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Boy Apprenticed to an Enchanter Hardcover – August 1, 1990
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The author is Irish, but this has never struck me as a particularly Irish story--more a mix of many different fairy tales and legends. Not a criticism; it's a lovely meld, and the story doesn't fall into a predictable pattern. The structure is also a bit unusual.
It's got a nicely strong heroine--she rescues the hero at least once--and while the illustrations don't do anything for me, they're lavish and fitting.
I am pleased to see that Colum's lovely "King of Ireland's Son" is still in print and attracting young fans. It is a pity that this book is not so widely available. Darker in tone and simpler in structure than "King of Ireland's Son" this book draws on the traditions of many lands to weave its spell. If you or your child enjoyed Colum's other books, then I can recommend this one without reservation. It is, in its own odd way, a kind of "Harry Potter" of an earlier generation, with its theme of a lad learning magic. Similarities end there, of course: the wizard is a malign figure, and the "boy" is nearly full grown. But when I was 10, I thought this book one of the best there was, and I think it can provide others with fun and excitement. And what other purpose does a tale have?