At age 379, Dallben the wizard, master of Caer Dallben, spent much of his time meditating (an occupation so demanding that he could only do it lying down with his eyes closed.) His loyal man Coll, though centuries younger, was still old. Old, that is, as Dallben's ward, Taran, reckoned age.
Taran was sure they couldn't possibly understand his own hunger for excitement. Indeed, Dallben proved it by curtailing what little freedom the boy had - just because, he said, Pyrdain faced terrible danger.
A fearsome warlord called the Horned King had arisen, and Dallben suspected that the tide of fear he spread was, in truth, by design of the dreaded King Arawn of Annuvin - Land of the Dead.
It was no time for a foolish boy to go trying to be a hero. Yet Taran's desire for some meaningful purpose was so sincere, Coll appointed the lad Assistant Pig-Keeper, and charged him with helping tocare for Hen Wen - Prydain's only oracular pig.
Unfortunately, the truly exceptional Hen Wen never spoke to Taran. When the Horned King set his sights on Caer Dallben, she gave no warning; she just ran off. And Taran, torn between obedience to the wizard and his responsibilities as Assistant Pig-Keeper, followed after.
That's how a simple farmboy became a traveling adventurer - a career that took him into all manner of danger accompanied by staunch friends, and opposed by terrifying enemies. . .
Includes the novels The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer and The High King and, as a special bonus, a collection of stories recounting some of the characters' early years, The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain.