A Swiftly Tilting Planet
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A Swiftly Tilting Planet (The Time Quintet #3)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  53,097 ratings  ·  969 reviews
The Murry and O’Keefe families enlist the help of the unicorn, Gaudior, to save the world from imminent nuclear war.


Fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace Murry, whom readers first met in A Wrinkle in Time, has a little task he must accomplish. In 24 hours, a mad dictator will destroy the universe by declaring nuclear war—unless Charles Wallace can go back in time to change one

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Published (first published January 1st 1978)
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Phoebe
I can't really claim that this will be a "review," not really. Reviews require a certain degree of (admittedly sometimes false) objectivity, and I suspect that I'm physically incapable of being objective in regards to A Swiftly Tilting Planet, the third book in Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet and my favorite book ever. I've read it at least a dozen times in the past decade and a half. I own multiple copies (all with the same cover, with Charles Wallace in bell bottomed jeans with feathered hair...more
Qt
This installment in the "Wrinkle in Time" quartet contains, as the others do, a wonderful and unusual mixture of ideas. It has spirituality and religion, fantasy, time and space travel, and philosophy, and nearly every page seems to celebrate life. While all the books in the quartet are very good, I think I liked this one and "Wrinkle in Time" the best. "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" was suspenseful, well-written, and beautifully done.
Michael Fitzgerald
This one is pretty weak. The name thing is especially stupid. It takes literally 150 pages (out of 278) for them to figure out "with a startled flash of comprehension" that there's - gosh! - a connection between various people named Madoc, Madog, Maddok, Maddox, Mad Dog, Branwen, Brandon, Bran, Zyll, Zylle, Zillo, Zillah, Zillie, Beezie (B.Z.), Branzillo. And then it's on p.195 that we get "Certainly the name Zillie must have some connection with Madoc's Zyll, and Ritchie Llawcae's Zylle..." Rea...more
Keith Mukai
Though L'Engle's storytelling improves after the dull previous outing of "A Wind in the Door", "Swiftly" fails in other more serious ways.

The biggest problem is her somewhat silly reliance on hereditary family names from generation to generation--names that endure for hundreds of years and somehow continue to intersect.

Madoc, Madog, Maddux, and Mad Dog; Gwydder, Gedder, and Gwen; Zyllie, Zyllah, Zylle; two Branwens and a Charles and a Chuck round out the cast. I think.

Something like four differe...more
Morgan
Mar 27, 2008 Morgan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Morgan by: Jenn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
D.M. Dutcher (Sword Cross Rocket)
Wow. Out of all of the Time Trilogy novels, I had the fondest memories of this. I guess as a child I skipped over a lot of it.

We enter the Murray family, but about 9 years or so from the events of a Wind in the Door. Meg has married Calvin off-screen and is pregnant. Sandy and Denys are bankers, and Charles Williams is 15. I admit I wasn't crazy about that, seeing as Meg was the soul of the first two books, and I really wanted to see her interact with Calvin more. But I can understand.

It sets up...more
Christopher
Mar 25, 2008 Christopher rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People with infinite patience.
I hate to admit it, but getting through this book has been a bit of a chore. I'm not altogether certain if I want to finish this chapter of the "Wrinkle in Time" series, though I'm sure I'll press on because I bought the entire series and I want to get through it at least once. What is interesting about this book is that it introduces us to an adult (and very pregnant) Meg, and a teenaged Charles Wallace, who is the center of this book. After getting to know these two characters so well in the p...more
Kerri
Charles Wallace, unicorns, telepathy and time travel. For me, there is very little not to like in this book. L'Engle again explores connections through space and time, and how the actions of just one person can alter history as we know it. One of the books I can read again and again and always enjoy.
Janni
This book was deeply, deeply influential when I first read it. Years later, I can see it's flaws more clearly, but in many ways I don't care. L'Engle's overall sense of the universe having a fundamental all-rightness beneath its darkness, and this particular book's sense that until they do happen the awful things don't have to happen, have stayed with me through the years.

Just reread 2/11/12. Still magic. Still so deep a comfort read.

