THE CANDLE

Carry On Progresses Inclusiveness in Fantasy Novels

From wizards and dragons to discovering who you really are.

Tetrin Presnell, Reporter

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Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow, by Rainbow Rowell, is a unique novel representing a different side of the queer community, showing how not everyone is sure of their identity right away and may reach adulthood before they even think about their orientation or gender.

We start with Simon Snow, a sort of chosen one with unimaginable power. Trouble is, he is rubbish at casting spells and using said magic. He lives at the magic school of Watford during the school year. Yes, this is starting to sound like Harry Potter, but Rowell does a great job of distinguishing this novel from J.K. Rowling’s work.

Rather than using Latin for spells, Rainbow Rowell’s world of magic is based on the power of words themselves. Common phrases, well-known song lyrics, and nursery rhymes are used to produce spells; nursery rhymes being the most powerful.

Simon works to defeat the Insidious Humdrum with the help of his best friend Penelope, his sort-of girlfriend Agatha, and his roommate Baz, whom he initially despises. Simon’s relationship with Baz Pitch becomes the partial focus of the novel, aside from the spread of the Humdrum’s terror, and evolves into something romantic. The book is written from multiple angles, showing all characters’ perspectives, including Baz, who reveals his insecurities about being gay, as well as a vampire.

Carry On is able to introduce a fast-paced fantasy world full of wizards and dragons while also showing what it’s like to be an insecure, young adult figuring out how to navigate a difficult world.

About the Writer
Tetrin Presnell, Reporter

Grade: 12

Years on Staff: First year on staff

Most Passionate About: LGBTQ+ awareness and acceptance

Favorite Quote: “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” -Albert Einstein 

Strange Fact About You: I call hugs “attacks”.

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