Saturday, April 27, 2019

Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison

I have no idea how long this lovely little book has been sitting unregarded on a bookshelf in the hall. This book is a reprint ('87) and it has that lovely aged paper smell to it but nothing to indicate from whence it came. I might have scooped it up at a library book sale or elsewhere because of the cover. (I've always loved the Unicorn tapestries.) I haven't a clue of its provenance though. 

But how glad I am it fell off the shelf into my hand when I was looking for something else! And how glad I am to know about Mitchison, who lived to 101 and wrote over seventy books.

Travel Light is a kind of fairy tale -- the good kind that adults as well as young readers can enjoy. It's the story of Halla, a king's daughter cast out by her new stepmother. She is brought up by bears and later by dragons, from whom she learns a proper dislike of heroes -- handsome young men with swords who slay dragons. Then she meets the All-Father, Odin the Wanderer, who gives her a piece of his cloak, sets her on a unicorn, and bids her to travel light.

This is such a delightful story -- it reminds me of Neil Gaiman and I wonder if he's read Mitchison.  And I can't wait for Josie to read it when she's a bit older. Halla is the independent, hero-shunning, tough sort of princess I can admire. And hope that Josie will too.


Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

This sounds like a delightful book! Thanks for the share.

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh good, another book. And I just finished a silly one, so am looking for something! My granddaughters have somehow survived the Disney princesses phase to bloom into young women with their own ideas about life. Whew!

Nan Emanuel said...

She sounds like the kind of princess we could use in Congress right about now. Sadly, there are very few heroes in our current political climate for her to look down upon. I carry hope in my heart and a vote in my pocket.

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm not much into fantasy or fairy tales in general so this is not my usual genre. I do love most Neil Gaiman so perhaps I need to look at Mitchison. Your recommendations are usually a good fit with my interests so I'll give it a try when I work down my TBR stack. I'm currently reading my second 800+ page novel ("Labyrinth of the Spirits") in a row and that slows me down quite a bit.

katy gilmore said...

Oh boy - thanks - I have to get this to read with a certain someone!