Tides of the Dark Crystal (2018) – J.M. Lee

The third volume of the Dark Crystal novels continues to interweave with the Netflix series, Age of Resistance, even though some of the details are different. That doesn’t detract from the story, it just another version of the telling, perhaps a song told by Kylan the Gelfling as I join him, Naia, Tavra, Amri of the Grottan, Onica of the Sifa, and Periss of the Dousan clan as they journey across the land of Skarith to carry their message to all the Gelflings – a continuing growing cast of characters as the clans join together to face the truth.

The Skeksis are not to be trusted.

Lee pens this adventure (with illustrations by Corey Godbey) which takes us across a good portion of the geography of Skarith, as well as the waters around it as we take to the high seas, and meet a possibly trustworthy, sea-faring Skeksis.

Their journey takes them through the desert, through the mountains, on the water, and finally to their destination Ha’rar. They seek to rouse the Gelfling into action against their enemy, even as the Skeksis make their move, assassinating the All-Maudra, and continuing their harvest of the life essence that will allow them to seek immortality.


I’ve journeyed through two books with these characters now, I know them. Their friends, and I am part of the resistance, part of the fight. And I am loving my time in the world of Thra, a world that is still expanding, all of it blossoming from one film, back in 1982.

The world has grown so much since Jim Henson and Brian Froud, and yet its spirit is very recognizable through these books, the new series, the Creation Myths. We are introduced to new creatures, and yet their descriptions, abilities, and behaviors fit in with all that has gone before, and fill out this incredible world that is under threat.

The company finds its way through many troubles, and continues to grow together. The focal character for this novel is Amri, the cave dwelling Grottan clan Gelfling who joined them in the last novel, and we see how he changes and grows through the course of the story.

And as the book comes to its close Lee sets up the final pieces to brings us to the adventure’s conclusion. The thing is, we know that the resistance won’t succeed, it can’t. The Skeksis continue to rule for countless trine (the Gelfling form of years) until Jen and Kira recover the Crystal shard, and the time of the Great Conjunciton nears.

All the resistance can do is prepare the way, but we also know that almost all the Gelfling will be wiped out before the prophecy can be fulfilled.

I can’t wait to see where the next book goes, and how it ties into the series, and what more I’ll discover about Thra, the Gelfling, the urRu and the Skeksis.




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