Beagle’s descriptions of Bianchi’s bucolic life remind me of J.R.R. Tolkien describing life in the Shire in “The Lord of the Rings.” There is magic and romantic dignity in Bianchi’s quiet life. There is more magic and romantic dignity in this novel, brimming with wisdom.
Photo: Rina Weisman
But there is magic in the world, with deep roots, ancient truths, none of which are mortal. No matter how mundane the setting, that magic is never mundane, and that’s Beagle’s gift: he doesn’t privilege the wild and the ancient, any more than one might privilege the Grand Canyon: It exists, and it is larger and grander than mortals. We can touch it, approach it, and get lost in it—but if we cannot do it from a safe distance, it will change some part of our essential nature.
You can’t jump off the cliffs of the Grand Canyon and fly.
This is a beautiful, quiet book, almost elegiac, about real people, real magic, and the cost of it. I wouldn’t say it’s surprising, because it’s not the type of story that relies on those beats, but what Beagle does here, he does well.
For more info about IN CALABRIA, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info on SUMMERLONG, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Magdalena Korzeniewska
Design by Elizabeth Story