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The Chronicles of Prydain Boxed Set Paperback – Box set, October 25, 2011


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The Chronicles of Prydain Boxed Set + The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree + The Wrinkle in Time Quintet Boxed Set (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, An Acceptable Time)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: The Chronicles of Prydain
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Box Pap/Ps edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250000939
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250000934
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An exciting, highly imaginative, and sometimes profound fantasy of humor and heroism."
--The New York Times on The Castle of Llyr
 
"Once-in-a-lifetime reading that will assure Prydain a permanent place in geographies of fictional territories."
--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) on The Black Cauldron
 
"A very funny adventure tale ... The writing is sophisticated."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books on The Book of Three
 
"The author ... leavens with high good humor the high fantasy."
--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) on The Book of Three
 
"A wise and wondrous tale."
--Booklist on The Black Cauldron
 
"Character and dialogue is handled humorously and dextrously, which sets this classic-in-the-making apart from other folklore-based fantasies."
--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) on The Castle of Llyr
 
"All of the color and adventure one expects in the land of fantasy."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books on Taran Wanderer
 
"The book has the philosophical depth and overtones of great fantasy." --The Horn Book on The High King

About the Author

Lloyd Alexander (1924-2007) was the author of more than forty books for children and adults, including the beloved children’s fantasy series, the Chronicles of Prydain, one of the most widely read series in the history of fantasy and the inspiration for the animated Disney film, The Black Cauldron. His books have won numerous awards, including the Newbery Medal, the Newbery Honor, and the National Book Award for Juvenile Literature.

More About the Author

Few writers have inspired as much affection and interest among readers young and old as Lloyd Alexander. At one point, however, it seemed unlikely that he would ever be a writer at all. His parents could not afford to send him to college. And so when a Philadelphia bank had an opening for a messenger boy, he went to work there. Finally, having saved some money, he quit and went to a local college. Dissatisfied with not having learned enough to be a writer he left at the end of one term. Adventure, he decided was the best way. The United States had already entered World War II. Convinced that here was a chance for real deeds of derring-do, he joined the army -- and was promptly shipped to Texas where he became, in disheartening succession an artilleryman, a cymbal player in the band, an organist in the post chapel, and a first-aid man. At last, he was assigned to a military intelligence center in Maryland. There he trained as a member of a combat team to be parachuted into France to work with the Resistance. "This, to my intense relief, did not happen," says Alexander. Instead, Alexander and his group sailed to Wales to finish their training. This ancient, rough-hewn country, with its castles, mountains, and its own beautiful language made a tremendous impression on him. But not until years later did he realize he had been given a glimpse of another enchanted kingdom. Alexander was sent to Alsace-Lorraine, the Rhineland, and southern Germany. When the war ended, he was assigned to a counterintelligence unit in Paris. Later he was discharged to attend the University of Paris. While a student he met a beautiful Parisian girl, Janine, and they soon married. Life abroad was fascinating, but eventually Alexander longed for home. The young couple went back to Drexel Hill, near Philadelphia, where Alexander wrote novel after novel which publishers unhesitatingly turned down. To earn his living, he worked as a cartoonist, advertising writer, layout artist, and associate editor for a small magazine. It took seven years of constant rejection before his first novel was at last published. During the next ten years, he wrote for adults. And then he began writing for young people.Doing historical research for Time Cat he discovered material on Welsh mythology. The result was The Book of Three and the other chronicles of Prydain, the imaginary kingdom being something like the enchanted land of Wales. In The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen Alexander explored yet another fantastic world. Evoking an atmosphere of ancient China, this unique multi-layered novel was critically acclaimed as one of his finest works. Trina Schart Hyman illustrated The Fortune-tellers as a Cameroonian folktale sparkling with vibrant images, keen insight and delicious wit. Most of the books have been written in the form of fantasy. But fantasy, Alexander believes, is merely one of many ways to express attitudes and feelings about real people, real human relationships and problems

Customer Reviews

Will always remain one of my favorite series!
Kelly Ilebode
My favorite childhood books my mom read to me as a child (about 7 years old) and now I get to read them to my son!
Amy Long
They're wonderful books to read aloud as a family.
E. Strickenburg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
"The Chronicles of Prydain" is one of those fantasy series that is not only a classic, but really timeless -- it's a mishmash of heroic fantasy and Welsh folklore, a few rungs below "Lord of the Rings" and a few inches down from "Chronicles of Narnia." And Lloyd Alexander's writing is absolutely sublime, melding sorrow and humor even as the heroes fight to save the world.

