The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha by Lloyd Alexander
Lloyd Alexander was one of my favorite young adult authors growing up. I still enjoy reading his works, although now I do find them a little formulaic. Lukas-Kasha is no exception to this. That being said, I would still recommend it to any young adult reader or enthusiast of Alexander’s work.
This book starts with a lazy, complacent main character who is content with staying lazy and complacent as the town bum. He is always hungry and gets into lots of scrapes, but he is too lazy to do anything with his life, until he runs into a mysterious magician who transports him to another world. In is land. Lukas is an emperor, pampered, well fed, and constantly in danger of assassination. He likes his new life at first, but quickly discovers that ruling a nation isn’t all feasts and fancy clothes. He escapes the palace with a very interesting slave girl, and his adventures really begin.
Like all Alexander novels, a wonderful band of misfits forms, and they journey together to discover their purpose and destiny. It is lively and fun, but a little predictable, although the ending was a surprise. It reminds me a lot of his Prydain books, especially in the parts where Lukas has to make big decisions about his life and the lives that are suddenly in his care. The biggest thing I like about Alexander is that he always makes his characters grow and learn. If you like young adult books, and especially if you like Alexander, I would recommend this book. However, it is not his best book, and if you want to read the real Alexander classics, you should start with The Book of Three and The black Cauldron.
Book review! The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha December 6, 2014
The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha by Lloyd Alexander
Serial Monday Episode 1 June 23, 2014
Serials used to be a HUGE part of the fiction world. I guess in a way, they still are, but now they are manifested as television shows. However, I am of the opinion that serials should make a comeback because blogs are very popular, and people love reading short, fast-paced, interesting stories online. So I am going to write a serial here, every Monday. I have the story in mind, and I even have quite a few characters, so it might end up being very Dickensian in style. I do know that it will be fun, though, because it can go anywhere and turn into anything. Here goes!
Inheritance Episode 1
The marshes stretched all around them, flat, wet, and warm, for miles and miles. This was their second week slogging through the coastal marshland, looking for small settlements and asking for any news of the mystic who could help them. Fira was ready to give up, and the damp air was irritating her skin, making her scales glisten and rub against her clothing uncomfortably. She grew up near the desert, on the outskirts of of the Jumper territory with her mother, but she hadn’t been back there for five years. She couldn’t go back there anyway, but anywhere would be better than these smelly swamps. Marden had insisted on traveling through them on their way to the towns, but she was tired and sore, and so far no one had even heard of Kauanoe. Or if they had, they wouldn’t say so.
The Slicks were notorious for being private and taciturn. Their settlements only consisted of three or four people, and even then, their houses were spread out. The only way to tell that you were actually in a settlement was that a Slick would suddenly appear out of the fog, swathed in their typical greenish garb, looking at you with muddy brown suspicious eyes. They were hard to see even when you were meant to see them, and they were all but invisible when you weren’t meant to see them. But even Fira couldn’t deny that they were a kind people, even if they were very private. She had the features of one of the most hated and feared races in all the lands, yet the Slicks showed no prejudice in their treatment of her. It may have helped that Marden had their same smooth skin and muddy eyes, but the Slicks seemed to make no differentiation between races, even when they found out that Fira and Marden had no inheritance. They listened patiently to their inquiries, provided them with food and shelter for a night, and quietly disappeared the next morning, leaving some supplies for the two travelers as they journeyed to the next settlement.
Marden was resolutely sure that they would find Kauanoe soon. They had to. She had been expelled from her land as soon as she was born, unable to even see her mother except the few times a year that she came on land to visit the Halfer settlements. Marden lived with her father there, a social pariah, for her whole life. When she heard stories of the mystic Slick woman who had the ability to give Halfers an inheritance, her whole life became about finding that woman. She left her village, her father, her brothers and sisters, everything she knew and loved, in order to find Kauanoe. And now, after traveling for three years, she still knew nothing.
When she met Fira, her life got a little brighter, and she appreciated her friendship, but Fira did nothing but complain in the swamps. Marden almost felt at home there. She didn’t have the abilities of the Slicks, and her long, plaited, leafy hair was like her mother’s, but her father had been mostly Slick, so she understood a little bit of the culture. More than Fira at least. Fira never knew anyone but her mother, a Jumper who lived in a village on the outskirts of the territory, a woman with a sad but common story and a daughter that was a constant reminder of her shame. A daughter who looked like the Fangs who conquered and slaughtered hundreds of her people. Fira had a bitter temperament, but her heart was passionate and loyal to those she loved. Marden wished she could have that sense of loyalty, but she only felt longing. She wasn’t even sure if Fira wanted an inheritance, or just a place to hide, but at least she was willing to travel with Marden anywhere, and that made her a good companion. She knew they would come to the towns soon, and once there, it was unlikely they would find out anything other than rumors of Kauanoe. So she stalled as much as she could while they were in the swamps. The Slicks living there had to know something, and she would find out more, even if it took her three more years. She doubted Fira’s loyalty would last that long in these swamps though, so she grew more anxious each day. She knew that they had one more week, at best, before the towns came in sight, and she planned to use every minute to the fullest.