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Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Review of The Arkadians, by Lloyd Alexander

Book Title:  The Arkadians
Format: Hardback
Price: $15.99
Length:  272 pages

Lucian worked in the palace and found that the soothsayers are cheating the king. Then, he was chased out of the palace after meeting Fronto, a poet-turned-donkey. He attempts running away, but runs into Joy-in-the-Dance, “a girl of marvels and mysteries.” She helps Lucian get Fronto back after he was stolen. Afterwards, Lucian runs with some (friendly) wolves and finds Ops in a tree. Ops was a village leader, until the king ordered everyone working with the Lady of the Wild Things, and then he was made the village scapegoat (he took all the blame for everything that was wrong in the village). After getting Ops down, they run into the Goat Folk. Catch-a-Tick (member of the Goat Folk) hits Lucian in the head. Buckthorn is the leader of the Goat Folk and leads the group through a mountain pass to the valley of the Horse Clan. Joy-in-the-Dance is the daughter of the leader of the Horse Clan and the Lady of the wild Things. See-Far-Ahead (leader of the Horse Clan) leads them through another mountain pass to the palace of the Lady of the Wild Things. When they get to the palace, Ops finds someone to be his true love, and the Lady of the Wild Things sends Lucian and Fronto to find the shipmaster that is loyal to her and will do any of her favors. Ops and Joy-in-the-Dance have to stay behind. Joy-in-the-Dance and Ops sneak on board, and then the boat crashes on an island. There, they have to fight (and ultimately kill) a bull. Joy-in-the-Dance ends up calming the bull down long enough for the others to escape, and runs after them. They get back to Arkadia, and they immediately find the old king in ruins. They bring the king along with them, and go to the shipmasters old tavern. There, he finds his fiancé, who kicked him out (but didn’t really want him to go) and who helps them. The guards catch the king (who ran away to save his life, and didn’t want his newfound friends to get in trouble) who goes with them to allow Lucian and the others a new chance at life. Lucian and the others promptly go to the palace, and try to stop the sacrifice. Lucian ends up hitting the king in the head and knocks him out. One of the banisters catches fire and lights the whole palace on fire. The whole town is in flames soon. And you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next. The end is all good, but I’m not telling.

I think this book is really weird, but it's a really good book.   This is the fourth or fifth time I've read it, so clearly I like it.  It's really random, and I'm kind of random, too.  I think that the author described stuff really well, in my opinion, and he knew a lot about medieval castles, the way they were run.  I didn't enjoy the language, and I would have substituted one word with "donkey" because he says it a lot.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 chocolate bars
Appropriateness:  Some inappropriate language
Cover Thoughts:  I like both covers.  The hardback cover shows the setting, and the paperback cover shows the main characters really well.

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