The Arkadians Author:Lloyd Alexander Lucian flees corrupt palace officials in pre-classical Greece, his flight becoming a quest to discover his role in life. Soon, he's trying to help a second-rate poet turned donkey regain human form. Roaming the land, he also gets caught up in the great conflict between followers of the mother goddess and believers in the Olympian pantheon. — Fort... more »unately, he has the help of Joy-in-the-Dance, a young prophetess, in a relationship strikingly similar to that of Taran and Eilonwy in Alexander's five-volume Prydain Chronicles. And like the Prydain novels, this adventure draws heavily on a great body of myths and legends. Perhaps to accommodate the constraints of a single volume, Alexander relays many myths in comic, de-bunked forms - he shows poets transforming a clan of horse-riders into centaurs and a skilled mariner separated from his barmaid love into the epic hero Odysseus. Even with much of the raw material developed only minimally, the result is a good, involving story. Readers already acquainted with Greek literature and legend will enjoy picking out familiar threads. Ages 10-up.« less
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Lloyd Alexander is one of my favorite authors - read this one and you'll see why. First: the story carries you along with it. Second: It provides a wonderful explanation of the craft of story making and telling. Third: It's based on those myths which are universal throughout our world - from Greece, Rome, and Crete but also from American Indians and Europe and probably a lot more I couldn't identify. Through in a dash of the more modern ones like Wizard of Oz and The Lord of the Rings and this story is a truly interesting, magnificently well done narrative.
Lucian is on the run from a pair of murderous soothsayes. Joy-in-the-Dance knows magic and marvels, and is on a quest. Fronto is a poet-turned-donkey who wants to break the spell that turned him into an animal. The three of them join forces and set out through Arkadia-- on an amazing trip that will change their lives.