of Ben Makuh


Book Reviews


Beneath the Swirling Sky [a review]

I was intrigued to pick this up after seeing it compared to Andrew Peterson’s masterful Wingfeather Saga, which I have been reading to my son lately. After having read Carolyn Leiloglou’s Beneath the Swirling Sky myself, I have to say that in my opinion it is not much like Peterson’s books except that it’s aimed at roughly the same age range, and it has a similar moral lens. That’s actually a good thing, though! It’s fresh and interesting rather than trying to just mimic somebody else’s work.

The story revolves around Vincent, his sister Lili, and their cousin Georgia sent to the middle of nowhere Texas for the week of spring break where their uncle can watch them while Vincent’s parents go on a cruise. What initially looks to be a very boring week turns out to be a fantastical adventure, though, when they discover they can literally fall into artwork when they touch it. But then when Lili is abducted by the evil Distortionists, Georgia and Vincent have to set off on a globe-spanning quest to rescue her using their magical art powers.

Along the way, we’re also invited into Vincent’s troubled relationship with art. What had once been an enjoyable pastime when he was little had since soured into something that he wanted nothing to do with (although it's something of a gradually revealed mystery as to why). Through the course of the story, he has to wrestle with the place of art in his life and what it even means to create art. Is it a means of self-expression, as so many art teachers had told him? Or is it something else?

I keep my eye out for books that my children can read that are engaging while also having something of substance to say to them about the lives they lead. I'm definitely having them read this one!

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of a fair, unbiased review.

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