Book Review: The High King

Author: Lloyd Alexander     Date: 1968

I’m afraid I have always had a weakness for a good fairy tale. By “good” I mean a classic or something likely to become a classic. There is a lot of down right junk in the fantasy genre. In fact, these days it’s hard to find something that isn’t junk. The High King was not junk. Granted, it is a children’s story but it carries a very important message: it is better to live for others than for yourself. In the story each of the main characters is forced to make a choice which will effect their own lives and those of their friends and prove for whom each person is living. As the companions journey across the magical land in which the dwell I could not help but be reminded of The Lord of the Rings but I think the reason for this was that both Tolkien and Alexander drew from the same sources rather than that one copied the other.

There was some magic involved in the story but I never felt uncomfortable with it. Indeed, the characters are constantly encouraged not to use magic in their mission accept where absolutely necessary . As one wise man states towards the end of the book magic just has a tendency to make men lazy. At the conclusion of the tale all of the magic is destroyed or given up, either by choice or by accident, and the people willingly choose to use their own hands and minds to rebuild their shattered world.

I very much enjoyed The High King. Like Rose in Bloom it is part of a series but I never felt lost as each character was introduced anew. It was a quick, fun Summertime book that also had many good qualities.

Quote Book

1. ” “Long ago I yearned to be a hero without knowing, in truth, what a hero was. Now, perhaps, I understand a little better. A grower of turnips or a shaper of clay, a common farmer or a king- every man is a hero if he strives more for others than for himself alone.”


About Caroline
I am 20, a Christian, a homeschool graduate, a daughter of two and sister of five. I sew, read and photograph whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure and lovely. To God be the glory.

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