||[May. 17th, 2007|05:40 pm]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
I found out through my friends-list today that Lloyd Alexander died (still can't find any news links, though).
Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain were my first foray into fantasy fiction. I had the trade-sized Dell Yearling editions, if I recall. Yellow spines and very cool cover art. There might have been some interior illustrations too, but I can't remember. I wish I still had them. I'd love to revisit them, and if I ever have kids, I'd want them to read the series too.
Sure, I'd read other children's lit that had elements of the fantastic in it, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlotte's Web, but this was the first time I'd ever read anything where fantasy was more than an element of the story. The whole world the story took place in was magic! It took my eleven-year-old mind to places I'd never been outside of my own imagination. Suddenly there were pigs that could tell the future, wizards that couldn't be killed, magic cauldrons, and a hairy half-man thing called Gurgi that I wanted as a pet. But coolest of all was the Horned King, who rode around on a big stallion and, instead of a normal head, had a skull with really big antlers. Awesome for an eleven-year-old? You bet! Still awesome for a thirty-eight-year-old? Hell yeah!
I owe a lot to Alexander and his Prydain series, more than I realized until today. Rest in peace, Lloyd. You sent a lot of us on a very cool path.