Lorien Lost is a beautiful, dreamy novel about
the magic of living and the enchantments we cast on ourselves.
Milton Radcliffe is very shy and retiring, except for when he
visits magical Larking Land. The way to Larking Land is through a
certain painting, and when a fire destroys Milton's, he is
devastated. Without Lorien, he is lost.
From a newly-discovered journal, Milton learns that the artist had
a retreat in Devonshire, the real life model for the magical Larking
Land. Better yet, the journal suggests that a life-size statue of
Lorien might be there. Milton prepares to mount an expedition, hoping
to find both the statue and a way back into Larking Land.
Lorien Lost hearkens back to other allegorical fantasies,
especially George MacDonald's Lilith and Phantastes,
Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno, and J.R.R. Tolkien's
charming Leaf by Niggle. Charming is also the word for
Lorien Lost, with its lyrical prose and gentle, poignant
humor. Michael King's first novel is a refreshing break from the
quests and wars and heroic derring-do which have become the standard
fantasy fare. To say much more risks spoiling Lorien's many
* * *
"Some carry jars of a special marmalade, veined like orange
marble, and so tangy that it will permanently pucker your mouth. (The
only way to unpucker yourself is to kiss a dog on the lips. It is so
irresistible that many are known to drag their dogs to the table at
dessert time so that they may gobble as much marmalade as they like,
pecking the dog on the lips with a kiss between each mouthful, until
the jar is empty and they are stuffed and round, and the dog is quite
Read an excerpt from Lorien Lost.
This review copyright 1997 by Wendy Morris