Thursday, March 8, 2012

The High King

This book is also to be listed at the Giveaway book for March 7th. Leave me a comment if you wish to claim this book as your own.

"A pebble can turn aside an avalanche," said Coll, "or a twig stem a flood."
"I daresay," muttered Fflewddur. "What happens to the twig or pebble afterwards I should rather not think about." -The High King (p. 168)
 Technically this book was not supposed to be on this year's list either (like The Hunger Games) but with it being the 5th book in a series that I very much doubt I will be able to get my hands on, I decided to take a chance and read it alone. While the copyright date is in the 60's and the cover art had me shaking in my chair in fear of a horribly slow "high fantasy", I was pleasently surprised to findmyself enjoying this old book.

Yes, I judge books by their cover. That is after all the reason they have cover art, to try and pull the readers into giving the story a chance. The cover art of this book says to me "Come stumble your way through a crazy tale that we will claim is high fantasy from back before fantasy had it's own catagory." And yet I only have 1 real complaint about this book: the narration/language. This is from a time when people already talked a bit differently than we do now, then you have a writen trying to talk from a different world altogether! The tone gets a bit through out of whack. I found myself stumbling through dialogue, eventually interpretting nearly everything said in my head as I read.

Other than that I was pleasently surprised to find myself moving along in the book, wanting to know what horrible event would next befall the companions fighting their way to enemy lines. And let me say, these poor guys never seem to get a break. There is plenty of action in the short novel.

Now, I did at times notice some similarities with another work of fantasy froma round the same time, and seeing as how I am not sure which came out when or if either author read the other, I managed to overlook them and move on.

The copy I have to give away is in surprisingly good condition for being so old. Only a few little teeth marks on the cover from mice. It also has an Auhor's Note about the book in the first few pages as well as an excerpt from The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis in the end. A list of other Newbery Award Model Winners (since this is one) can be found on the inside back cover. And that's all!

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