The Door In The Tree
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Sort order. While there the children come across a door in a large yew tree with a room looking out onto the whole valley. Here the children first meet Meg Lewis a local woman who is trying to protect the badgers. They soon learn more about how the badgers are being hunted for sport by the badger baiters and their vicious dogs and become very interested in what they can do to help In the door in the tree Alice,, Mary and Williamthe go to stay with their uncle Jack and his patner Phoebe in The Golden House. They soon learn more about how the badgers are being hunted for sport by the badger baiters and their vicious dogs and become very interested in what they can do to help them.
But when the magician refuses to help with magic they find themselves left with a terrible choice to make. I really enjoyed reading this book but at times it was dragged out a bit too much. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series so if you're someone that likes reading books about magic you'll really enjoy this one.
Jul 23, K. Trigger warnings: animal cruelty, violence, animal death. I read and loved this series as a kid, so when we got it at work I figured it was about time for a reread. Like, a huge part of the plot involved badger baiting, and the kids having to convince the adults in their lives that the badgers are in danger. There's a scene from the perspective of a badger in the baiting ring. It's pretty effed up, to be honest.
And yet despite t Trigger warnings: animal cruelty, violence, animal death. And yet despite that, I sped through this. Partly because it's a children's book and partly because I want to spend my days traipsing about the woods, having conversations with animals, and discovering hidden rooms in trees. Jun 27, Rebecca rated it really liked it.
Siblings William, Mary, and Alice team up during their holiday at the Golden House to fight the evil doings of local badger baiters and defy the black magic of the Dark and Dreadful Path, where death is inevitable to the animals who are forced down its trail. I think those children today who are contemporary fantasy lovers might be skeptical and da Siblings William, Mary, and Alice team up during their holiday at the Golden House to fight the evil doings of local badger baiters and defy the black magic of the Dark and Dreadful Path, where death is inevitable to the animals who are forced down its trail.
I think those children today who are contemporary fantasy lovers might be skeptical and dare I say turned off by a more antiquated style, but the magical tropes of belief preceding sight, a mystical setting, plus the stereotypical zany alchemist character are all charming and intriguing. I would have enjoyed more flowery language to enhance the indicated beauty of the pastoral Wales setting, but was easily distracted by the consistently paced storyline. Still just as magical as when I first read this book as a child. Jan 20, Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it Shelves: young-adult , fantasy-urban.
I took a day off of work today and, of course, couldn't manage to sleep in nearly as much as I planned, so I took the opportunity to read the last 60 or so pages of The Door in the Tree, the second book of "The Magician's House Quartet" by William Corlett. The first book in the series, The Steps Up the Chimney, took place during Christmas and now we follow the adventures of the same three school children, William, Mary, and the youngest, Alice, during their spring vacation.
They return to their I took a day off of work today and, of course, couldn't manage to sleep in nearly as much as I planned, so I took the opportunity to read the last 60 or so pages of The Door in the Tree, the second book of "The Magician's House Quartet" by William Corlett. They return to their Uncle Jack's Golden House at the edge of the forest, intent upon further discoveries involving the mysterious magician.
I found this book to be a step up from the first one. The children this time are much more tolerable, less whiney, and frankly, a bit smarter with how they deal with the unexplained. They meet an old woman who lives in the forest, Meg, who is a self-appointed guardian of nature.
The major plot line involves her badger friends' plight at the hands of "badger baiters", a group of men who operate a nasty dog fighting ring where the viscious dogs fight the badgers. As in the first book, the children, after putting aside their propensity to disbelieve, are able to inhabit the bodies of certain animals of the forest, allowing them to further their adventures.
I thought the story itself was more compelling than the first volume in the series, especially the build up of the suspense, the mystery of the origins of the magician, and the central messages and themes the author brought out in the novel. There were still a few jarring scenes which seemed odd to be included; i.
I'm not sure what the point was of the scene where Phoebe, Uncle Jack's girlfriend, breast feeds her baby in full view, an act that completely offends the children. There is no follow-on nor any sort of enlightenment or character growth there. But to his credit, the author does do a good job at dealing with anger and loss of temper among the characters. This seems to be an on-going theme of the series and should be helpful to parents who have to deal with that issue. He also delves into the idea that you can't rely on magic or grownups to solve your problems but must find courage within yourself to tackle life's difficult choices.
