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The Iron Ring Paperback – May 24, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
This semi-mystical epic adventure draws loosely on the great myths and literature of India. "The imaginative scope of the story and its philosophical complexities will make this an exciting journey for the reader," said PW. Ages 10-14. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9. Alexander's latest epic adventure is rooted in the mythology of ancient India. A losing game of chance with a mysterious stranger seems like a dream to young King Tamar, but the iron ring on his finger is a very real token that his life may be forfeit. A journey to the stranger's distant kingdom seems his only chance to discover the truth. Many adventures and diversions crop up along the way as Tamar gains some surprising companions, including a brave and beautiful milkmaid, a cowardly eagle, and a wiley monkey king who used to be a man. The author's flexible style moves smoothly from comedy to tragedy and back again; from battle scenes to ridiculous situations, Alexander never loses the thread. Set within the action are small gems of poetry and folktales. The concept of dharma, or proper conduct, and the rigid caste system deeply affect Tamar's actions. Plot, characters, and setting all have their parts to play, but it is the tension set up among the lively characters and the cultural conventions binding them that create the structure of the story and lead inevitably to its conclusion. This wise and witty adventure can be enjoyed on many levels.?Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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Excellent, memorable characters and scenes, great use of foreshadowing throughout. The setting in India allows for some wonderful animal companions, all of whom have their own heroic characters to develop.
Great, great book for boys. This is a coming of age novel they will never forget.
Too bad about the cheesy new cover -- I read this with an older, more interesting cover with an India-looking illustration that shows all the animals in the story.
Known for exploring worldwide folklore, Alexander takes to the world of India for this. He explores mystical gods and makes a wonderful and powerful social commentary on the caste system.
It's the usual journey of growth and discovery, but that is always a great journey. I cry every time I read this, it touches me so.
Excellent piece from the awesome Lloyd Alexander.
Like many adventure stories, The Iron Ring establishes the hero and the villain without much ambiguity. However, the book's setting in the birthplace of Buddhism and Hinduism sets the stage for some interesting explorations of truth and illusion as the hero wonders if he is fulfilling his destiny or forsaking reality for a dream. Furthermore, the young king gains a stronger understanding and respect for the lives of those outside the life of his small kingdom, as his perception of the world around him grows. If you demand historical accuracy and drink your philosophy strong, this book is not for you. But if you're looking for a good straight-up adventure story, Lloyd Alexander is your man.
I recommended it for young readers!
Although i'm 26 and am enjoying it as well.
Some concepts seem elementary (being a children's book), but the Morals are spot on!