Lynne Reid Banks,
The Adventures of King Midas
(HarperTrophy, 1992)

Lynne Reid Banks shows herself to be a completely versatile and always diverting storyteller -- from The Indian in the Cupboard to The Farthest-Away Mountain to The Adventures of King Midas.

In this work, the old Greek myth is dusted off, given a thorough polishing and made into a lively and entertaining children's story. While Banks takes extreme liberties with the myth, the result is something so fresh and fun it doesn't matter.

King Midas is transformed from a greedy miser to someone who simply has an obsession with gold (among other things, like growing roses). His quest to save his daughter, whom he turned into gold quite by accident, becomes an exciting adventure in which Midas is tested and changed. Along the way, he meets a mumbo (think baby dragon), defeats an evil witch, clears the throat of Old Gollop, saves a magician and learns the importance of a flandy-bake.

The Adventures of King Midas is a very fun, fleshed-out fairy-tale filled with Banks' usual wit. If you like this one, also try her other fantasies.

by Jennifer Mo
9 December 2006

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