Sunday, December 16, 2012

Children's Fantasy: "Lily the Silent" by Tod Davies

Holy social commentary, Batman! Literature has a long history of being used to teach morals and social values, ancient Greek plays and Aesop's Fables coming most notably to mind. Add to that list Tod Davies's new book "The History of Arcadia: Lily the Silent," especially if you're looking to brainwash your children into an extreme left-wing way of thinking long before they're registering to vote.

In this children's book, the beautiful Lily (who will one day be queen) is taken from her peaceful homeland of Arcadia when soldiers from the wasteful and proud Megalopolis invade her country. Taken with her faithful dog Rex to a children's mine, she is eventually noticed by a handsome but spineless socialite and brought into the upper crust of Megalopolitan society. But Lily turns out to be there for another reason: the most prominent socialites know that their used-up land is close to destruction, thanks to a mystical book they found on the moon and an angel that they captured and tortured. Lily, they discovered, is the key to stopping a great cataclysm. They send her into the sea to retrieve a mystical key from mermaids, but when she returns to land, she tricks the socialites and leaves Megalopolis, leading a vast number of women and children into the mountains ahead of a tidal wave that wipes out the rest of the jeering, mocking city. From there Lily leads everyone through a harsh winter in the mountains, has a baby, and brings them all into Arcadia, where she becomes queen.


This was a really random-ass book. Aside from that, something that stood out for me was that it didn't really "show" the reader at all; rather, it "told" everything in more of a "first this happened. And then this happened. But really it was like this," instead of being able to create an image of events through the writing. But as awkward as that sounds, it has the feel of a folktale to it, which fits neatly with the written-by-a-bard thing. The simplistic writing style also makes this a good children's book, without too many complicated writing techniques.

But content? Holy crap. I'm not at all afraid or ashamed to say that I am a very politically liberal person. But Davies overloads this story with an incredible number of black-and-white social critiques of our modern age. There are the general themes of resource management, environmental protection and sustainability, yes. But it doesn't stop there. Davies goes on to condemn video games, blonde people, social media and large-breasted women, equating them purely with Megalopolis and expressing wonder on Lily's behalf at how different things are in Arcadia (which, we can assume, is full of only small-chested brunettes who worship the frequently-referenced Goddess). So much for the image of an idyllic, inclusive society accepting of all people.

Honestly, unless you're raising your kid to be the next extreme leftist nut job who is mostly laughed at but occasionally gets hours on a liberal radio station in the wee hours of the morning, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Nope, no one. And I'm pretty sure that's a first for me. Just in case you want to see what I mean when I say this is a terrible book though, Tod Davies's book "The History of Arcadia: Lily the Silent" came out in October. I suggest you check it out from your local library, and avoid wasting your money on purchasing a copy. 

1 comment:

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