Taran is an assistant pig keeper, but he dreams of leaving the farm, wearing a sword, and becoming a great hero. One day Hen Wen, the oracular pig, escapes her pen, and Taran chases after her. Thus his adventure begins. On the way he will confront the evil Horned King, find unusual friends, including a princess and a Gurgi (half human-half animal), and he will learn that being a hero is more than just bearing a sword.
This is Book One of the Prydain Chronicles, by Lloyd Alexander. Each book continues the adventures of Taran, Princess Eilonwy, and Gurgi, as well as their faithful friends. The imaginary land of Prydain, with its heroes and villains, is based on Wales, a place dear to the heart of Lloyd Alexander. The mythology of Wales weaves its way into each adventure.
I loved these books! They are action packed and full of interesting characters who grow and learn. Lloyd Alexander’s love of the beautiful Wales and his skill at storytelling shine through each page. I read them when young, then read them to my children, and now my grandchildren are reading these timeless fantasies.
1 The Book of Three, 2 The Black Cauldron, 3 The Castle of Llyr, 4 Taran Wanderer, 5 The High King
Children’s/Middle Grade Fantasy — Five Stars