Playing on Yggdrasil

Playing on YggdrasilThis has got to be one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. Forget putting it into any type of genre; get that idea out of your head right now, except perhaps “literary.” The brilliance of the writing is undeniable. Mr. McGilvery gives us a wondrous tale of a young girl who just happens to be a prodigy and just happens to be recovering from the traumatic loss of her mother. This character was so absorbing and riveting, giving her such a huge personal loss to deal with seemed almost beside the point. I would have happily followed her baking cookies for two hundred pages. But as it turns out, her strength of character and her precociousness soon has her parenting her dad through the loss of his wife. And just when you thought this tale couldn’t get any more heart-warming and touching, any more full of humor and joy even amidst all the heartache, our young heroine takes us on an adventure that will expand our minds until they’re every bit as big as hers.

Interlaced with just great drama are spiritual and philosophical themes that lend the story extra gravity, and a social consciousness that indicates the transformations the characters are undergoing are ones we all need to undergo if we truly want a world at peace. The fact that the author is also a minister wasn’t surprising; what was surprising is that he manages to touch on these spiritual themes without shoving any particular religion down our throats or getting overly heavy-handed with the subject.

Providing you can keep an open-mind to his unique blend of Christian-based ideas and Norse God myths and some other fanciful references I may well have missed, and just enjoy the tale on its own merit, I couldn’t recommend this book more.