This week for Tuesday's Treasures, I am sharing a pair of books that have become favorites of mine - The High House and The False House by James Stoddard. A number of years ago, on a discussion forum, there was an informal poll question about what was a favorite work of fiction. Among the responses was one lady who mentioned The High House as her very favorite book, and one she had read over and over. Her description of it intrigued me and I hunted down a copy of it through an inter-library loan (I think there was ONE copy in our entire state library system!) and absolutely loved it. Of course I needed my own copy, and was fortunate enough to find these used paperbacks (probably on half.com although I don't remember for sure).
The High House could be described as fantasy or allegorical fiction, and reads almost like a fairy tale. It tells the story of Carter Anderson, who is introduced as a young boy. He lives in an extraordinary house full of mysteries, secret passageways, and unusual guests. His beloved father is the Master of the house and maintains not only the house, but the universe as well. When young Carter unwittingly becomes the target of the enemy - a faceless anarchist known as The Bobby - his father sends him away from Evenmere to keep him safe. Years later, Carter must return to Evenmere and become Master himself, because his father has disappeared and is presumed dead. The story is Carter's journey to find out what happened to his father, and begin to understand the mysterious workings and kingdoms of the house and his own responsibility for keeping Chaos and Entropy from overtaking Evenmere and the world.
In the sequel, The False House, Evenmere has come under a new threat when the anarchists kidnap a young girl and use her powers along with a stolen cornerstone to start raising a new, false house. Carter and his younger brother must search for the girl and for the stolen keys so they can restore Order to the house and universe. To complicate matters, there seems to be a traitor among them.
Both stories are loaded with adventure and fantasy elements, and make for exciting reading. I have read them both several times, and made The High House a family read-aloud some years ago. In fact, as I was pulling out the books in preparation to share this post, Spencer and Landon saw them and remembered that, and I suggested in passing that maybe they would like to read them again on their own. And this suggestion didn't meet with any resistance. Now I'm not saying that they will fight over who gets to read first, but neither of them are particularly fond of reading, so for them to receive my comment and actually consider it means that they probably enjoyed the book the first time around. (I'll let you know what happens. They're both going away for a few days, so I'll let it simmer in the back of their minds till they get back and then see what's what.)
I highly recommend these books to young adult and adult readers alike, especially those who enjoy fantasy and allegory reminiscent of C.S. Lewis' Narnia series.
You may be able to find these at the library, and they are both available on Amazon: The High House; The False House. I found the author's website here: James Stoddard
This post will also appear on my little book blog, Just A Second, where I originally wrote about these books, The High House, The High House (second time), and The False House.
This post is linked at Every Bed of Roses for Tuesday's Treasures. Blog about a book on your shelf, one you're reading, or one you found at the library.
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