The Chronicles of Prydain, Books 1 & 2:
Book 1: The Book of Three:
Taran, The Assistant Pig-Keeper, longs to be a hero.
He begins his journey with a strange assortment of companions on a dangerous mission to save his beloved land, Prydain. Packed with action, humor, romance, and gallantry, Taran's adventures chronicle his beloved Prydain and his battle with the forces of evil.
Book 2: The Black Cauldron
Peace reigns in Caer Dallben, where Taran works as Assistant Pig-Keeper, but evil threatens the rest of Prydain. The diabolical Arawn’s army grows every day, and his terrible warriors never die. They are born in the Black Cauldron from the stolen bodies of slain soldiers. If evil is to be defeated, the cauldron must be destroyed. Taran volunteers to travel to Arawn’s stronghold and assist in the destruction of the dreaded cauldron. With his faithful friends reassembled, Taran marches off to face great danger with a courageous heart.
©2014 Lloyd Alexander (P)2014 Listening Library
Taran the assistant pig keeper and his adventures kept me amused and entertained. Definitely a young adult book/series for the entire family. I love all the characters, the chivalrous knight, the princess, the old warrior, the talking pig. Both books use medieval imagery to tell subtle stories about the destructive sides of pride, desire, ignorance, and envy. I look forward to more of the series.
James Langton is an excellent narrator.
Interesting tale of bravery in a kingdom far away. Quests and Heroes and Villians. Good triumphs over evil in the end but there are heavy losses.
So many of today's novels are of dystopian societies. Lloyd Alexander's novels are also stories of good and evil, and there is treachery and deception, but there is honor, which I find lacking in too many of today's novels. In Alexander's novel, the weak become strong through necessity, and even those that waiver between good and evil are redeemed in the end. I prefer this view of humankind, and hope that it will carry over from fantasy books into the hearts and actions of the readers in the real world.
So glad to re-experience Taran's tales with the guidance of the narrator's excellent application of British Isles accents.
Until recently, I didn't realize that Disney's "The Black Calderon" was actually based off a book. When I heard that there was a book, and that Disney did not do the original story justice, I had to check it out. And I have to say, I really enjoyed this story. The protagonist is much more interesting than the Disney version.
It's a classic coming of age story in which our young hero learns that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. I was impressed with how little the author used exposition. For example the concept of the bard's magic harp that breaks a string each time he, um, stretches the truth was clear but it was never spelled out.
I don't want to get into spoilers so I'll just say if you're looking for a good fantasy adventure you've found one here.
I had read these books when I was in middle school, but I could never find them until now. I loved this and the fact that it had both books included with it.
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