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Paperback The Book of Three (Pyrdain Chronicles) Book

ISBN: 0440407028

ISBN13: 9780440407027

The Book of Three (Pyrdain Chronicles)

(Book #1 in the The Chronicles of Prydain Series)

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Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Taran, The Assistant Pig-Keeper, longs to be a hero. He begins his journey with a strange assortment of companions on a dangerous mission to save his beloved land, Prydain.??Packed with action, humor, romance, and gallantry, Taran's adventures chronicle his beloved Prydain and his battle with the forces of evil.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Epic high fantasy series

This is one of my favorite fantasy series. It’s a great read for kids and adults. The story is paced, well-written, and engaging. This series has some of the best character development and growth I’ve ever read. All around, this is essential literature.

Brilliant fantasy

I have often jokingly told people to read this before reading JRR Tolkein because it's "Hobbit"-lite. But my jest is with all affection. "The Book of Three" is the first of five books (not including the 6th of short stories) involving the fantasy world of Prydain. Lloyd Alexander borrows heavily from Gaelic and Welsh mythology to create the tale of Taran, Assistant Pig-keeper for the enchanter Dallben. In this book we are introduced to Taran, a boy on the cusp of manhood eager to take part in the adventures of the world. Dark forces under the direction of Awran, the Death-Lord threaten the lives of all in Prydain, and none is more feared that the gruesom "Horned King". After leaping "headfirst into a thorn bush" young Taran finds himself face to face with this dreaded champion of darkness who has come from Annuvuin in search of Hen-wen, the oracular pig under Taran's charge. I won't spoil any more of the story except to say that this book introduces many of the characters that appear later on in the rest of the series: the stubborn and lovely Princess Eilonwy, the king-who-wants-to-be-a-bard Fflewder Flam, the cantankerous Doli of the fairfolk, Coll- the warrior turned farmer, and more. Lloyd Alexander's fantasy tale, in my opinion, rivals that of Tolkein as a richly crafted work with wonderful images and a deep understanding and appreciation for the thoughts and feelings of a young man like Taran. The text is easy to read, and the story flows smoothly along. Each book can stand alone, but together create a magnificant epic tapestry. The names of the characters are a little hard to get used to, but not impossible. This is the kind of book you can read out loud at bed-time to young childern. The plot is engaging enough for the little ones and deep enough for adults to appreciate. I recommend this book to just about anyone, and especially for children who are old enough to be reading completely on their own and have reached that point where they are "into" adventures. The best thing about this book (and the series) is that what little violence there is is not glorified, there is no gratuitous sex, and there are morals espoused without sounding preachy. And its the kind of story that girls and boys can enjoy and its perfect for pre-teens and early teens. As the books progress, young teens can "grow" along with Taran, and understand some of his angst. All around, a most excellent novel, and only the begining of a fantastic story...

Great intro to fantasy

The Book of Three marks the beginning of the PrydainChronicles, a great five part coming-of age tale. Thus begins thestory of Taran, an orphan who is raised by the wizard Dallben. Taran dreams of the outside world and of being a hero. Even though I have read Tolkien's masterpiece before I came across this book and the rest of the series, I can see why older readers can get nostalgic about the Prydain books. When the psychic pig Hen Wen escapes the farm, a simple search becomes a quest to save Prydain against the Death Lord and his champion. Readers can really relate to Taran, especially younger ones, as he is just barely a teenager. The protagonists are ones that the reader can't help but to just like, and there are not really any slow parts in the book. It has the necessary elements of a fantasy book, but it has a good amount of humor, and is thought provoking. The Book of Three is a quick and easy read, and it motivates you to read the rest of the series. And the Prydain Chronicles is not easily forgotten. If you haven't read any fantasy literature, or just didn't read the Prydain Chronicles, I would suggest to anyone interested to read them.

