"On the nights when she wasn't too tired, she studied folklore and tales written in languages she could now read fluently. She welcomed the return of old, almost forgotten enchantment. She discovered again the promise of wonder . . . no matter what good and evil was involved."
from "The Chronicle of Secret Riven" by Ronlyn Domingue
I have been engrossed in this book the last few weeks. This is the second volume in the "Mapmaker's War" trilogy by this author. If you have not heard of or read these books, i highly recommend them. While considered a trilogy, it is not necessary to read the Mapmaker's War first. They are so different that one might read both and not realize they are connected in any way. The Mapmaker's War takes place in a distant past from The Chronicle of Secret Riven and there are only slight allusions to the first book's story in Secret Riven.
What the Chronicle of Secret Riven IS, however, is a slow and gentle unfolding of a young girl's life story. . . truly a chronicle in form and verse. . . beautifully told and meandering through mysticism and fantasy. . . heartbreaking and reassuring all at once.
The paragraph above is one of the touchstones of the book for me. A girl who is born to enchantment and magic but tries to ignore it and move to the "grown up" world of expectation and "normalcy" is reminded, again and again, that her path is not the same as others. That she is fated to something few will understand and fewer will share.
What I often take from books like this is a reassurance that the stories we tell about ourselves are, ultimately, what decide the degree of happiness we will experience in our lives.
What we carry forward, repeat and reshape. . . even re-create is OUR reality. I have reinvented my life many times. Changed locations, name, career and, ultimately this all led me back to the origins of my own mystic beginnings and experiences.
No matter the shadows or the light, it is a choice. . .. every day a new chapter and what carries forward with us is, ultimately, a result of our own authorship.
I read books like this to remember. . and to return. . . to my own origins.
To do otherwise would be to turn my back on what simply is, and always has been, my reality.