Lloyd Alexander (January 30, 1924 – May 17, 2007) was an American author of fantasy novels for children. So, you’re probably asking yourself why he’s here on Realms of Night. To be fair, I always intended to include fantasy in the mix of authors I posted about, and since I think all good fantasy has an element of darkness to it, it seems to work out just fine in my mind.
The primary reason I’ve included Alexander here is because I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction as a kid, and The Horned King from The Book of Three left such an enduring impression that I had nightmares about him as a child. The Herne-esque archetype struck a long resounding chord in me, for I read these books in 1980-1981, and the image resurfaced as personal inspiration as late as 2013, when I wrote my novelette “Children of the Horned God” (DarkFuse #1 2014). It’s fair to say Don Maitz’s wonderful cover art for The Book of Three blended well with the story and had a lot to do with the enduring horror of The Horned King in the shadows of my imagination. I still remember saving up money to buy these at the elementary school book fairs along with books by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, C.S. Lewis, and anything with Star Wars on the cover — from storybooks to issues of Dynamite.
Alexander was from Pennsylvania, served in World War II, attended university in Paris, France, then returned home to Pennsylvania, settling in Drexel Hill. He was interested in writing from an early age, but his first forays into fiction did not meet with much success. His interest in Greek and Celtic mythology as a youth eventually led him to try his hand at children’s fantasy fiction. He wrote the books in the popular Prydain Chronicles between 1964 and 1968. He won the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award for the last book in the series, The High King. This biographical information comes from the Pennsylvania Center for the Book.
These cover scans are from my personal library, all Dell Yearling paperback editions featuring cover art by Don Maitz.