lloyd alexander quote fantasy

Life Lessons Learned From Fantasy

fantasy month

Happy February. Betchya didn’t know that February is Fantasy month, did ya? It sure is. Hey, if there can be a month dedicated to peanuts (yay! love peanuts) there can be one for fantasy.

The whole Fantasy Month idea was hatched (out of a dragon egg, no doubt) by author Jenelle Schmidt. I actually have another fantasy themed post I’ll be rolling out shortly, but today I’m kicking things off with another one of Jenelle’s fantastical ideas, a little blog question and answer game. And since you know how much I love literary games, I couldn’t resist taking part.

The rules go, uh-like-so:

  1. Link back to Jenelle’s blog
  2. Use the image above
  3. Tell us 5-10 lessons you’ve learned from reading a fantasy book (or watching a fantasy movie) – lessons can come from multiple sources, as well, of course
  4. Tag 2-4 other bloggers to keep the game going

So, ready for the fun? Here we go!

lloyd alexander quote fantasy

The Hobbit

The Hobbit is the book that began my love of reading. Each time I read it, I like it more, which is the mark of a truly great classic. The Hobbit taught me that it’s a good thing to take risks, to listen to that inner adventurer inside all of us. It also taught me that wits and cleverness can win the day, even when facing a dragon!

The Wise Woman or the Lost Princess: A Double Story

This beautiful fairy tale by George MacDonald is one of my all time favorite works of fiction. Every page is dripping with truth. Though it’s just a short story, it has more truth per square inch than most novels. Reading this story is like having the author sit you down and hold a mirror in front of your face for several hours. “Oh, no, am I really that wretched?” you’ll be tempted to say. And yet as troubling as it can be to see ourselves in MacDonald’s divine light, the hope offered in the form of the Wise Woman’s advice heals that wound and returns it with a double blessing.

This story taught me how easy it is to want to be Somebody and how ugly life can be when that is my only focus. It also showed me how I justify my behavior and how tempting it is to prefer my own will to God’s. But, oh, the surpassing patience and tender mercy of Christ, not only to take me in my awful state, but to love me enough  to not just leave me there. Sometimes growth is painful and his lessons can seem hard in the moment, but the end is goodness upon goodness everlasting.

I recently re-read this story and though I’ve written a review on the collection in which it appears, I plan on writing one just focussing on this story. It’s that amazing.

Monster in the Hollows

The third book in the Wingfeather Saga, this one really hammered home the importance of family, especially fathers. In today’s world, fathers don’t get the respect the deserved. Part of this is the fault of some really bad fathers out there, but it’s a shame our society looks at men this way. Because it’s the kids who ultimately suffer from this perspective. Kids need a mom and a dad. Those raised without a father will live life wounded and never be quite whole. And that truth really shines forth in this book.

Nominations

And now it’s time to pass on the torch. Here are my nominations for people I’d love to hear tell about what they’ve learned from fantasy stories.

Abbey
J.L. Mbewe
E.E. Rawls
Julie Gilbert

And I’d love to hear in the comments anything you’ve learned from a fantasy body. Because that’s one of the best things about reading, isn’t it? Learning and growing in wisdom and truth.

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Comments (8)

  1. Jenelle February 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Excellent lessons! Thanks for doing the tag! Yay and hoorah for fantasy!

    I really need to read the Wingfeather Saga. I quite agree, I think men in general and fathers in particular have been quite unjustly hammered in our culture, which bothers me quite a lot.

    I also need to read The Wise Woman or the Lost Princess… you’ve talked about that one several times and it is on my list… just need to find a copy. Library… here I come!

    • DJ Edwardson February 9, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      Yes, thanks for dreaming this up! So fun and a great chance to reflect.

      Yes the Wingfeather Saga is pretty good. Sort of like Mark Twain meets C.S. Lewis. I think you’d like it.

      An Wise Woman, well, as I said, simply one of my favorite works of all time. Hope you get a chance to read it soon. It’s the kind of thing you could read to your kids. I’m actually reading it to my kids right now and they are loving it!

  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt February 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks for reminding me of my obligations as a practicing Catholic: forgive us our trespasses as WE forgive those who trespass against US. So hard. So necessary. We don’t have to forget, but leaving vengeance to the Lord works a whole lot better.

    • DJ Edwardson February 10, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Yes indeed. “If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” I hope you can read The Wise Woman some day. It truly is a profound work of fiction.

  3. E. E. Rawls February 20, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks for tagging me, DJ! I know I’m late to this, but I’m looking forward to adding to Fantasy February this coming Saturday! ^_^

    That’s so special that it was The Hobbit that got you into reading. Both LOTR and The Hobbit are what got me into reading and writing fantasy. Tolkien’s works are truly amazing.

  4. Deborah O'Carroll February 24, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Aaaaahh I love your Lloyd Alexander quote picture!!! That’s like my favorite quote and your picture designs are always ah-may-zing. 😀

    I love your life lessons from fantasy too! The Hobbit, yes… always! 😀 I haven’t actually read The Lost Princess yet (gasp!) but it’s on my shelf waiting for me to try it out. George MacDonald is great. 🙂 I love what you said about kids needing a father. YES. That is so so true. I still need to read the Wingfeather books as well… sooo many things to read! 😉

    Anyways, thanks for sharing–these are fabulous. 🙂

    • DJ Edwardson February 25, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Yeah, I like that image, too. Has a very Narnian feel to it.

      And I cannot recommend The Lost Princess highly enough. I hope you get to read it soon. Thanks for sharing in Jenelle’s little challenge.

      Fantasy is wonderful, isn’t it?

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