He manages to involve these issues in the narrative without sounding preachy or talking down in any way to his target audience, the young readers. I look forward to the final two volumes of this series as I hope to discover the secrets of the history behind the Golden House, the full nature of the magician, as well as the other animal friends that we've come to know. I have mix feelings about this book. Am I the only one that has hard time picturing the whole book in my head. The author in my opinion has a way of dragging on and on about something and then completely rushing in next and then ending abruptly.
Again I find the same problem with this book as I did with the first one. The book started off easy medium pace. But after that it gets very draggy and annoying It felt like a chore to read it. I personally find the over the top description of the I have mix feelings about this book. I personally find the over the top description of the forest was a lil too much. As for character development. Alice is by far still the most annoying one. But she also the only one who believed and kept to her promise.
You're about to start Book I I hope. That's too long, dude. You're telling me! You're only possibly reading it. I'm writing the darn thing. But you don't have to read it all at once. You can savor it. Like a year-old port wine. When is it going to be done? No clue.
I'm just going to keep working on it. Why do you keep revising all the chapters and what has changed? I can't help it. In the words of Jay-Z, "Can't be scared to fail in search of perfection. I also made her a little less socially awkward, since I had gone overboard with that the first time around. You don't HAVE to re-read the whole thing, because it hasn't changed much, but if you do, or if you're new to the story, I think it's a little better than it used to be.
What will you do now that TGL has come out? I guess I'll have to read it or something. At some point. What is the soundtrack for this story? This actually isn't a frequently asked question, but it should be, since for me, the music I listen to when I'm writing really affects the way I write. So here are the key songs I listen to when I write this:. I'm mad at you for not updating frequently enough. I think I'm going to leave nasty reviews and insult you. First of all, that's not a question, but I'll address it anyway. I guess I'll take it as a compliment that you miss my story that much, and thank you for your kind interest.
If you really want me to update constantly, then feel free send me lots of money so I can quit my job and write full time. My father cut me off, his voice clear as a bell through the cell phone connection. Frankly, Sydney, I'm not surprised. You may have fooled the rest of the alchemists into thinking you've gotten back on the straight and narrow, but I know you better than they do.
I haven't forgotten what you did and neither has Zoe. I was so angry that for a moment, I thought about throwing my cell phone through the nearest window, but knew that everyone in the dining hall would probably think I had gone crazy, and it was part of my job not to draw attention to myself. Pull it together , I told myself sternly, and walked back to the table where Jill and Eddie were eating dinner. Both of them had been studiously not watching me while I was on the phone. I looked at their meal choices as I slid into my chair.
Jill was polishing off a whole plate of pasta, and Eddie was on his second cheeseburger. Something about the number of calories they were consuming seemed to add insult to the injury my dad had just dealt me, and I kept my eyes trained down at the small salad I had chosen, trying not to let the emotion show on my face. Don't tell me that the alchemists are on your back still about the whole Rose thing. I thought all that was cleared up. It's just… well, it's hard to explain. Don't worry about it. It's my problem. In fact, it's not a problem at all.
After all," she said, a bright smile lighting her face, "I'm your 'sister'! This vampire was not my sister! My father has just informed me that my real sister had received her lily tattoo today. All my hard work hadn't saved her from being an alchemist, hadn't saved her from the same burden I had to carry. And to top it off, she still wasn't talking to me. For a moment, I lost control. I spat out the words: "You're not my sister. A stunned silence from both Jill and Eddie followed.
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After a moment, Jill spoke up. Of course I know that. There were tears in her green eyes, and I felt awful. Eddie looked at me reproachfully, as if to say, Really, Sydney?
I took a deep breath and said, "I'm sorry, Jill. That came out more harshly than I had intended. I just, well, I got some news about my sister just now. So she's on my mind. I guess I just…" The angry look on Eddie's face told me that I wasn't helping my case much with such a lame apology.
