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[Page 6] <Handwritten in Brown.> RHûN A ANNûN <End brown.> <Handwritten in blue.> SMITH OF WOOTON MAJOR <End handwriting.> (Houghton Mifflin, also Redbook, Dec. 1967. Vl30, no2) A Review by Paula Sigman Tolkien follows his theories stated in his "On Fairy Stories" very closely in his newest fairy-story "Smith of Wooton Major." Smith, a young boy, gains possession, through very unusual means, of a silver star, a fay-star. This star remains with him for most of his life, permitting entrace to a world littleknown to mortals, the world of Faery. Smith journeys to the land often, and his adventures are wonderful
and amazing. His name while in Faery is Starbrow, for
the mysterious fay-star is fixed upon his forehead.
One day, he chances upon a young elven maiden in the far reaches
of Faery. When he returns to Wooten Major, a great change has
come over him, for the star shines bright and he appears a
giant of a man. He has also brought with him, unkowingly,
a flower from Faery-- a living flower. which was to become his
Years pass, and Smtih has made many visits to Faery. His last
visit is the most wonderous of all. When he returns, he has
to make a most difficult decision; one that will affect the
remainder of his life, and the life of a very fortunate young
lad. His choice also reveals the unkown note of Faery underlying
the whole story. Who is to say Smith made the right choice,
but the results of this decision and the King of Faery himself?
This charming fairy-story is as interesting and delightful as
many of the classic fairy-tales that have lasted for years.
Like most fairy-tales, and like TLotR it is written for adults
and _not_ for children. Yes, it would make a wonderful bedtime
story, but then most of its richness and value would be lost.
It is a story to be read and re-read, and remembered. I think
that it will, in time, be _recognized_ for a classic. it already
is. It is one of Tolkien's best.
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