The Arkadians

( 12 )

Overview

To escape the wrath of the king and his wicked soothsayers, an honest young man joins with a poet-turned-jackass and a young girl with mystical powers on a series of epic adventures.

To escape the wrath of the king and his wicked soothsayers, an honest young man joins with a poet-turned-jackass and a young girl with mystical powers on a series of epic adventures.

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Overview

To escape the wrath of the king and his wicked soothsayers, an honest young man joins with a poet-turned-jackass and a young girl with mystical powers on a series of epic adventures.

To escape the wrath of the king and his wicked soothsayers, an honest young man joins with a poet-turned-jackass and a young girl with mystical powers on a series of epic adventures.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lucian flees corrupt palace officials in pre-classical Greece, his flight becoming a quest to discover his role in life. Soon, he's trying to help a second-rate poet turned donkey regain human form. Roaming the land, he also gets caught up in the great conflict between followers of the mother goddess and believers in the Olympian pantheon. Fortunately, he has the help of Joy-in-the-Dance, a young prophetess, in a relationship strikingly similar to that of Taran and Eilonwy in Alexander's five-volume Prydain Chronicles. And like the Prydain novels, this adventure draws heavily on a great body of myths and legends. Perhaps to accommodate the constraints of a single volume, Alexander relays many myths in comic, de-bunked forms-he shows poets transforming a clan of horse-riders into centaurs, a skilled mariner separated from his barmaid love into the epic hero Odysseus. Even with much of the raw material developed only minimally, the result is a good, involving story. Readers already acquainted with Greek literature and legend will enjoy picking out familiar threads. Ages 10-up. (June)
The ALAN Review - Elizabeth Poe
The Kingdom of Arkadia is deeply steeped in problems: slow-witted King Bromios is puppet to corrupt soothsayers; bean-counter Lucian requires a new occupation; poet-turned-talking-jackass Fronto wants a retransformation; oracle Joy-in-the-Dance seeks guidance; scapegoat Op needs somewhere to belong; Shipmaster Oudeis owes The Lady of Wild Things a favor; and goat-boy Catch-a-Tick craves heroic adventure. These travelers band together to overcome personal and political problems, and, in the process, learn much about Arkadian lore. Stories abound in this delightful fantasy adventure, many of which are not actual retellings of Greek myths, but rather fictional pretellings, suggesting the embellishment-gathering nature of oral tradition. Readers needn't be familiar with Greek mythology to partake of the wit and wisdom of these winsome Arkadians, but it's a lot of fun to identify the classical stories that are playfully woven into this engaging epic.
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
A make-believe world closely related to Greek mythology is the setting for this exciting young adult novel featuring the adventures of Lucien, a young, former bean-counter, Joy-in-the-Dance, a beautiful but feisty mystic, Fronto, a poet turned donkey and many other colorful but strangely believable characters. Many tales loosely based on Greek mythology are skillfully woven into the action and romance of the main story, while some of the myths, such as the story of the labyrinth and the Minotaur form important parts of the novel's plot. The author's unusual but appealing characters and lively, graceful style of writing should make the novel enjoyable even for those readers who do not catch the sometimes rather subtle allusions to mythology.
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-In Lloyd Alexander's adventure fantasy (Dutton Children's Books, 1995), a lowly court bean counter, Lucian, makes an almost fatal mistake by doing his job well. His innocent honesty backfires, and instead of being rewarded for finding a discrepancy in the palace inventory, Lucian must flee for his life. On his picaresque journey he encounters Fronto, a poet turned into a donkey, an irritating yet attractive young free spirit named Joy-in-the-Dance, and other unique companions and adversaries. The mythology of ancient Greece is the backdrop, and the characters pause frequently while one relates a tale reminiscent of Greek myths. This remarkably well-produced reading dramatizes the story without letting listeners forget Alexander's deft artistic hand. A variety of voices is used for the characters. Particularly notable are those characters who are creations of Alexander's rich imagination. The voice variations are energetic yet never forced, making the characters easy to differentiate. The sound quality is crisp without the loss of a single word. A special treat is the storytelling as the characters settle in for these story-within-a-story segments. The effect is an authentic recreation of the oral tradition framed in a modern fantasy novel. This recording of a choice piece of literature will be an excellent selection for school and public libraries.-Nancy L. Chu, Western Illinois University, Macomb
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-An expertly developed cast of characters rounds out this witty epic that's filled with romance and adventure. Lucian, the archetypal hero, knows more than he should about the king's nefarious soothsayers and must escape the palace or be killed. He takes with him Fronto, a poet whose folly has turned him into a donkey. Guided by Joy-in-the-Dance, a pythoness oracle who serves the Lady of Wild Things, they seek the Lady on an Oz-like journey for answers to their problems, joined on the way by Ops, a chief who was cast out of his village. The travelers do not get what they had hoped for from the Lady, but Lucian does learn why her followers and his Bear Clan are enemies. The seekers are then sent on another journey that completes the heroic cycle. On one level, this is a rousing adventure complete with cliffhangers and do-or-die stituations. On another, readers familiar with Greek mythology will find clever hints at the myths' purpose and genesis. The Arkadians have experiences and listen to tales that resemble the stories of Narcissus, the Wooden Horse of Troy, Odysseus, and Theseus and the Minotaur, among others. The women are the wise ones in this novel and play their own heroic roles. On a deeper level, this tale is about love and peace, symbolized by the marriage of Lucian and Joy-in-the-Dance and the subsequent uniting of the Bear Clan and the Followers of the Lady. Thus, Arkadia becomes the mythical Arcadia, which poets lauded as a utopia. The plot has many twists and turns, but is not hard to follow, and Alexander's style is eminently readable.-Cheri Estes, Dorchester Road Regional Library, Charleston, SC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140380736
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 647,613
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    The Arkadians review

