cover image The Adventures of King Midas

The Adventures of King Midas

Lynne Reid Banks. HarperCollins, $14 (153pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10894-6

The human obsession with unbridled wealth is timeless, and in this retelling of the Midas tale, the king of that name has it bad. As in the myth, Midas sates his lust for gold but turns his beloved daughter into a lifeless gold statue. The treacherous journey he undertakes to bring her back to life is an odyssey of self-evaluation, and the inevitable discovery that life is more precious than riches is rather more hard-won than in traditional fairy tales. In Banks's masterly hands, Midas's classic character flaws are blended with contemporary human foibles to create a wonderfully vulnerable tragic hero. By offering Midas a meaningful escape from his misery through his daughter's love, Banks gets to the heart of the legend while fleshing out the story with first-rate adventure. This first American edition is a revision of the version published in the U.K. in 1976. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)