(Scattered thoughts about this book and The Arm of the Starfis...more
D
Sep 26, 2007 D rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: hard-core fans of L'Engle
Shelves: sci-fi, ya-lit
L'Engle's Time Quartet diminishes in cohesion with each installment. Whether from the author's own under-writing or her publishing house's imprudent hands-off editing after the wild success of A Wrinkle in Time, this book is a disappointment. L'Engle has shown herself capable of visionary writing, and the Wallace family is undeniably charming, so why such a half-baked result?
Ariel
I re-read all of these in a row: A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door and this conclusion. What a difference in quality. But this isn't the typical "gold, silver, brass" progression of a trilogy. It's more like 'gold, silver, mud.'

A Swiftly Tilting Planet is terribly dated and even racist. There's a bad guy in Patagonia who wants to use The Bomb and Charles Wallace can only fix the problem by traveling back in time and space to make sure the right father begets the guy with his finger on the bu...more
Pam
I did not expect to like this book and it took me a while to get into the story, but once I did, "Wow!"

This is way, way better than the first two books in L'Engle's Time series. Now that I've read this book, I've figured out why I couldn't appreciate the first two. I think L'Engle tried too hard with the science in the first two books. Don't get me wrong, I liked the science. I just think she tried too hard with it that the story came out disjointed. Nothing fit right. But this book: "Wow!"

I lik...more
Cait
This is where this series entirely fell off the rails for me. (If you enjoyed this book, feel free to skip my rant! You are totally entitled to your own opinions!) I expected to enjoy this! It is a dear favorite of several of my friends. But no. I did not enjoy it. I loathed this book. Loathed.

Let us begin with the intro! The gang is assembled again! Dad is advising the president! Mom is science-ing! Sandy is in medical school! Denys is in law school! Charles Wallace is doing a lot better in sc...more
Sarah
Charles Wallace saves the universe from the forces of evil. Dear Lord, I hated this book. I'm going with two stars because I do try to reserve a one-star rating for truly unreadable books. This wasn't necessarily bad; I just hated it. I hated the wooden dialogue. I hated the vaguely racist patina over the Native American portrayal. I hated the fact that everyone had the same flipping name. I hated that the author circumvented background exposition with awkward over-explaining conversations (or e...more
Charles
Just stick with A Wrinkle in Time.
Andree
Probably four stars, if I'm being honest, but I've again decided to weight the rating based on how I felt about this book when I first read it. It's not as good as A Wrinkle in Time on reread, but I feel like it still stands up.

The book has it's issues. There were a few sections in the first quarter that had the biologist in me side-eyeing. The first quarter is also more than a little heavy-handed. Also, the free will implications of going Within struck me more, reading this book when I'm older....more
Melissa
It's hard not to like L'Engle's books. They all have such poetry and imagination that you can really escape into them. And this one, a sequel to "A Wrinkle In Time" does that first book justice and continues the story of the Murry family who are all special in their own way.

It's Thanksgiving and Meg and her brothers are back at the family home to be together. Meg is heavily pregnant and resting while her husband is away and has even invited her strange mother in law to join them as well. But it...more
Mikayla
This book made my head hurt.
But, you know, in a good way. The best way.
Time travel.

I'll admit, there were times while I was reading this book where I was close to giving up trying to understand what was going on. There were parts I didn't understand until I read them twice.
And when I did?
This is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. Not many people can capture the intricacies of time travel so mind-blowingly well.

Madeleine brings back characters from the Murry family for the third instal...more
Becca
You know how a favorite books is a little like going home? I just needed something I know I was going to love and read quickly, so I am re-reading this entire series. I can't wait until my friend's kids are old enough to read these. I forgot about the religious element in these books (like Narnia, reading them as a child, I was more about the adventure than the theology). But still, what a beautiful world view.

This is my favorite of the "time quintent". There's something complex and meaningful...more
Jacqueline Nukaya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Betsy
Kind of disturbing how everyone is inter-related, and has very similar names. And the genetics of the blue eyes is just... wrong.

Also the poem, kinda is dull compared to the creativity present in other books. Especially since they hold such mystical magic.
Priyanka
Just posted this review on my blog http://www.PriyankaReads.com - check out this and many more young adult book reviews and recommendations there.

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Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Age Recommended: 9 and up

A Swiftly Tilting Planet is my favorite book of the quintet so far. In this book, Madeleine L'Engle introduces a number of new characters and the story line is very captivating.

