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

4.9 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews

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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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Box Pap/Ps edition (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 (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA 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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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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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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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.
Read more ›
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