn and characters and plot points turn out to be connected in surprising ways that you never could have imagined. The whole series is full of adventure and excitement throughout and often danger.

“Legends Darkstalker” is one of my favorite books in this series because it contains so many emotions and secrets.”

“Legends Darkstalker” is one of the most danger-filled books in the series because it contains both animus magic and angry, scared, overprotective dragons, which is not a good combination.

“Legends Darkstalker” is one of my favorite books in this series because it contains so many emotions and secrets and because it provides a lot of background information to the rest of the series. I like that it is from the perspective of the three main characters over time because you can really see how the characters change and grow. The combination of all these elements and the dynamic characters makes this one of my favorite books that I have read, not just in this series but overall.