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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dwelling in Prydain

For the past couple days, I've been re-reading the Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. I missed them as a child and read them for the first time four or five years ago. Unfortunately, I read the middle book (The Castle of Llyr) first and then went back to the others, starting with The Book of Three.

After seeing the horrific Disney movie bearing the name The Black Cauldron last week, I knew I needed to go back and re-read the series, this time in order. OK, back up a moment. In fairness, the movie wasn't absolutely horrific. If I'd never read the book, I would have thought it a decent movie. However, having read the book and fallen absolutely in love with it, I was horrified at the way the movie twisted the plot and the themes completely out of recognition.

The Prydain Chronicles really are magical for so many reasons. For me the themes of war and peace resonate especially strong. Coll wants to be known not as a great warrior, but as a grower of turnips. There is such an immense respect for the work of people who create things and an emphasis that leaders carry a burden and are servants first and foremost.

When reading Pages magazine this week, I learned that the same film company that created this year's The Chronicles of Narnia were going to be doing Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising.
Perhaps, then, there is hope that someone will soon tackle The Prydain Chronicles with the respect and faithfulness that the series deserves.


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