… Or as the subtitle has it: “The Rise and Wonderful Adventures of Farmer Giles, Lord of Tame, Count of Worminghall and King of the Little Kingdom”
A fun adventure that turns out to be an elaborate in-joke about some English place names. This is one of my favorite novellas. It is a hoot.
Farmer Giles of the Thames Valley becomes famous for fighting a giant. The king rewards him with a sword, Caudimordax or Tailbiter, that turns out to have a magical property: it cannot be sheathed when within five miles of a dragon. Guess what happens next? Of course he meets a dragon…
Like The Hobbit ,this story started out as one that J.R.R. Tolkien, told to his children. He worked on it over about twenty years until it was published in 1949. This novella is illustrated by Pauline Baynes with annotations by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond.
My favorite quote:
The dragons pricked up their ears. They were hungry, and these rumours were attractive. `So knights are mythical!’ said the younger and less experienced dragons. `We always thought so.’
`At least they may be getting rare,’ thought the older and wiser worms; `far and few and no longer to be feared.’
This review was written before I started my blog, but I am posting it for the 7th Annual Tolkien Blog Party, hosted by Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice.