Saturday, January 9, 2010

Treasure Hunters

I recently ran into some guys out in the boonies who were trying to find gold on some claim that was sold to them. They do it mostly as a hobby, but looked like they would be very pleased if they actually found enough gold to make some money.

Finding a good book can be like finding a treasure that more than pays for itself. And, I happen to have found not only one, but a series of books that I have enjoyed for some time now.

I first read the Chronicles of Prydain(pronounced pri-dane), by Lloyd Alexander, when I was young. I recently listened to these on audio book with the kids on a some trips and still find them thoroughly enjoyable.

The series, which starts with "The Book of Three", is based on welsh legends and includes a colorful cast of characters including The good guys such as Doli - the grumpy dwarf, Dalben - the wise sorcerer, Taran - the childish and moody hero, Flewdur Flam - the would be bard who has a kingdom of his own, Gurgi - some funny animal thing, Eilonwy - the princess and many more.

These days, it may sound like another Lord of the Rings sort of takeoff, with zombie like enemies, an evil powerful King, enchantments and the like, but it really is an excellent story that has been around and been popular since written in 1964. One of the books, "The Black Cauldron", was the subject of a not so great cartoon movie of the same name.

Lloyd Alexander has also written some other excellent and thoughtful books for young readers. Among our favorites:
The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen
The Cat Who Wished to Be a Man
If you are inclined to read, or have young readers, consider the Chronicles of Prydain.

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