Title: The Unraveling of Wentwater
Author: C. S. Lakin
Publisher: AMG/Living Ink Books
Words are powerful. That is the premise behind C. S. Lakin’s novel The Unraveling of Wentwater. Words can create or destroy as Teralyn and the people of Wentwater soon discover.
Wentwater is a land that is unraveling one word at a time. As words disappear, the objects—and people—that the words symbolize vanish. Teralyn, the young woman who was prophesied as the one who would cause Wentwater to unravel, must stitch every missing word back together in order to save Wentwater, the Heights, and the man that she loves.
Lakin weaves a story full of biblical allegory along with elements of traditional fairy tales, most notably Sleeping Beauty, in this fourth book of The Gates of Heaven series. One of the background characters, the Lady of the lake is reminiscent of the Arthurian legends as well. Some of the biblical references include a flood as well as the theme of sibling jealousy and hatred as in the account of Cain and Able, which is a predominant theme in Lakin’s novel. Mercy and forgiveness are essential elements of the story as Justyn, representing Cain, benefits from as he discovers that his jealousy for his brother was the catalyst for Wentwater’s destruction and Teralyn’s misery. One of the other main themes focuses on the differences between two groups of people—the superstitious and ritualistic villagers of Wentwater and the scholarly seekers of knowledge for knowledge sake who live in the Heights above the village. Two different worldviews are at odds with one another, but both views have an element of worldly wisdom that cannot prevent the tragedy and destruction. However, there is a wisdom greater than that of the villagers and the scholars. Even the wise, by the end of the tale, realize that some things must be accepted by faith.
Although Lakin’s novel appears to be written for adults, it is appropriate for a young audience. Overall, The Unraveling of Wentwater is a good read and full of the magical elements that would make a wonderful animated film that Walt Disney would be proud of as well as providing several moral lessons.