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July 29, 2016
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The Brothers Lionheart

Title: The Brothers Lionheart  | Author: Astrid Lindgren

Buy the same copy we read, here on Amazon

This is a gem.

I’ve been trying to figure out for some time now what to say about this book that wouldn’t sound over the top.

“It’s the sweetest book you’ll ever read!” “The brother’s love for each other is so unparalleled and tender, that your heart will immediately melt and burst all at the same time.” “The most heroic tale of brotherly love and sacrifice!”

But it is! When the two main characters are so sweet and do have such love and devotion for each other, what are you left with saying but exactly those things! You can’t help it.  The over-the-top statements are just matter of fact.

And you’d think so too.

The younger brother is lame and sick so must stay in bed all day. He doesn’t mind it so terribly though because he knows that his older brother will come home, telling him wonderful stories and sharing his adventures in such a way that the little brother feels a part of it. When the younger brother happens to overhear the neighbor speaking about his illness and that he doesn’t have long to live, he asks his older brother if it’s true.  The older brother consoles him, hugging him closely and speaks words to calm his fears. Then the unexpected happens and a sacrifice of love is made.

The older brother dies, saving the younger brother from a house fire. Then the younger brother’s illness worsens and he dies too. And that’s where their beautiful adventures really begin. In a “heaven-like” place called Nangiyala.

Now isn’t that the sweetest? And that’s only the begin chapters!

Now a little on Nangiyala.

When the younger brother had been scared of dying, his older brother had told him about going to Nangiyala, a kind of “heaven,” where he would no longer be lame and where they would have all sorts of fun and adventures together. After the older brother dies, he sends a message by way of a dove to let his younger brother know he’s made it to Nangiyala and that he’s waiting for him. Then the younger brother dies and they do have all kinds of adventures together, including trying to save the land of Nangiyala from being overpowered by evil. When the adventure gets dangerous and the younger brother is sacred again, his older brother tells him there is nothing to fear, there will be another similar land they will go to if they die.

While perhaps odd that an author would pick “death” as a portal, the story narrates as imaginatively as Narnia, with the brothers entering the lands in a similar way as the Pevensie children did theirs. There is no message preached or underlying tone to indicate any religion is implicated.

This truly is a heart-warming tale. It’s all the imaginative cleverness you love about The Chronicles of Narnia but with all the tender, sibling devotion you wish Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy had exhibited. And just the type of sibling love you want your children to imitate.

 

Overview:

There’s no one Karl Lion loves more than his older brother, Jonathan, who is brave, strong, and handsome – everything Karl believes he is not. Karl never wants to be parted from him. But Karl is sick, and knows he’s going to die. To comfort him, Jonathan tells him stories of Nangiyala, the wonderful place he’ll be going to when he dies, and where he will wait until Jonathan is ready to join him there. Then the unthinkable happens …Jonathan is killed in an accident. Heartbroken, Karl longs for the day he’ll be reunited with his brother. When the time comes, he finds Nangiyala just as wonderful as he’d imagined. However, Nangiyala is under threat. A cruel tyrant is determined to claim it as his own, and at his command is a terrible beast that is feared throughout the land. Karl must summon all of his courage to help his brother prepare for the battle that lies ahead …

Cleanliness:

There is an illustration/pencil sketch of two boys naked.  There are three incidents of taking God’s name in vain and some name calling (mostly by the bad guys). Playing dice and drinking beer are mentioned a few times. A full report is available in the Library and a Clean Guide can be purchased in our Store

Luisa
Luisa
Hi! I’m Luisa and I’ve always been an avid reader and lover of books. Well… at least that is to say since I was about eight years old when my mom encouraged my sister and I to do a summer reading challenge. After that, I was always getting in trouble for not doing my chores, my school, or staying in the bathroom too long haha, because of a book! Read more about me here