Embracing doubt Aug28

Embracing doubt

In a kingdom on an island by the sea, Alun is the second son to the King. He doesn’t have to care about the cares and duties of the realm; those are burdens for his older brother, Dai. Both brothers grow up content in the small and modest land, though their people have gone through much change lately. Peace and stability has come along with religion and civilization that trickled across the waters from a great continent. With the new religion gaining strength, the old ways of magic and faerie is fading into the past. This is a tale within Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Last Light of the Sun. I love reading Alun’s story; he is hurled into a state of questioning and doubting, which reminds me of my own life. The future felt bright for Alun, until a dark day when raiders, not seen in years, attack a small group of men with whom he and Dai are staying. In the course of the battle, Dai is slain. Alun’s relation to the world abruptly shifts. Doubting and asking questions about what we believe is not something to be afraid of.   Alun holds Dai’s dead body and weeps. Off to the side the leader of the enemy raid escapes from the fray, fleeing into the forest. Alun, filled with rage, chases him with reckless abandon into the moonless woods, hoping to find either vengeance or death. Instead, he loses sight of the enemy and finds himself trapped in a shallow pool by some unknown magic. He remembers how the old ways spoke of the magical danger within the forest on a moonless night. While immobile, he sees a procession of faeries. They pass him, led by the majestic faerie queen. And walking next to the queen is...