A is for Lloyd Alexander: A-Z List 3

For the first A-Z list I picked a fiction author I hadn't read before from each letter of the alphabet. For the second list, I  listed fiction authors I have read from each letter of the alphabet (as many as I could remember, at least).

For the third A-Z list, I am selecting a single child's author from each letter of the alphabet.

A is for Alexander

I fell in love with Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Series when I was in elementary school. The honest truth is I took out the first book because Taran, the main character, looked like Luke Skywalker.

Yup, back then, I was a HUGE Star Wars fan. I was Luke Skywalker for Halloween one year and Princess Leia the next. And Taran was wearing the right type of clothes (see cover below).

It was the first fantasy series--actually, first series of anything--that I collected. I ended up with the entire set and even took the books with me on our cross-country family vacation. I rode in the back of our gray station wagon with my stuffed animals (the ones privileged to come on the trip) and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Series.

I still own it.

In some ways, if you have read a fantasy series, you have read the Prydain Series. All the expected motifs are there: the boy who journeys from naivety to mature understanding (see, it IS Star Wars), the wise mentor, the lovely princess-queen, the poet-warrior, the great battle.

And yet, Alexander's use of Welsh mythology grounds his fantasy motifs in a unique milieu (and he delivers the mythology consistently). Plus his characterizations make the story a story, not merely a collection of fantasy motifs. As I've mentioned elsewhere, a good fantasy novel/series involves more than putting a hero, wizard, elf, dwarf, princess, and bad guy into a bag and shaking them up.

The Prydain Series is a good series! And one that I predict will continue to last.

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