Libyrinth (Libyrinth #1)
Haly, the protagonist and reluctant redeemer of this novel, hears books; they literally speak to her. As clerk and resident of the Libyrinth, shes dedicated to the preservation of a vast library whose contents originated in Earths distant past. Like kitchen servant Clauda and Libyrarian Selene, Haly has dreams that most young adults could identify with. The trio team up to foil a plot concocted by the book-destroying Eradicants, thus launching their quest for The Book of the Night.
If Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451 were to continue its narrative further into the future and occur off-world, it would be this novel. In fact, it was no great surprise to come upon a quote from the aforementioned book in Libyrinth. The brief excerpt, along with lines from other books, are all faithfully documented in a guide at the very end. Usually, when such extracts are taken out of context, their intended significance is destroyed. In this case, however, we perceive them from a fresh perspective. Particularly touching are passages from Anne Franks diary, which are well suited to both plot and characterizations. The symbolism behind these and other literary references are relevant to the general theme as well.
This compelling story works on a number of levels, primarily as an enjoyable adventure into a realm where magic and technology intertwine. It is a fully realized world in which characters discover their true destinies and reading is the song of life. Books themselves are depicted as catalysts of global unity and environmental preservation: &Everything needed was present either in oneself or in the environment - self and environment being one and the same. Moreover, they become the manifestation of universal harmony: And in the awareness of that unity of all things, desire and fear and pain became meaningless and fell away.
Literacy should never be taken for granted and this novel exemplifies that premise. Youth or adult, anyone who reads it will emerge with a better understanding of the timeless power of the written word. Thats Pearl Norths gift to her readers.