THE LORD OF THE DANCE by Judy Allen

THE LORD OF THE DANCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lonely, excruciatingly shy, and oppressed by the bleak, ""heavily vandalized"" British New Town to which his family has recently moved, Mike is drawn to the ""vitality and character"" of the City Center now rising over an old well shaft that reveals itself during the construction. The well, Colin learns from an intense (disturbed?) older boy deeply into Sacred Geometry, is the ""dynamic center of spiritual force of the whole town,"" and one day a fall into the shaft brings Mike a vision: he sees a dazzling ""sun king"" on a white charger and a beautiful pale silver lady in a bower--the positive and negative forces Mike perceives to be locked in a cosmic battle which he believes he's been summoned to settle. ""Choosing"" the king, Mike wakens to reality and is later gratified by the energy that begins to throb through the whole town--even through the youth group which he has diffidently joined. But energy turns to aggression and violence, and so in another vision Mike chooses the lady, cool and soothing--only to see the town's subsequent peacefulness lead to apathy and depression. Guided through the experience by the Civic Center's aged architect, Magnus--also a magus and self-revealed Lord of the Dance (for it is, Mike learns at last, a dance and not a battle), Mike comes to realize that it is not for him to disturb the balance of the universe. Judged in terms of message this represents a welcome corrective to the dualistic, more arrogant assumptions of traditional British children's fantasy. But with all the agonized introspection, overwritten episodes, and cliched images, Allen's method seems gracelessly at odds with her theme. Heavy.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1977
Publisher: Dutton