Before there was Harry Potter, there was Taran Wanderer.
When you grew up reading Harry Potter, Harry grew up with you. My age was never more than two or three away from Harry’s. He became an adult just as I did.
I didn’t know until now that Lloyd Alexander had done the same thing with Taran in the Chronicles of Prydain. As the books continue, as the readers age, the characters grew from children to adults. And they learned what it was to be an adult, in ways that perhaps went far deeper than Harry’s.
It is in this book that the foolishness of growing up is revealed for itself, that the journey of the self is finally to be understood. In so many fantasy novels, destiny is the guiding force–and indeed, Taran sets out on a quest believing it to be his destiny.
This belief in destiny is linked to the notion of “finding yourself.” People set out to find themselves, looking for their parents, for their calling, for their own worth. Looking everywhere but into the mirror.
‘”Why, my luck’s no greater than yours or any man’s. You need only sharpen your eyes to see your luck when it comes, and sharpen your wits to use what falls into your hands.'”