THE BOOK OF WIZARDS selected and illustrated by Michael Hague

January 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

wizardsHague retells nine famous stories that feature wizards or sorcerers. They include Merlin, Circe, Baba Yaga, Prospero, King Solomon’s Ring, and others. Each tale comes from a different country and Hague points out the significant features of the land and people in connection with the story.  In Baba Yaga, the evil stepmother sends the young daughter to a witch in order to be rid of her and to keep the husband for herself. By being kind, the daughter gets help from others and thwarts the stepmother’s design. Ulysses, with the aid of a flower from Mercury, rescues his crew from Circe’s charm that changed them into pigs. Prospero avenges himself from the evil done to him by his brother with the help of Caliban and Ariel. In each tale, save one, the protagonist overcomes the spells and magic of the supposedly overpowering wizard through cunning and intelligence. The exception is the story of Merlin. Merlin’s weakness is falling in love with treacherous, beautiful maidens. In this tale, the duplicitous Vivian charms Merlin into teaching her all his charms. After learning his spells, Vivian entombs Merlin forever.  Besides being rousing good tales, Hague has added wonderful colored illustrations of hideous dragons, beautiful maidens, snapping dogs, and unfortunate sorcerers. This is a good addition to any story collection.

J Nonfiction

Recommended- Lillian Hecker (PEL)

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