The Chimes of Alyafaleyn
The newly revised edition of this book, available only through [...]and Kindle, has a strange history. As Chetwin was finishing the first edition, her then editor put a page and time limit on the finished manuscript, and the writer had to scuttle her plans for the end. The result was a spectacular first half of a book that strikes a deep and vibrant chord - gifted children who are feared and mistreated in their mediocrity-ruled society, and the consequences of that attitude. One of the gifted children, Caidrun, goes "bad" as a result of near-torture, and the other, her friend Tamborel, runs away from home to seek help elsewhere in finding and saving her. Meanwhile, Caidrun's remarkable capabilities, which should have been guided into constructive channels, have become extremely destructive, and cause far-reaching chaos. In this first edition, while Brel does at last find Caidy, she is unchanged - still angry and dangerous, almost glorying at the turmoil she has caused. The second half of the book flounders on to an unsatisfying conclusion.
In the glorious second edition, however, the entire book fulfills the promise of that wonderful first half. The lives of Brel and Caidy are unfolded in fascinating detail and a whole world based on harmonies becomes real. Chetwin is one of those rare writers who can make a character's growth and development not only believable, but inevitable - no "moral lesson" here, but a natural progression that lends hope to all us square pegs. This book is about the individual's spirit and the power of harmonies- the internal reflecting the audible. Music is the art explored here, but all children who feel their gifts - as a joy or even as a burden - will surely treasure this book.