Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain, #1)This book is the first in The Chronicles of Prydain series, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Actually, I could have just as easily given it a rating of five. Taran is assigned the job of assistant pig-keeper, but he dreams of learning to use a sword and fighting the Horned King. The pig is actually an oracle, so Taran panics when Hen Wen escapes from her pen. He follows her trail and eventually meets Prince Gwydion, but they're captured by Cauldron-Born. Taran escapes with the help of Eilonwy, a princess in the castle, and they set of to warn the leaders in Caer Dathyl that the Horned King has amassed an army to attack them. Along the way, Taran is joined by a bard, a creature named Gurgi, and a fairy folk named Doli. Eilonwy is also carrying the sword Dyrnwyn, which can only be used by someone with royal blood, and it may be the key to stopping the Horned King.

I enjoyed Taran's conflict between finding the oracle pig and warning Caer Dathyl about the Horned King. Both quests had great importance. I also liked the characters in the group and the way they interacted with each other. Taran was the serious leader, the bard tended to exaggerate the truth, Eilonwy kept questioning Taran's intelligence, Gurgi was an enthusiastic creature, and Doli was the grumpy old warrior. The plot had a nice blend of adventure, action, and humor.

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