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The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain) Paperback – May 16, 2006
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“Greater, more disastrous, and demanding more courage are the battles into which Taran leads his followers against Arawn Death-Lord.... The book has the philosophical depth and overtones of great fantasy.” ―The Horn Book
“The last may be the best.” ―Kirkus Reviews
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
When we last saw our heroes, Taran and Gurgi were finally returning to Caer Dallben after more than a year of Taran "finding himself" in the classic sense of the term. At last they are coming home, and to their delight everyone has turned out for their arrival. Unfortunately the joy is not for long. Prince Gwydion has been grievously hurt on his way to the party and his sword of Dyrnwyn has been stolen. Needless to say, this is very bad news. Soon the armies of Arawn-Death-Lord are marching and the time for an end to his reign is at hand. With Taran now a wiser steadier fellow, our band of ragamuffin heroes sets off once more towards adventures, traps, and triumphs. Old friends are met, new friends are found, and many good stout-hearted people die. Still, through it all our heroes never give up and the book is a stirring testament to the will of the average joe.Read more ›
One reason you should read this book is that it has a lot of adventure. For example, Taran leaves his home in order to help Lord Gwydion, the Prince of Royalty in the Royal House Of Don, kill Arawn Lord Of The Dead. He also wanted to find honor in holding off the deathless Cauldron Born. The last thing he wanted to do was to marry the princess of Llyre.
The second reason you should read this book is that it's a breathtaking book. The reason I say that is because he describes everything deeply. For example, when he described the Red Fallows he described it as "a bloody war field scarred with the souls of the fallen." Another example of when he described really well was when he called the river that was frozen, "a wonderland of white ice and snow.
My last reason for reading this book is that it's a thrilling book. For example when the cauldron born, you will probably wonder will they destroy Caer Dathyl, the High King Math's castle, or will they perish fighting the deathless cauldron born. Additionally you wonder if they will kill the Death Lord. Lastly you wonder if Lord Gwydion will be able to make it to the Death Castle before the cauldron born are able to hold off the rest of the army that the good side has assembled.Read more ›
"High King" is the most mature of all of the books, a hard story that ends bittersweetly. The sword Dyrnwyn has been stolen by the shapeshifting Arawn Deathlord, and the various cantrevs (kingdoms) of Prydain are launching a military strike against Annuvin, The Land of Death.
A scarred Taran and his friends set out on their most dangerous journey, along with the broken sorceress Achren, who wants to get back at Arawn. The end is sad but somehow necessary, though it's a bit reminiscent of the "Gray Havens" scene in LOTR.
Taran is no longer the naive boy we see in "Book of Three." Having had plenty of adventure, the events of this book end his adolescence and starts his adulthood, as a strong man. Eilonwy is a bit less twittery in this book, after her adventures and training in the Isle of Mona. Gurgi and Fflewddur are... well, themselves, as is Gwydion. Dallben is perhaps the most changed in Taran's view--in TBOT he was seen as a finicky old man, while here he is the great enchanter we always knew he was.
Other characters, such as the lovable bear King Smoit and the great warrior Gwydion. There are some character moments that, I promise, will wrench tears from you.
Those of you who are put off by the old-style language of "Taran Wanderer" or extensive battle scenes, be forewarned: There are plenty in this. But it's to be expected in the final chapter of an epic saga, that you'll never want to end.
"Chronicles" is, after "Lord of the Rings," my favorite fantasy series, and the High King won a Newbery for a reason. Read, and enjoy...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the final book in the Chronicles of Prydain and, arguably, the best. The story brings together all of the characters from the previous stories in an epic battle of good and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. Arey
"The High King" is one of my all-time favorite books! This thrilling conclusion to the Chronicles of Prydain is filled with nonstop action, colorful characters, real-world... Read morePublished 5 months ago by stretch983
In one of the earlier books there's a shocking betrayal by one character, and a heartening---yet tragic----turnaround in the other direction by a different character. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ginmar
Not the best ending to an otherwise good story. To me it seemed to borrow so much from the Lord of the Rings series without giving enough time to let the characters develop a solid... Read morePublished 9 months ago by joseph
The book itself is really great, and the writing is so full! Lloyd Alexander does a wonderful job creating a fantasy that almost makes you feel like your a part of it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mark & Ann Harvey