Sunday, August 25, 2019

Trying to Find that Perfect Balance: The Book of Three

Come on! A Horned King! How do you
beat that?
I picked up the copy of The Book of Three, the start of the Chronicles of Prydain series, off my shelf because I was tired of having to read through seriously hefty tomes with a lot of fluff just to digest some classical fantasy. The book delivered on brevity, starting the story of Annuvin (essentially the lord of death), and his minions, led by the awesomely conceived Horned King, and the beginning of Taran's tale as someone who is brave and courageous and shows his ability to grow into a great fantasy hero.

And of course, I love the darker fantasy elements that lean a bit more toward horror. That's always how I like my sorcery, and it was a nice coupling with more light-hearted things liked an oracular pig. That always strikes me as one of the more endearing quirks of this series.The sense of adventure and the development of the characters is well done, given that the book only took me a couple of hours to read.

But I did feel that the plot of this one is one that could have easily taken up two books twice its length, and while I recognize this was written for a younger audience than myself, it left me wondering just what it is that I want out of fantasy. Is it so hard to have something feel like it was treated just right, told for as long as it needed to be told, without the tedium of a six- or eight-hundred page work?

Who's making a fantasy title that is just right? Anyone?

K. Rating: 4/5

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