Should publishers keep re-issuing old books? Are they trying to make easy money, or are they catering to a need for classic stories?
Joan Aiken’s Felix trilogy is definitely the kind of reading material you can never have enough of. It’s got everything; adventure of almost every kind you could dream of, friendship, romance, history, travel. Ten years ago when I’d worked my way through the Willoughby Chase novels, one by one, I was desperate for more Joan Aiken, so happily moved on to Felix when I noticed him on the shelves.
How lucky I was to have found that branch of the well known chain that actually stocked these books. So many shops didn’t. Yes, you could order the books, but first you’d need to know of their existence.
Go Saddle the Sea, Bridle the Wind, and The Teeth of the Gale have recently been re-issued, with great new covers that I hope will appeal to new readers, or to those older people (although old people could obviously also enjoy them) who buy books for young readers.
To me these books are timeless, and every generation needs them. Joan wrote them over a period of ten years (actually I don’t know that. They were originally published over ten years, though) and looking at it from the future, where no waiting is necessary, I can’t help but feel it might be better that way. It’s the constant push for sequels every year that could sometimes make for less than perfect books.
I don’t know. But perhaps a good story needs maturing?
Anyway, this isn’t a review as such. I only want to get more people interested in Felix, who like many other heroes is an orphan, poor, treated cruelly, and who travels from Spain to England to find his ‘family and background’, has good and bad things happen to him, after which there is more travelling, incarceration, love, and a return of sorts to his roots. He grows up, and so do we.