When I was in 7th or 8th grade I came across a book called The Silver Sun by Nancy Springer. I read the book multiple times and it wound up being one of my favorites of all time. I don’t think there was one day through 7th and 8th grade that I wasn’t carrying it around with me and engrossed in it in study hall.
The Silver Sun is a fantasy novel set in the land of Isle, ruled by the tyrannical King Iscovar. The main characters are Hal, the son of the king, and Alan, his half brother.
Throughout his childhood, Hal was hated by his father and physically tortured and kept in dungeons. He escaped and has a quest to take the throne from his father and rule the land peacefully.
At the beginning of the book, Hal finds Alan, who has been robbed and beaten in the forest. Hal nurses him back to health and they soon become blood brothers and partners in the quest to take the kingdom from the evil King, building alliances with local outlaws and building an army in order to do so.
The book is filled with, and basically built around, a whole mythology. In the land in which the book is set, there are many gods. Hal worships the god called “The One”, which is, in his belief system, the true god. There is a lot of mythology built around The One– and elves, the original peaceful rulers of the earth, who are immortal until they marry or are killed. Elves are not univerally believed to exist, however within the mythology surrounding The One, elves were once believed to rule the earth until humans took over and corrupted it. The elves are peaceful beings and are believed to live in a land without corruption – a perfect world that they created when the humans took over the earth – that is sheltered from the evil of the human blight.
The One also has an appointed “messiah”, who is referrred to as “The Very King”. Throughout the book the prophecies surrounding the coming of “The Very King” and the return of the elves begin to come true and piece by piece you begin to realize that “The One” truly exists and The Very King is soon to appear, as the prophecies laid out in the “Book of Suns” are slowly fulfilled one by one.
The Silver Sun captivated me as a young 13 year old with the detailed world it created and the mythology of hope and peace that slowly builds throughout the book. It is truly my favorite book of all time. While it has been out of print for a while, I have actually bought second copies (used) through amazon in order to make sure I always had a copy that wasn’t falling apart.
Apparently it is back in print, as I have found it again on Amazon (this is the only book that I actually periodically check Amazon for to see if copies are available). So I recommend that you grab it while there are still copies available. The world that Nancy Springer builds is very engaging and inspiring and her stories are just a pure joy to read.
There are four books in the “Book of Isle” series. The White Hart, The Silver Sun, The Sable Moon, and the Black Beast. The Silver Sun makes many references to the White Hart, as it is the story of the first “Very King” to come to the land before evil took over the land. The Sable Moon continues where the Silver Sun left off, which I cannot explain further without giving away the final pieces of the Silver Sun.
I really hope this write up does this book justice and gets people to read it. I know I have tried to get Kelsi to read it a bazillion times to no avail. She’s not a big fantasy book reader.
I’ll definitely keep trying to convince her to take one of my copies though.