Friday, December 25, 2009

Reflections: Ever

Fantasy tales serve as Chicken Soups for my Soul. They go down deliciously warm, soothing the chills and comforting the little girl inside me with their liberal doze of syrupy antidote; an antidote that quells the afflictions of reality. There exist no Zen principles to assuage the little girl as does a fantasy tale of magic, and miracles and most importantly, happy endings. Perhaps I'm just a recluse seeking refuge outside of reality, but sometimes, that seems to be the only cure to bolster faith. However, regardless of any deeper reason, I don't think I can ever outgrow such enchanted stories. Ever, is an endearing children's fantasy, which I would have probably relished twice as much if only I'd flown back to my childhood. Always one for mythology and stories centering Gods and mortals, this book brought me back in touch with the ten-year-old who sincerely believed in Magic.

Olus, the God of the Winds is a lonely young man earnestly flying across the skies searching for someone who would be his friend and companion instead of revering or fearing him. His parents repeatedly warn him against getting entangled with mortals, whom they allude to as soap-bubbles, due to their evanescent existence. Inevitably, Olus finds himself enraptured and in love with a pretty damsel, Kezi, whom he ardently follows, taking the role of her guardian angel. Due to the twisted mix of a debt and a careless oath pledged to the believed omnipotent and omnipresent God Admat, Kezi is forced to offer her life as a sacrifice to Admat. Olus is stricken with grief and avenges to save Kezi. As Olus begins to get much closer to Kezi, she discovers his existence and falls in love with his valiant gallantry. Together, Olus and Kezi try to resolve their conundrum. The only rope of hope is for Kezi to defy her fate and turn immortal so as to evade death and lead an eternal life with Olus.

Most fantasy books are woven with subtle themes on life, and the truths we try to seek, and this book is no exception. It is interlaced with an under current that explores the meaning of fate, destiny, and God. When Kezi realizes that Olus is also a God, she grapples with herself to define her belief in Admat, the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-pervading God, when Olus, another God doesn't even know who Admat is. It's a clever comparison of invented religions and Gods, versus the forces of Nature, who are in a more concrete sense the Gods who rule us mortals. The book also creates a nice metaphor to signify what it means to grieve, lose ourselves and fall into our own created depths of sadness and hopelessness. But Levine packs her punch by infusing generous bouts of optimism, as Kezi walks against the chosen path of Fate and creates her own destiny by holding onto her armors - strong-will and faith. The God of Fate strews Olus and Kezi to face their darkest fears, and fight their toughest battles, in order to give them a chance to alter the course of their destiny. This is reminiscent of an adage that says that God puts people through the toughest tests to hone their mettle.

It is also interesting that the God of Fate himself reiterates, "Fate may be thwarted. I long for a happy outcome." Well, how sweet are these words that spill out of Fate's own mouth? It's befitting to reflect on this and on the meaning of faith, on this very day that professes miracles and merriness.


SecondSight said...

My favorite part of this story (and others) is the fact that Kezi has to achieve a certain degree of self-realization, achieve her 'highest self', before a happy ending can be had by all.. Its a pleasant change from the classic fairy tales :)

Neeraja said...

Very true, Gail Carson Levine is now my go-to fantasy author :)