Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Exploring Strange New Worlds - Mythology Tales

So recently I have been thinking [and reading, of course] about mythology tales. I don't really have a definition for what I call "Mythology Tales" but I can point to some examples:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
The Abhorsen Chronicles by Garth Nix

These all set up another world, paying so much attention to detail that you could teach a history or geography class from what you know after reading these.

I recently read The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. I had tried reading Taran Wanderer when I was little but since it was the 3rd in the series of 5, it didn't make a whole lot of sense. These books are simply amazing. They had echoes of the language of Tolkien but are quite different. Alexander took Welsh mythology and set it in a fantasy world, creating his own mythology for it. Simply wonderful. If you've never read these books before, PLEASE go check them out. After finishing them, I found myself missing the characters so much that I'm going to go check the books out from the library again!!

I was very interested in reading The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper but the ending of the 5th book turned me off to ever reading her again. She had created such a rich world of myths and then right at the end took it all away. Simply DREADFUL. Similar to The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit. I know E. Nesbit and Susan Cooper are famous children's authors, but if you are going to pull a cheat like that then I'm not reading your books!

I've read the Chronicles of Narnia about once a year since I was five years old, and they are still such beautiful, magical books that sometimes I just pick one up and escape for an hour or two.

I have to admit that I can't get past Tolkien's writing style. I have a lot of characteristics of ADD and I guess reading about a tree for 20 pages just makes me bored. I think his stories are wonderful, but I can't really read them...I have to watch the extended version of the movies. :)

The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix are some of my favorite books in the world. They are absolutely fabulous - original, scary, and mystical. These are another must read.

What are your favorite mythology tales?

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