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Many Waters is the last of Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet books to be published and the only one to focus on the Murry twins, Sandy and Dennys. After an accident in their parents' lab, they are transported back to ancient times, where 4-foot-tall humans coexist with mammoths and seraphim. They are saved from certain death in the desert by a young man named Japheth and his family, headed by stern patriarch Noah (yes, that Noah). Stuck in the ancient desert for now, Sandy and Dennys adapt to their harsh environment.For the inhabitants of the oasis, the twins' arrival is just the beginning of many changes. Noah receives messages from the being "El" that troubled times lie ahead, including a great flood. Sandy and Dennys have to find a way back to the present before "many waters" flood the desert.
Tropes contained in this work:
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Actually played straight. Although the twins' virginity turns out to be a good thing, many times, the oasis' inhabitants comment on how it (as evidenced by their ability to be near unicorns) is proof of how young they are; Elisheba saying that they are little more than babies.
In addition, if you add up the Bible chronologies, it becomes clear that, at the time of the Flood, Methuselah was still alive, and Lamech had died five years previously. Given the father-son conflict, this could be justified by Rule of Drama.
Asshole Victim: Given how the people in the oasis act (especially Tiglah's family), it's quite clear we're not meant to feel sorry for them.
Dark Is Not Evil: Downplayed with Oholibamah. She's almost certainly the daughter of one of the evil nephilim, and she has black eyes and hair, but she's also extremely kind, gentle, and understanding, perhaps the least ambiguously "Good" of Noah's daughters-in-law.
Good Wings, Evil Wings: The seraphim (good) and the nephilim (evil) all have feathered wings, but the seraphim's wings are all in warm shades ranging from red to gold, whereas the nephilim's wings are colored in cool, dark shades of blue and purple.
Love Redeems: Anah is redeemed by marrying Ham; Yalith, who is tempted by Eblis, is saved by her love of the twins and the (platonic) love of Aariel; and Sandy, tempted by Tiglah, is saved, amongst other things, by love of Yalith.
Love Triangle: Sandy/Yalith/Dennys, sort of. The twins both love Yalith, but they don't fight over her and, in the end, neither of them gets her.
Two non-romantic (on one side), but still competitive examples: Ugiel/Mahlah/Alarid and Aariel/Yalith/Eblis.
Magic Versus Science: Amusingly averted. Despite coming from a time of magical beasts and miracles, when the twins come back to the present with the aid of the seraphim, one of them seems to be quite completely at home in a modern technological setting, even looking through Dr. Murry's microscope and commenting on how close he is to a scientific breakthrough. Of course angels likely exist outside of time, or in many times concurrently, so moving between the times of magic and science (and their mindsets) is likely not hard for them at all.
Not So Different: After being kidnapped by Tiglah's family, Sandy reflects upon the similarity of the people of the oasis to people in modern times, including terrorists who hijack planes and take hostages.
Our Angels Are Different: In contrast to Progo, the seraphim and nephilim are more like what a contemporary audience would think of as angels. The seraphim are basically servants of God on earth and usually have eyes and wings coloured in warm shades of gold or silver, or sky blue. The nephilim, which are implied to be fallen angels, have eyes and wings of darker colors like vivid reds and violets. They are all immortal, and not outright antagonistic with each other, but the nephilim are trapped on earth whereas the seraphim can return to heaven. Also, each one has an animal form he can change into — the seraphim are usually mammals or birds while nephilim take the shapes of worms, snakes, dragons, and other ugly things. Though one seraphim turns into a dung beetle.