OK, so first I need to catch up with the second prompt I missed while on holiday.
“Your Favourite Book From Childhood”
Actually, I have chosen a series of five books – the “Chronicles of Prydain” by Lloyd Alexander.
Essentially, the books are kind of “Lord of the Rings Light” for kids, with many of the same themes, parallels in the characters, but based on Welsh mythology and legends (and set vaguely in an ancient Wales, the land of Prydain). But they are superb, and I loved them all.
The main protaganist, who we follow from young boy to man and warrior through the five books, is the orphan Taran, who gets caught up in great events in his land. He has to face up to a lot – themes include first love, loyalty, courage, identity and much more besides. Like kids who have grown up with Harry Potter in recent years, I guess he was about my age at the start of the books so I immediately identified with him. The subsidiary characters range from genuinely scary enemies to lovable comic friends, adding to the depth of the books.
All in all, I look back very fondly on the books and I think they had a big impact on me at a formative age. Part of me wants to reread them as an adult (out of print, but available online of course), but I haven’t done so yet, as I am scared they might disappoint and tarnish my wonderful memories of reading them when younger. Maybe it’s better to hold onto the magic as it was!
I even used one of the key plot points from one of the books in one of the original pantomimes I wrote for my drama group.