A lyrical tale that demonstrates how a voyage of self-discovery can be more important than an outer journey.
The legend of far-off Opal Cavern has long tantalized the humanlike races that inhabit the agrarian land of Tarth: Stallis, who live above ground as we do, and the taller, curly haired, semiaquatic Wassandras, who move between the surface and the golden Wasso Lake that is their home. The villagers and lake dwellers share a belief in a divine intelligence called the Plete and a peaceful, mutually supportive way of life that has them moving in and out of each other’s lives and homes. They come together to send out an expedition in search of the cavern and to take care of those who stay behind. The energetic center of both groups belongs to Curl, a young, headstrong Wassandra, whose heart is set on joining the quest, exploring the world and marrying a Stalli. The ultimate destination, Curl discovers, is within the self, where she confronts physical limitations and her true nature. Every step is slow, methodical and resonant with enormous forethought and care. This third book in the Tarth series has the gentle pace and simplicity of a YA novel, and its sufficient exposition can stand on its own. Despite the journeying framework, Byrd (The Brueggen Stones, 2007) presents not so much an action-packed story as a heart-centered exploration of the complex affections and relationships that link individuals, families, communities and species. Even Tarth’s horses contribute their own knowledge and wisdom to the quest. Compassion, kindness and trust in divine guidance are as organic and matter-of-fact as the physical laws that govern the golden waters of Wasso Lake.
A nonpreaching testament to the power that comes from knowing and accepting yourself.