Laura's Reviews > Libyrinth

Libyrinth by Pearl North
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Books may speak to you sometimes but likely not in the same way they speak to Haly, the protagonist of Libyrinth. In this far future Earth, Haly hears books speaking their stories to her.

Haly works as a Libyrarian clerk in the Libyrinth, a fortress dedicated to preserving books. The books must be preserved against the Eradicants, a powerful group who fear books, forbid their followers from learning to read, and seek to destroy all books save The Book of the Night (a book rumored to hold all of the wisdom of the ancients, including the secret of creating Eggs, a chief power source).

When Haly hears the Eradicants plotting to locate The Book of the Night (which consequently would lead to their destruction of all other books once they possessed this one), she knows she must set out to find the book first. Along with Clauda, her friend from the kitchen and, Selene, her Libyrarian employer, Haly sets off to find The Book of the Night. By story's end, they learn a great deal about each other, about themselves, and about the history of the schism between the Libyrarians and the Eradicants.

Readers must be willing to engage fully in a alternate, unfamiliar reality in order not to be completely discombobulated within the world that North has built. Libyrinth's a highly intertextual book, including lines from numerous classics that Haly hears speaking to her (a helpful guide to which lines come from which books is provided at the end). Those who are willing to engage will find much food for thought within Libyrinth--about religion, about stereotypes, about reading, and more.

In Libryinth, the idea of reading as a right, a privilege, and a road to understanding self, others, and the world is reinforced. Libyrinth is a paean to the power of the written word--to move, to change, and to inspire those who are brave enough to read.
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