As has been said by C.S.Lewis,MacDonald has a gift which is difficult to define.A mythopoetic painter,is as close as I can come.He uses images as symbols of thoughts,ideas,spiritual states,and as has been said,shocks you into a more completely awake state than many will ever reach in their lives. Mr Vane,the central character,steps through a mirror,(possibly the same mirror written about by his friend,Lewis Carroll,in 'Through The Looking Glass.')In the world of the mirror,he finds that it is "-the business of the world to so make a fool of you that you know yourself to be one, and so begin to become wise."This is the book to which C.S.Lewis was referring in his book title,'Till we Have Faces,'as he watches the dance of the people whose spirits have not yet developed to the point where they yet have more than a flesh and blood body surmounted by a skull with lidless eyeballs,their uncontrolled passion stark and staring,though yet more well-developed than the poor skeleton couple who now need each other as they never did in life,and now must learn to love by need.From bog-worms to the demon vampire Lilith,saved by her ex-husband,Adam,from the noble Mr.Raven,who has haunted a magnificent library for generations,to the precious,innocent little ones,who will not grow to be stupid,cruel giants,all of the characters,teach the reader something of his own needs,his own sad character flaws,and how only a holy death can purify his motives.As do his other works,this one has inspired not only Lewis & Tolkein,but Madeline L'Engle,who quotes MacDonald in her books,and may have awakened the same gift in Charles Williams,another friend of Tolkein and Lewis.This and his other book,'Phantastes,' may be the greatest fairy tales ever written. The writing may not be perfect,but the content is right on.