Rehash of the Old Cliché
Some grand childhood memories should never be rekindled as adults. The Book of Three, to me, fits in this category. As a young man, I remember reading this novel and thinking it was the best thing ever. It had action. It had romance. It had high fantasy at its best.
I remember this book so fondly that I decided to read it out loud to my boys. To my despair, chapter-by-chapter, the bastions of my childhood awe for this book routinely cracked and fell apart. I know this novel is a classic, but I feel it important to warn you. If you read this book as a kid and loved it, keep that memory in tact and DON’T READ IT AS AN ADULT.
The Book of Three is full of cliché and been there done that characters. The story drafts so heavily from Lord of the Rings that one can practically transplant the names of characters from Tolkein’s books onto the characters in The Book of Three. This copycat YA novel would never have been written if it wasn’t for Tolkein’s work. I feel that any credit in this novel should not be attributed to Lloyd Alexander, but to
J. R. R. Tolkein.
That being said, my boys enjoyed having this book read out loud to them. I am now locked in to read the rest of Alexander’s series to them (for their sakes, not for mine). I suppose some of the magic I experienced as a young man reading this book still exists for young readers today.