Lorien Lost

Michael King

A Wyatt Book for St. Martin's Press. $22.00

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 surprises.

* * *

"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 cross.)"


Read an excerpt from Lorien Lost.


This review copyright 1997 by Wendy Morris

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