cover image The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio

Lloyd Alexander, . . Holt, $16.95 (306pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-8333-0

This posthumously published novel from Alexander, who died this spring, is an exuberant and compassionate tale of adventure. Kicked out of his merchant uncle’s house, inveterate daydreamer Carlo leaves the island of Magenta (not far from Campania, the mythical setting of The Rope Trick ) to head east on the Road of Golden Dreams. He travels through Sidya, Marakand and Keshavar (the evocative names are vintage Alexander, subtly blending cartography and legend), all the way to Cathai, where he expects to make his fortune, thanks to the treasure map he found tucked into a book of fantastic tales given him by a mysterious bookseller. Themes that call to mind Alexander’s landmark Prydain Chronicles reappear here, telescoped into a single potent volume: Starting as a callow youth, Carlo gains wisdom and the capacity to love deeply, thanks to his adventures on the road and what he learns from his fellow travelers. The buoyant fantasy is counterpointed by the war and destruction that lurk beyond nearly every bend in the road; the interplay between these elements will keep readers enthralled every step of Alexander’s final literary journey. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)