    The Arkadians The Arkadians was an exciting and funny book by Lloyd Alexander. The whole book is about getting a man who was changed into a donkey, back to normal. The band of travelers who get him there, grow in greater numbers throughout the book. All characters have a great personality. In this story there are many other smaller stories within it. Much storytelling is done between the characters. Mythology is a big part to the book and it makes everything more intriguing. The Arkadians is an intense story with a little romance. This is definitely one of Lloyd Alexander¿s better books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2007

    Favorite L. Alexander book

    This is my absolute favorite Lloyd Alexander novel. There's something so memorable about it. I read it years ago, and am still in awe of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2004

    This ROCKS!

    Lloyd Alexander is amazing! Once again, he has proven that he has immense writing skills. Funny, enchanting and light-hearted, this book is good for all ages. The ending was surprising but witty and the whole story (the characters and places) were outstanding. Highly recommended to any Lloyd Alexander fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2003

    Fantastic!

    This was an exciting book, and I liked the fact that Greek Mythology has a part in it. I would reccomend this book to anyone who enjys fantsy and Greek Mythology, and even if you don't, it's a goo book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2001

    A great book!

    This is a wonderful book. You will find it especially entertaining if you like mythology, but even if you don't it is still a terrific book. In my opinion it is one of Lloyd Alexander's best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2001

    FUN AND ENTERTAINING

    THIS BOOK WAS VERY ENJOYABLE. I'M NOT AS FOND OF IT AS I AM OF SOME OF HIS OTHER WRITTINGS BUT I HAD A GREAT TIME READING IT AND I LAUGHED ALOT. I REALLY RCOMEND THIS BOOK .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2001

    Wonderful Tale

    I enjoyed this book very much. It displays all aspects of adventure, humor, romance and has a high level of suspense that will keep you from putting it down. The ending will thrill and surprise you. It's a timeless tale that you will enjoy reading over and over again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2000

    Great Adveture Book That EVERYONE Will Love

    I am usually the type of person who is not in to adventure and fantasy books but when I started reading this book it was so good. I loved how the author includes some great mythology. I liked that and also it felt like it took place in Greece but it wasn't exactly like Greece. A very good adventure that everyone and anyone will love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2000

    This is a great story

    I had never read anything by Lloyd Alexander when I picked up this book. I really like the way he writes, and this book is a truly enjoyable tale with many ancient mythological tales mixed in. Don't be surprised if some of the stories within the story are familiar. Really a fun read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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