I'm very sorry. Jill gave me a faint smile at that, and Eddie's face softened as well. Apparently, I was getting a little better at this interpersonal stuff. I understand if you don't want to talk about it, but if you want to I couldn't handle all the care and concern coming from her right now. I had to get out of there.
But, anyway, I think I'm not very hungry. I'm going to go up to my room to study. She was still getting over what happened with Lee. Plus, she probably was trying to avoid Angeline, who was being punished for yet another fight by being restricted to her room — their room. That meant that poor Jill was being punished for Angeline's violent nature, too. I said goodnight to both of them, cleared off my plate, and went up to my dorm room. Alone at last, I sat down on my bed with some of my textbooks, but I was hardly in the mood to study.
All I could think about was Zoe with a golden tattoo on her cheek. She was probably packing her things right now, about to go off on an assignment that she was in no way prepared for. She didn't know it, but she was letting go of every freedom a person had, before she had even had a chance to enjoy it. No college, no fun, no being a normal teenager — no life. She would end up doing an internship someplace as awful as Russia. And she wouldn't have me to lean on, because she still thought of me as the enemy. The tears welled up in my eyes again, and I made an attempt to check them.
I don't cry, I said to myself. I'm not some weepy girl. I'm a professional, and I have a job to do. And right now part of my job was passing myself off as a high school student, which meant homework. I finally chose to read an extra chapter in my history textbook, reasoning that studying my favorite subject would get my mind off things, and that it couldn't hurt to be a little ahead in one subject.
It would make it easier to catch up on other things later. Oddly enough, studying really did make me feel better. I had to force my thoughts into more productive channels, and that was good for me.
I was just finishing the chapter and looking over my notes when I heard my cell phone vibrate from the nightstand. I looked over, automatically bracing myself for another lecture from my dad, and all my muscles relaxed when I recognized Adrian's number. I felt a smile come to my lips, but decided that the morning would be a better time to deal with whatever annoying thing he was calling about. Maybe he wanted cable installed in his apartment, or a new cell phone plan.
Or maybe he was just making up some pretense to bother me because he was bored. He had been doing that an awful lot lately. Whatever his issue was this time, I would handle it in the morning. For right now, I decided to get ready for bed and hoped that things would seem better in the morning. I had expected to toss and turn for hours, but thankfully a combination of a long volleyball practice and an early morning self-defense training session with Eddie had left my body almost as worn out as my mind.
I soon fell into a deep sleep…. I was in Rome, the modern city, standing just outside the famous ancient Coliseum.
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It was a warm summer day, with just a few small, fluffy clouds in the bright blue sky. No one else was there — no cars, no people. There were also no ticket takers at the door of the Coliseum. I took a step forward, oddly hesitant to walk over to the gateway and go inside the ancient building. I looked down and saw I was still wearing my pajamas. That's not righ t, I thought, and tried to think of what would be a better outfit for the occasion.
In a moment, I looked back down and saw that I was wearing a white linen tank dress and lace up gladiator style sandals, along with my usual small gold cross necklace. The dress skimmed my body, flattering it in way that was nice-looking but not too flashy. The sandals, with their criss-cross straps, were much sexier than anything I'd normally wear. I thought I'd feel self-conscious about it, but no one was around, and the style really was perfect to wear in an ancient gladiator stadium. I walked the short way to the entrance of the Coliseum. In real life, there would probably be people lined up outside such a famous attraction, waiting for hours to get in, but in this dream, I could step right through one of the ancient doors and stroll through the stony, shaded hallways.
I smiled, feeling a happiness bubble through me like sap rising in a tree. For a dream, it felt amazingly real. I heard my footsteps on the pavement and smelled the damp, slightly mossy stonework. I shivered at the cool air in the dark tunnels, and basked in the warm light when I came to sections that were exposed to the sun.
I walked up stairs, through archways, around corners. Some areas were roped off, but I ducked under the ropes to peek around everywhere. It should have been spooky to be here without any other people, but it wasn't. I loved it. I had the Coliseum all to myself! Or did I? For a moment as I rounded a corner, I felt that almost indefinable feeling of being watched. I felt someone watching me, but when I turned around there was no one there. But did ghosts smell like expensive cologne?
