The Black Cauldron  - Lloyd Alexander

This book has no clothes!


Oh, wait...I'm getting my allegories mixed up. The emperor wasn't wearing any clothes, but only a little girl had the sense to point it out. Or maybe she lacked the sense to keep it to herself.


So do I have any sense? Probably not. Because despite the universal love and adoration of this book, I found it dull, witless, and entirely unbelievable.


Book one was the same way, but I assumed things would get better. They don't--at least not through the second book. I'm certain I'm not that far off on my book interpretations. The folks that read the books as kids must hold a sentimental attachment as adults. It's the only explanation I can come up with, and one I can certainly understand. But honestly--I felt like the story was so bad even kids will be left scratching their heads.


As a redeeming quality, the story is earnest and sincere. There are good values being taught, and the characters remain somewhat endearing. I'm going to give book three a chance before I pull the plug. I'm also going to have my kids read them so I can see what they think of the story. If they love the books, I might go back and adjust my ratings.


For now I'm playing the part of the senseless little girl. This book has no clothes!