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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Thoroughly Enjoyable Adventures With A Pig Keeper

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Oh my dear god, the accents!!

I love the story,,but the accents are beyond atrocious. The next volume features Eilonwy, and I'm dreading it.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great, absolutely great.

Great story, very well written with great characters and exciting circumstances. very well narrated. A rather enjoyable listening experience.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Dean
  • Plover, WI United States
  • 02-27-16

Love this series and how you see Taran grow

love this series and how you watch as Taran grows into the man he will be

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Family friendly and engaging for all ages

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Two For One Young Adult Fantasy - It Gets Better

Book of Three
If ever a book could have benefitted from a rewrite by its author's more mature self, this is it. At times this is _almost_ a good YA fantasy. Despite obvious Tolkien analogues and clumsy writing. Despite hand-waving and nonsensical explanations of MAJOR plot events. The book is at its strongest when it leans on Welsh legends and fairy tales.

The Black Cauldron
This book is far better than the first book in the series. In fact, I might encourage people to read a summary of book 1 (or not) and just start with this one. The same cast of characters reappear but with greater depth. And this time they actually play a direct role in the book's major events. As a young adult book The Black Cauldron shines, there is a growth arc and a good moral lesson - one that's imparted without any level of "preaching." It also has a strong female character, even if she is often dismissed by the pig-headed men of the story.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Prydain chronicles.

Stumbled across the full version of this anthology of books in my high school library. It was the first hardcover version with all five novels and the companion book of short stories that were the pre cursor to the five novels. Loved the entire series and I have looked for a long time to get the Prydain chronicles as it was in the school library, but finally just had to break down and buy each piece of the puzzle separately.

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A story of heroes

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.

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A Childhood Favorite Now an Old Man's Delight

So glad to re-experience Taran's tales with the guidance of the narrator's excellent application of British Isles accents.

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A SOLID FANTASY--much better than the movie

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful