This obscure 1969 children’s fantasy is sometimes mentioned as a minor classic, or at least fondly recalled. I suspect that this has to do with the paucity of kid’s fantasy at the time, and also because it probably reads better when you’re ten.

Quest fantasies aren’t known for brilliant plotting, but this one has an unusually random plot, designed to get the characters from one pleasant location to another. The characters have virtually no characteristics, and rarely feel any emotions. I suspect that the true appeal of this, other than what I mentioned before, is that when you’re ten, descriptions of multicolored stars, silver eyes, and velvet dresses have enormous appeal.

Judith and her brother Tobit walk out of our world and into a standard but pretty and lyrically described fantasy world, with dwarves and river people and a Dark Lord. They are told that they are the long-lost descendants of the rightful king. Judith announces that she, Tobit, and the young prince Thorn will walk up to the Dark Lord. And do something. They have no idea what. Seriously.

They set off, but are stared at by an evil gopher, a minion of the Dark Lord.

In which there is a rather remarkable anticlimax )

I probably would have liked this more if I’d read it when I was ten.

Walk Out Of The World


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