The book takes one back in time and the whole concept of "Within" is truly amazing. I loved how the concept of kything from...more
Zeo
Although I thought it was far better than A Wind in the Door , this book still was a struggle to get through in my recent re-read of this series. Of the first three, which I'd read as a kid, I really only remembered plot elements from the first, and character elements from the first and second. This one, I don't know. I know I read it and enjoyed it. This time, reading the first chapter or so was stunning. It starts off surprisingly political, and despite the generally conservative presentation...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
This series seriously just gets stranger and stranger. In the third book in the series, L'Engle abandons her more scientific approach and goes instead for outright religious references and time travel, but not in a scientific way.

Let me go back. In between A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet, many years have passed. Meg and Calvin have married; Calvin is eminent in his studies, and Meg, having abandoned her excellent mathematical intelligence is pregnant with her first child.

The cris...more
Angela Corbin
This may be my favorite of the quintet so far. The possibility and hope of this story (these many stories, really) intertwined through creation, history, humanity, individuals, and time are still making my heart race and my mind swirl a little.

I love the way that Reality is made clearer in L'Engle stories...that what we see is not all that is. As I read, I felt newly awakened to the reality of how small I am. How fleeting are all things visible and present. And yet even as I was dwarfed by the...more
Kelsey
Mar 14, 2011 Kelsey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
I really can't put into words what this book is about. All I can say is that it is the most amazing book I've ever read. This is one of the few books that any age can read. I read this the first time when I was about 10, and I I've read it about six times now. I love it more and more each time I read. Though I didn't fully understand it the first time I read it, I knew there was something special about it, so I went back and read it again. It's one of the few books that get better with each read...more
Ab
The third in L'Engle's trilogy of A Wrinkle in Time. An excellent series for young adults.

I've just finished re-reading this book and found it really interesting that it has much more of a historical fiction vein running through it than I remember. The time and space travel is still going on, this time with Gaudior the unicorn. I love how L'Engle uses these classic mythical creatures and gives them attitude and character not normally associated with such creatures. For example, the unicorn is g...more
Cassie
Normally, I love stories that revolve around the characters more than the plot, and while this has a fair share of characters in it, it doesn't have the main ingredient that makes character driven novels good--character development. There's absolutely no development for anyone, especially the main character who remains a passive observer basically throughout the entire novel.

I was immediately disappointed when I started the book to realize that Meg was useless and Charles Wallace was the main ch...more
Jacqie
I loved this book as a child, and probably much of this review will be my childhood experience of reading it. I've looked through some other reviews and been interested to see the viewpoints of those who don't like the book. There are certainly some race and gender reps that seem dated or not PC now, but I wonder how a child of 10 or 12 (my age when I first read it) would perceive it.

For myself, reading it about 1978 or 1980, it was an eye-opening experience. First, one thing I like about L'engl...more
Darla
Dear Reader,
I don't think any of this could be considered a spoiler but still.. Read at your own risk. :)


I recently re-read this book after finding it in my 17 year-old son's room. Got started reading the series when I was a girl when my Auntie Isabel suggested I give it a try. Glad I listened.

It's the Murray family again. Mom & Dad, Meg, Charles Wallace, the two younger brothers (whose names I always forget)... but it takes place later than any of the other stories in the series as they...more
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Reading order 2 14 Sep 09, 2013 03:26PM  
A Swiftly Tilting Planet 1 16 Mar 02, 2013 02:37PM  
  • Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5)
  • Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain, #4)
  • The Diamond in the Window (Hall Family Chronicles, #1)
  • Deep Wizardry (Young Wizards, #2)
  • The Time Garden (Tales of Magic, #4)
  • Anna to the Infinite Power
  • On Fortune's Wheel (Kingdom, #2)
  • The Girl with the Silver Eyes
  • Dragondrums (Harper Hall, #3)
  • The Long Secret (Harriet the Spy #2)
  • The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm
  • Emily's Quest (Emily, #3)
  • The Golden Key
  • The Wings of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #5)
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Madeleine L'Engle was an American writer best known for her Young Adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. Her works reflect her strong interest in modern science: tesseracts, for example, are featured prominently in A Wrinkle in Time, mitochondrial DNA in A Wind in the Door, organ regener...more
More about Madeleine L'Engle...
A Wrinkle in Time (Time, #1) A Wind in the Door (Time, #2) Many Waters (The Time Quintet, #4) A Ring of Endless Light (Austin Family, #5) An Acceptable Time (Time, #5)

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“At Tara in this fateful hour,
I place all Heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath,
And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness:
All these I place,
By God's almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness!”
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“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” 157 likes
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