The High King – Lloyd Alexander

Chronicles of Prydain #5 Arawn Death-Lord has Gwydion’s magic sword, and he has sent out his dread armies to conquer Prydain. With only the slimmest of hopes, Taran and Gwydion must raise an army and strike at Arawn’s stronghold to try to end his evil once and for all. The High King is not the strongest of Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain quintet. He’s building here on an established foundation, and much of the outcome in a…

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Taran Wanderer – Lloyd Alexander

Chronicles of Prydain #4 With his friend Eilonwy off learning about princessing, Assistant Pig Keeper Taran begins to worry about his parentage. With faithful companion Gurgi, he sets off to learn about himself. There’s little in this book that will surprise an experienced adult reader of fantasy. For younger readers, though, Taran Wanderer is a pretty fine book It’s a solid discovery adventure that never loses track of the fun, while still being packed full…

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The Castle of Llyr – Lloyd Alexander

Chronicles of Prydain #3 Taran’s friend Eilonwy is growing up, and must leave Caer Dallben to live as a princess. Taran accompanies her, only to find that not all is well in her new home and Eilonwy is in danger. The Castle of Llyr applies Lloyd Alexander’s now-familiar formula, with all characters playing their usual roles – Taran, Fflewdur, and Gurgi all play large parts, and Prince Gwydion comes in. Only Eilonwy, due to the…

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The Black Cauldron – Lloyd Alexander

Chronicles of Prydain #2 Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, has returned to his duties after a brief spell of excitement. But it’s not all pig-washing when a series of curious character’s turn up at Caer Dallben to plan a secret mission to darkest Annuvin. This second book in the Chronicles of Prydain follows closely on the trail of its predecessor, The Book of Three. The writing is light, humorous, and instructive, in the sense that there are…

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The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander

Chronicles of Prydain #1 Taran’s been promoted – to Assistant Pig Keeper. It’s not quite the heroic task he envisioned, even if Hen Wen is an oracular pig. But even assistant pig keeping turns out to be harder than expected, when Hen Wen escapes, Taran has a run-in with the Horned King, and things get even worse. One of the classic stories of children’s fantasy. I read it when I was young, and at WorldCon,…

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