20 years later, I have never forgotten the land of Prydain

There are books that you don't want to see come to an end.There are books that rattle in your brain, heart and soul, never to be forgotten.Lloyd Alexander's magnificent series falls into these categories. I first read them at the age of 13 and have just read them again at 35. This series was the first that I did not want to see end. It's what got me started on reading Tolkien, Lewis, Donaldson, Piers Anthony, Dune, and others. I'm glad to see so many people love these books as well. And why not? The characters are dynamic, engaging and more real than the average fantasy ones. The stories move along nicely with few if any slow moments. The classic elements of good and evil are all here with some twists. There were some aspects that I was too young to appreciate the first time. One was the humor, most noticeable in The Book of Three, as we see some of the characters getting to first know each other. The other aspect was the theme/message that the way of the warrior is not the only path to nobility, honor, and courage (or to adulthood). There is as much honor in taking care of a garden as there is in being a warrior, to very loosely paraphrase one of the characters. In this day and age, when so much of the culture says be the biggest, baddest, toughest, strongest, richest etc person who destroys or gobbles up things, the message of taking care of a garden, creating something of beauty be it a woven cloak or a clay pot, or keeping a promise to a friend is refreshing and not heard enough. To the other reviewers who feel Alexander borrowed characters and motifs heavily from Tolkien, these have been part of literature and mythology for a long time. Long BEFORE Tolkien. If Dallben is Gandalf, well, Gandalf is Merlin. And Merlin was borrowed from other myths or folktales. Alexander borrowed some from The Mabinogen, the Welsh treasury of mythology. Tolkien borrowed from Beowulf and other English sources. These stories have been recreated or recast for ages. Sure, there are similarities but then this is a genre where dwarves, wizards, and enchanted objects are the norm. But assistant Pig-Keepers, frustrated ex-giants who whine about their lack of stature, a traveling bard with a second job as a King, or a trio of witches with an unusual, unpredicable sense of logic who switch identities daily? Hardly. And where have you ever seen a character quite like Fflewdur Flam? (Well, maybe in Dickens or Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale) For the kids (or adults) who love Harry Potter: you've got till July before the 4th book is out. There are no Quidditch matches but Taran may remind you of Harry and Dallben may remind you of Dumbledore. Check these five books out. (But avoid the inaccurate animated version of The Black Cauldron) I've read the Lord of the Rings twice and for a long time considered it the best book I'd ever read. But it doesn't hold quite the special spot in my heart that the Prydain books do. And at l

I have never forgotten the land of Prydain

There are books that you don't want to see come to an end.There are books that rattle in your brain, heart and soul, and stay with you, never to be forgotten.Lloyd Alexander's magnificent series falls into these categories. I first read them at the age of 13 and have just read them again at 35. This series was the first that I did not want to see end. It's what got me started on reading Tolkien, Lewis, Donaldson, Piers Anthony, Dune, and others. I'm glad to see so many people love these books as well. And why not? The characters are dynamic, engaging and more real than the average fantasy ones. The stories move along nicely with few if any slow moments. The classic elements of good and evil are all here with some twists. There were some aspects that I was too young to appreciate the first time. One was the humor, most noticeable in The Book of Three, as we see some of the characters getting to first know each other. The other aspect was the theme/message that the way of the warrior is not the only path to nobility, honor, and courage (or to adulthood). There is as much honor in taking care of a garden as there is in being a warrior, to very loosely paraphrase one of the characters. In this day and age, when so much of the culture says be the biggest, baddest, toughest, strongest, richest etc person who destroys or gobbles up things, the message of taking care of one's garden, creating something of beauty be it a woven cloak or a clay pot, or honoring a friend's request is refreshing and not heard enough. To the other reviewers who feel Alexander borrowed characters and motifs heavily from Tolkien, these have been part of literature and mythology for a long time. Long BEFORE Tolkien. If Dallben is Gandalf, well, Gandalf is Merlin. And Merlin was borrowed from other myths or folktales. Alexander borrowed some from The Mabinogen, the Welsh treasury of mythology. Tolkien borrowed from Beowulf and other English sources. These stories have been recreated or recast for ages. Sure, there are similarities but then this is a genre where dwarves, wizards, and enchanted objects are the norm. But assistant Pig-Keepers, frustrated ex-giants who whine about their lack of stature, a traveling bard with a second job as a King, or a trio of witches with an unusual, unpredicable sense of logic who switch identities daily(they deserve a book of their own!)? Hardly. And where have you ever seen a character quite like Fflewdur Flam? (Well, maybe in Dickens or Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale) For the kids (or adults) who love Harry Potter: you've got till July before the 4th book is out. There are no Quidditch matches but Taran may remind you of Harry and Dallben may remind you of Dumbledore. Check these five books out. (But avoid the inaccurate animated version of The Black Cauldron) I've read the Lord of the Rings twice and for a long time considered it the best book I'd ever read. But it doesn't hold quite the spec

A great start to one of the great fantasy series

I read this book for the first time about 30 years ago, when I was 10 years old. Recently I re-read the entire series, and was enchanted again. The tale of Taran and friends has everything a great children's book should: adventure, danger, good, evil, love and death. And, there is lots of humor, too, which you don't always find in similar clasics. The writing is great throughout -- this is not Goosebumps -- and the child who has the privilege of reading the Chronicles will surely be changed. The story, based on Welsh legends, subtly explores the great mysteries of life, and teaches lessons about bravery, honesty, compassion and devotion, without ever being preachy or obvious.These books belong on the same shelf as the L'Engle Time trilogy, Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising Sequence, the Narnia Books and a small number of others.Buy this for a favorite kid (maybe one that has gotten hooked on reading through "Harry Potter"), but get it for yourself, too.
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