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A Swiftly Tilting Planet (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet #3)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  59,009 ratings  ·  1,060 reviews
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be o
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Square Fish (first published January 1st 1978)
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen1984 by George OrwellTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeRomeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Best Authors Ever
268th out of 270 books — 136 voters
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'EngleThe Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen LordShades of Earth by Beth RevisThe Host by Stephenie MeyerCatching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Best Space Travel/Futuristic Books
14th out of 19 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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.
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
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
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.
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
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 25, 2008 Christopher rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
Just stick with A Wrinkle in Time.
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
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.
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
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
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
Jacqueline Nukaya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Klein
A Swiftly Tilting Planet is the third book in the Wrinkle in Time series. It is is Thanksgiving. Meg is now married to Calvin and is expecting their first child. Sandy and Dennys are in college and Charles Wallace is now 15. A phone call from the President tells Mr. Murry that a man named Mad Dog Branzillo is about to blow up. Charles Wallace is then charged or told by by Mrs. O'Keefe, Calvin's mother, that he is the one to save the world. He goes to the star watching rock where he says the rune ...more
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
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.
Just posted this review on my blog - check out this and many more young adult book reviews and recommendations there.

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
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
I really liked this book. I liked it because it was a sci-fi, but it wasn't so totally unrealistic. I also liked how all of the characters worked well together and they were all strong minded. I also liked how each separate adventure was related to the next and so on. Lastly, I liked how it was all exciting and how it was told from someone's point of view even though they weren't experiencing it.
I would recommend this book to everyone. Just make sure you read the first two books before this one
I have a great problem with this book. But as it has next to nothing to do with the plot and the events, I’ll leave it for the end of this review.

When the story begins, we get to learn that a crazy South American dictator (this was written in 1979, so dictators were a common thing around this place) is threatening the US with a nuclear missile (don’t think too much about this). So Charles Wallace’s mission is to travel back in time and discover how to solve this whole mess. He’s called to this b
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
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
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101 Books to Read...: Time Quintet 03 - A Swiftly Tilting Planet 3 6 Jan 01, 2015 01:04PM  
Reading order 2 20 Sep 09, 2013 03:26PM  
A Swiftly Tilting Planet 1 17 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

A Wrinkle in Time Quintet (5 books)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)
  • A Wind in the Door (Time, #2)
  • Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #4)
  • An Acceptable Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #5)
A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) A Wind in the Door (Time, #2) Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #4) A Ring of Endless Light (Austin Family, #5) 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.” 172 likes
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