Or was I imagining that, too? Shaking the feeling off, I made my way to the center of the Coliseum, the area where the gladiators would have fought to the death hundreds of years ago. There were archways set at regular intervals around the arena, each archway leading to a hallway that sloped slightly downwards, and I knew that, back in ancient Rome, the combatants would have entered from these doorways after waiting underneath the arena to fight. I spun around and around, soaking in the feel of the place, then struck a gladiator style pose, arms up as if in sword battle.
I probably would never do anything so cheesy as pose like this in real life. A few moments later, someone emerged from one of the gateways that had originally been intended for combatants. It was a tall male figure, dressed in a toga, crowned with a wreath of leaves. Underneath the wreath was that familiar carefully tousled brown hair, and as he got closer I was able to see those bright green eyes that I always found a little unnerving. I crossed my arms over my chest. The anger was building in me. I was in no mood to banter, and felt no need to tease him about the ridiculous toga.
I was just furious that he had brought me into another spirit dream. This was magic again. Adrian knew how I felt about magic. I told you last time you did this - this is unnatural and wrong. Let me go. One more minute won't make a difference, right? Hear me out. Then let me go. He sighed. A few hours ago I got a call from Jill. She said you were really upset, that you were crying about your jerk of a father calling you up and giving you some sort of bad news My father kind of was a jerk, if you got right down to it.
So your asshole of a father upset you," — I let out a bark of protest, but he went on — "and you were crying, and Jill was worried. I was worried too, you know? I mean, you may be impossible, but you're kind of my friend. I called you to check up on you, but you didn't answer. So I thought: Sydney needs something to cheer her up.
I thought about what you said that time, about how you love ancient artifacts and how you've always wanted to go to Rome. I had been chiding him about his chance to take college classes and had let it slip how much I had always wanted to study ancient buildings, and to go to Rome someday. I was surprised that he had been paying any attention to me.
He went on, unaware of my surprise. I looked at some pictures and videos online to sort of boost my memory of the place. And spirit did the rest. As soon as you were asleep, I You never had friends who would blindfold you and take you to a surprise party or anything like that, because you never had friends at all. I didn't really have many friends. Any time. Just let me wake up. He held up a pair of swords that he hadn't been holding a moment ago, and held one out to me.
You're wearing the right sandals for it. I felt a blush rise to my face. I just want to go home. Why not have some fun first? It might cheer you up, once you get used to it. You know that I hate magic. What were you thinking? He let out an exasperated sigh. The swords disappeared. I thought as long as I kept out of sight, you would just think you were having a really great dream and wake up in a good mood. I was trying to do a good deed!
I didn't think it would upset you. I mean, my goal was to make you feel better. Plus, I know that you've gotten a bit more used to I thought maybe you wouldn't mind as much now. I didn't say anything, but I felt my anger abating, very slightly. He seemed to take my silence as a sign to continue. And I know that your life as an alchemist has prevented you from doing the things you really wanted to do, like traveling in Italy.
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So I sort of wanted to make up for that. I really didn't know what to say. I'm sorry I like, insulted your home-schooling. Or whatever. I took a deep breath. Oddly enough, I found myself not really that angry anymore. For one thing, it was hard to be angry at Adrian for some reason. And for another, I really had been enjoying the dream. Could it really be damaging my soul? I wasn't really doing anything. Adrian wasn't even in the same room as me. The alchemists don't know much about how spirit dreams work, so it could be educational of me to investigate the area.
How could anyone have eyes that green?
That moment. No questions asked. I can't handle walking around with a guy in a toga, even if it is in the middle of an evil magic dream. He laughed. He shimmered all over, and then he was wearing normal clothing: dark wash jeans and a gray t-shirt made of some soft silky material.
He was still wearing the wreath in his hair, but I decided to let that go. When I looked up at Adrian, I saw him looking at me carefully. And then we were quiet for a bit as we found our way to the exit of the arena. I mean, solely for research purposes. It is dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the virgin goddess of wisdom and military strategy. I continued, ignoring his interruption. Pan for all, theos for gods. Pantheon , all gods. Later it was converted to a Christian church, dedicated to the one true God, as well as all the martyrs In the middle of the open area was fountain adorned with a tall monument, and a short distance away, slightly downhill from the fountain, was the ancient site I had so wanted to see.
