Book of the Week - The Maze in the Heart of the Castle

The Maze in the Heart of the Castle by Dorothy Gilman

This is probably one of my favorite books. Sadly, the book was in limited print and difficult to find. However, if your library carries this book than I highly recommend a good read. Every time I read this book I always find something new and interesting about it. There is such a depth to the story that is not found in many adventure stories.

The story is about Colin, who loses both his parents to a plague that is sweeping the land. With his parents gone, Colin is left scared, confused, and angry. He seeks out a monk who tells him that the answers he is looking for at a haunted castle on Rheemback Mountain--where Colin meets a strange wizard. Instead of answers though, the wizard opens two large oak doors to reveal an ancient maze. The answers lay not in the maze though, but beyond it. In the maze Colin discovers people who love their misery, kindness in the desert, people who live in caves, afraid of the light, cruelty, and love. He finds betrayal and pain and eventually the answers he seeks although not in the way he imagined.

It's all here. The stages of grief ranging from anger, to denial, to deal making, and finally acceptance. All played out in an allegory built around one young man's adventure of self discovery. When you first encounter this book, you may read just an adventure story, full of original action and intriguing characters, all of it taking place in a time and space somewhat similar to but significantly different from the conventional Wester fantasy. It is a hard book to find, but I promise it is well worth the effort.


Unknown said...

Yay! I've read this one! I agree, it seems to be about a bit of everything, so something new always pops out at me every time I read it.

Nice choice!