“When the world starts falling about your ears and intensely disagreeable things are happening to you, it’s always a comfort to blame somebody else. But-who?”*
Written by Lloyd Alexander and published in 2007 by The Estate of Lloyd Alexander and Henry Holt and Co; The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio is a fun-filled fantasy adventure novel featuring lost treasure, cold-hearted villains, and the world’s worst camel-puller.
When Carlo Chuchio sets out for the legendary land of Keshavar to search for treasure on the Road of Golden Dreams, he has no idea of the trials that await him-which include being robbed of everything he owns (save for his underdrawers), being mistaken a crown prince, and having the world’s worst camel-puller for a traveling companion. The camel-puller-whose name is Baksheesh-and a girl-whose name is Shira-take up with Carlo as he begins his search for treasure. The only problem is…the treasure may not even exist-and there are countless dangers they must encounter before they even reach their destination. Will they make it to the Royal Treasury unharmed? What is the “true treasure” that a mysterious stranger keeps referring to? And what secret is Shira hiding from the company?
Lloyd Alexander writes his stories with comic twists and unexpected incidents in every chapter. The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio is no exception. The dialogue is very well written and the details are subtle-yet you can still clearly see the story in your mind’s eye. The story flowed smoothly and there were no dull spots; the book was filled with action. The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio is an easy to medium read.
I would recommend this book for ages 12+. There were a couple of mature themes and some rude insults, as well as graphic fight scenes and bloody murders. Overall, a well-written, humorous tale with excellent literature qualities and an unpredictable ending. 4 out of 5 stars
“I have no idea exactly when the tide turned in our favor. The bandits surprised us. We surprised them. They never expected us to fight back so fiercely. I would see two or three traders and camel-pullers fling themselves against a robber, drag him down, and kill him on the ground. And so it went. At the end, our attackers lost heart. They broke and ran.
And I did of the stupidest things in my life.”**
*The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio, chapter 1. Copyright 2007 by The Estate of Lloyd Alexander and Henry Holt and Co
** The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio, chapter 14. Copyright 2007 by The Estate of Lloyd Alexander and Henry Holt and Co