Sunday, January 20, 2008

Curl Up With a Book Sunday

Today's book is the first in the Chronicles of Prydain series, The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander. Somehow, I missed out on this series when I was growing up. Apparently, it didn't make it to my small town school library. Last year I asked some of my book club members for recommendations for books that would interest Young Man. This series came back highly recommended, so I picked up the first one to screen it. Young Man is an avid reader, but sometimes is a bit squeamish about too much danger in his books. At 10, that is fine by his parents. I'm not completely sure that Young Man is ready for this one. He might be. I compare its scary factor to be slightly higher than Spiderwick Chronicles or Artemis Fowl, but definitely less than the Voldemort scenes from Harry Potter.

The series begins with Taran, a young man who tends the gardens and animals at Caer Dallben. He is a typical young boy stranded out in the boonies, with an uncertain past, and looking for adventure (hmmm, sounds suspiciously like Luke Skywalker, doesn't it?). As happens in this genre, adventure finds the boy as he sets out to rescue Hen Wen, the oracular pig whom he is charged to protect. Hen Wen needs far less protection than Taran realizes, but that doesn't stop the adventure from proceeding. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and intend to pick up the rest of the series for myself. Young Man can have them in a few months. I think he was most put off by the picture on the cover. The Horned King strikes a fearsome pose in his great, antlered mask. The book itself is less frightening than the cover!

If you are looking for an adventure series for your 9-12 year old reader, this is a great one to pick!

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