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A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Time Quintet #3)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  80,253 Ratings  ·  1,455 Reviews
In this companion volume to A Wrinkle In Time (Newbery Award winner) and  A Wind In The Door fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace and the unicorn Gaudior undertake a perilous journey through time in a desperate attempt to stop the destruction of the world by the mad dictator Madog Branzillo. They are not alone in  their quest. Charles Wallace's sister, Meg -- grown and expecti ...more
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Listening Library (first published July 1978)
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Sarah Meg was a freshman in the first book, so she was around 14 or 15; Charles Wallace was 5. Charles Wallace is 15 in the third book, so Meg should be 24…moreMeg was a freshman in the first book, so she was around 14 or 15; Charles Wallace was 5. Charles Wallace is 15 in the third book, so Meg should be 24 or 25.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
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
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
Oct 11, 2007 Qt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
D.M. Dutcher
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
Mar 24, 2008 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
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
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
4.5 stars. Re-read. Spoilers abound.

It amazes me how I can still be finding new things to think about and learn from in L'Engle's work even after 3-4 re-reads. The lyrical bits were a little harder to get through this time around - but no less beautiful. L'Engle has a gift for creating incredible characters - even though you only spend a short time in Madoc, Bran, Harcels, Chuck, and Matthew's brains through Charles, their stories drew me in. And can we talk about the fact that Chuck and Matthe
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
Mar 25, 2008 Christopher rated it it was ok  ·  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
L'Engle is such a gifted writer that it took me much of this book for me to fully realize that it just wasn't working for me. It's essentially a series of small family dramas, which I simply wasn't able to muster up a lot of enthusiasm for. In the end, the fate of the world hinges on making sure that a key character (who never actually appears in person) has the correct ancestry. I do appreciate the reappearance of what I consider a common theme in this series, that people, even unpleasant ones, ...more
Andrew Leon
My first ever oral book report was on A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I chose it because I had so much enjoyed the book. And, hey, it had a flying unicorn. I got an A on the written report; I didn't do so well on the oral presentation. I never let that happen again, though. It was what you call "a learning experience."

Three books into reading (and re-reading) L'Engle's Time Quintent and I'm finally realizing what it is, exactly, that I don't like about them. The characters don't do anything. They spen
Jul 22, 2009 Ariel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, mg
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
Dec 22, 2008 Kerri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
I feel like I've been sucked into the side of an airbrushed panel van. Boom... unicorn!
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
Aug 01, 2007 D rated it it was ok  ·  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?
Mar 03, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
J. Aleksandr Wootton
A very odd book, dealing with ideas about altering history, causality, family lineage, destiny, and so on (but not with a multiverse approach, so far as I remember). The story was exciting enough but I don't recall enjoying its philosophy, which is quite overt.

I do think A Swiftly Tilting Planet could produce valuable discussions in, say, a middle-grade classroom setting. Students will need guidance navigating the nuances of L'Engle's "what-if" material.

Also, what a beautiful title! One of my fa
Jun 02, 2008 Charles rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Just stick with A Wrinkle in Time.
Apr 15, 2017 Vendela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this series is so soothing. And galvanizing.
Feb 12, 2010 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrens, sf, reread, 10, 2010
This isn’t a proper review. I’m not talking much about the plot, or deeper meanings or the paradoxes involved in time travel. I’m really just gushing, because I totally loved reading this book.

While I was supposed to be rereading it for Kailana’s book challenge this month, I kept putting off starting it. This was because I remember this book with such fondness and I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my memory. I was disappointed in my reread of A Wind in the Door and I was so scared the same thi
Dec 27, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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
May 20, 2014 Elissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was younger, my mother would read to me whenever I got sick. She would read me books from her own childhood, books with worn covers and musty smells, written by authors like Louisa May Alcott and Madeleine L'Engle. I remember very precisely the day she read me A Swiftly Tilting Planet: I was six years old, and we were living out in an old farmhouse. It was summertime, and I had some sort of stomach virus, and could keep down nothing but watered-down sprite. At the time, my mother and I we ...more
Jacqueline Nukaya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 20, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third in the author’s Time Quintet, this is a book which I realised that I had never previously read. Intended for older children and teens. This is a powerful story, blending history, mythology and Christian faith, with an awareness of evil in the world that is quite topical.

At times I was a tad confused because are a lot of characters, many of them with similar names, in several different time periods. This is deliberate: Charles Wallace, the fifteen-year-old hero of this book, travels throug
May 16, 2012 Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 18, 2013 Andree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, 2013
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.
May 21, 2012 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I know that I read this book years and years ago, but I really don't remember it impacting me at all. Certainly, it didn't feel to me as momentous as "A Wrinkle in Time." But, wow. On this read, I feel like I love this book even more than "A Wrinkle in Time." Well, "more." I don't know that that's the right word, because you really have to read "A Wrinkle in Time" and "A Wind in the Door" to fully appreciate "A Swiftly Tilting Planet." (Although, the book does stand alone as a story - and q ...more
Dec 07, 2012 Mikayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Future Teachers, ...: Ellingson. Review 3 1 2 Oct 07, 2016 04:35PM  
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A Swiftly Tilting Planet 1 19 Mar 02, 2013 02:37PM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Time Quintet (5 books)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)
  • A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2)
  • Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #4)
  • An Acceptable Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #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!”
“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” 206 likes
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