John Mark Reynolds, 2004
Today, for fun, I decided to read another Lloyd Alexander book. Most famous for the “High King” and the other adventures of an assistant pig keeper, Alexander has written this short book, a worth while stand-alone. Despite the late sixties and early seventies “rationalism” that creeps into all his books, and some bowing and scraping to political correctness (how different a feminine heroine would actually be by now!), this is good fun. Alexander sneaks some critical thinking lessons into the book. . . But mostly tells a classic fairy tale very well. Time has not served Lloyd Alexander well. Disney made a mediocre film “The Black Cauldron” about one of his books. Students have moved on to racier fare. That is too bad. Alexander is not Lewis or Tolkien (who is?), but he can write. At his best, his paragraphs compare to Lewis’ worst. And that is high praise. One can read this book in about an hour. So turn off the television and give your amusement time to a solid practitioner of the genre.