"The Book of Three" opens with Assistant Pig-Keeper Taran yearning for adventure -- and getting more than he bargains for when he chases the pig into the woods, and is nearly run down by a sinister horned rider. Soon he teams up with a wandering king-minstrel, a sharp-tongued princess and a furry creature called Gurgi to save Prydain from the power of the Horned King.

"The Black Cauldron" has Taran and the others setting out to destroy Arawn Deathlord's evil cauldron, which turns dead men into unkillable zombies. But other forces are after the cauldron, including three peculiar witches who insist on trading something for the cauldron. What is worse, the company faces treachery from someone in their own camp...

"The Castle of Llyr" ties up some loose ends from the first book, as Princess Eilonwy is sent to the isle of Mona to become a fine lady. But she has barely arrived when she is kidnapped by a minion of the evil enchantress Achren, her "aunt." Taran sets out to save her, but must team up with the young man who wishes to marry Eilonwy -- even though Taran is rapidly falling in love with her.

"Taran Wanderer" has Taran setting out to discover his past, since he feels he can't ask Eilonwy to marry him if he is lowborn. With only Gurgi at his side, he encounters evil wizards, malevolent bandits, and finally learns that his father just might be a shepherd...
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lyne Frost on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 9 year old to read, and have found myself entranced once again with a series that is both exciting, dark, and heroic. My son has taken to reading it aloud to me while i cook so we can share the adventure together.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ash Ryan on December 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Finally, books I remember enjoying as a kid that still stand up to re-reading as an adult!

They are sometimes described as coming-of-age stories, and that is true in the best sense of the term. Alexander is deeply concerned with growing up, and he examines many of its central, deepest, and most profound aspects, such as discovering one's personal identity, and responsibility. Each book in the series looks at these themes in different ways and builds on them a little more. My favorite in the series, Taran Wanderer (which I had expected to enjoy the least), deals with these issues so simply and directly that it acquires an almost allegorical quality. He teaches many important life lessons that are every bit as relevant to us grown-ups as to young adolescents just beginning to struggle with these issues. And he does so through engaging stories and a memorable cast of characters. From now on, whenever I find myself in a situation that tests my courage or integrity, all I have to do is think to myself, "A Fflam never falters!"

Some people like to complain about the supposed similarities between these books and those of Tolkein, but apart from some basic structural features stemming from their common mythological roots, there really isn't a lot of similarity in the details. Even in the most obviously similar part---the ending---what is really interesting is how it differs. I can't say much without giving it away, but let's just say that Alexander, to his credit, ultimately says almost the exact opposite of Tolkein. No, Alexander's fantasy world isn't as complex and well-developed as Tolkein's, but these books were written for a younger audience, and let's face it, nobody can stand up to a comparison with Tolkein as far as that goes. I think if people, of whatever age, take these books on their own terms, they will find them to be a rewarding experience.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Lloyd Alexander's "Chronicles of Prydain" have become a classic staple of fantasy literature, a few rungs below "Lord of the Rings." In this volume, all six books in his series are brought together, showing all of Prydain's beauty, richness, humor and sorrow as one big book.

"The Book of Three" opens with Assistant Pig-Keeper Taran yearning for adventure -- and getting more than he bargains for when he chases the pig into the woods, and is nearly run down by a sinister horned rider. Soon he teams up with a wandering king-minstrel, a sharp-tongued princess and a furry creature called Gurgi to save Prydain from the power of the Horned King.

"The Black Cauldron" has Taran and the others setting out to destroy Arawn Deathlord's evil cauldron, which turns dead men into unkillable zombies. But other forces are after the cauldron, including three peculiar witches who insist on trading something for the cauldron. What is worse, the company faces treachery from someone in their own camp...

"The Castle of Llyr" ties up some loose ends from the first book, as Princess Eilonwy is sent to the isle of Mona to become a fine lady. But she has barely arrived when she is kidnapped by a minion of the evil enchantress Achren, her "aunt." Taran sets out to save her, but must team up with the young man who wishes to marry Eilonwy -- even though Taran is rapidly falling in love with her.

"Taran Wanderer" has Taran setting out to discover his past, since he feels he can't ask Eilonwy to marry him if he is lowborn. With only Gurgi at his side, he encounters evil wizards, malevolent bandits, and finally learns that his father just might be a shepherd... until a new revelation leads him to learn of his true worth.
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