From the outside, it looked a lot like an ancient temple, with an exterior facade featuring a triangular roof resting on large ornate columns, but from this distance we could see the huge domed roof looming behind it. A sign informed us that we were entering a sacred space, and I remembered that the Pantheon, though it looked from the outside so much like a pagan site, still functioned as a church. The sign reminded us that women should cover their shoulders in respect, and without a word, Adrian handed me a silver shawl.
I resisted the natural urge to ask him where he'd gotten it, since the answer was obvious, and wrapped it around my shoulders.
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It was beautiful, soft and woven with shining threads, and I found myself wishing I could keep it somehow before I reminded myself that it was evil. We passed through the site's rectangular antechamber and into the circular main room with its beautiful marble floor. Statues of saints were everywhere, and the air smelled faintly of incense. The ceiling was an enormous dome rising towards the heavens. At the top of the dome, a large circular hole revealed a bright blue sky, and a wide shaft of light coming from the hole lit up dust motes in the air.
It was silent and imposing, and I wondered if God was here, as He was everywhere else. The main altar was directly in front of us, facing the door, but there were a variety of smaller altars set at intervals, each one devoted to a different saint or martyr. I touched the cross at my neck, and then walked across the ornate marble floor. Reaching the high altar, I knelt in front of it to pray. If it was strange to pray in the middle of a magical reality, well, what can I say? It seemed like the right thing to do. Please, God, I thought.
Please help me sort right from wrong here. This doesn't feel evil. Help me figure this out. When I lifted up my head I was surprised to see Adrian looking thoughtfully at a statue at another altar. There was no sign explaining who the statue portrayed, and I didn't see any mark or symbol that would explain who it could be. Adrian's head seemed bowed, as if in prayer. I stepped over to his side. I figured it couldn't hurt to put in a good word for myself with the big guy.
Then after a pause, I added, "I don't get it. When you came to Rome with your family, did you actually come in here? He gestured away from the altar, and we began to walk in a circle around the room as we continued to talk. Inside the church? Stand outside having a cigarette? It is sacred ground, after all I don't burst into flame when I set foot on sacred ground. It still troubled me that I had done that, and I wondered if I should be praying for forgiveness for it. Well, later on I'd have to pray for forgiveness about a lot of things, I guessed.
We walked in silence for a little while after that, passing altars and saints. As we walked. I thought more about what he'd said. So, he was comfortable on sacred ground, like a human would be. It shouldn't have surprised me. I had learned from my training that some Moroi attended church, and that in fact, many of them claimed a sort of religious devotion. Really, religion was as much as part of Moroi culture as it was part of human culture, which struck me as bizarre.
I guess I had always assumed that they would attend only special Moroi churches on unconsecrated ground. I guess I had never really thought about it. But if they really were dark, evil, creatures, what were they doing in church? It didn't make any sense. Adrian had said that he was just like me. No he's not, spoke up a snarky voice in my head. Y ou're a fire user, not a spirit user. That thought left a weird feeling in me, and I shoved it aside.
With your family. Lissa goes to church all the time. Or someone.
I'm not sure. No one judgmental or anything. No one who would care if I say a rude word, or smoke a cigarette. But someone. Someone great and generous. I know that in many ways I was quite blessed. I was given these looks and this artistic talent It may have some serious side-effects, but it can do some beautiful things, too.
Like heal people. And if I have this gift, where else did it come from? Oh, I'm far from a saint," he laughed, and gestured to the nearest altar and its statue. You're tough and brilliant and beautiful. I'm brilliant and beautiful and full of spirit. So that means that I'm brilliant and beautiful, and full of spirit and sin. The big beast had scary teeth and big claws.
He looked scary He was kind. Question time! Who might live inside the tree?
What would the house look like? Who put the sign on the door? What do the local people think about the beast living inside? Is the lamp ever lit? Does the beast have neighbours? Does the beast live alone? If you lived in a village nearby, would you approach the door and meet the beast?