HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
Loading...

The Black Cauldron (original 1965; edition 1975)

by Lloyd Alexander

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,380771,123 (4.12)1 / 141
Member:Remmik
Title:The Black Cauldron
Authors:Lloyd Alexander
Info:Dell Publishing Co., Inc. (1975), Paperback, 229 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:(SB), Kids|Teens

Work details

The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander (1965)

  1. 81
    The Grey King by Susan Cooper (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: The Grey King is technically Book 4 of a series, but it could be read alone. Silver on the Tree also has Welsh mythology.
  2. 00
    The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: The Hound of Rowan is modern, but it shares aspects of Welsh mythology.
  3. 15
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Medicinos)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
One of my favorite books, much better than the movie! I loved the tale, and the characters became like family. ( )
  Shadow494 | Jun 20, 2016 |
The second book in the Chronicles of Prydain, The Black Cauldron takes Taran and his companions on a dangerous mission- to steal the cauldron from Arawn and destroy his ability to create the zombie-like Cauldron Born.

This book is full of adventure, but also has a deeper vein running through it. Taran faces some difficult choices and deals with tragic events. I really love how the author allows his characters to grow and develop, even with negative traits. I especially love when Taran is given a serious choice which really mirrors choices we all sometimes face- do we do what is right for ourselves or the greater good? I really love this book and truly hated the Disney version. I even had the audacity to point this out to the author, who wrote a really gracious letter back to a young teenage girl. He really was wonderful. I just learned that they are planning to do a series of movies of the entire series- I REALLY hope they do it right this time. ( )
1 vote aharey | Mar 31, 2016 |
I liked this book slightly less than, "The Book of Three", the first book in the chronicles of Prydain. I found parts of the writing flat and some of the action just happening as if it were to allow the story to proceed to the next point. The characters in this have grown from the first book, apart from Doli, I believe, his character was pretty much a rehash of himself in the first book. Although to be fair he was missing a lot for most of the tale. ( )
  Arkrayder | Mar 5, 2016 |
I first read all five of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain in my early teens, and frankly, it's hard for me to remember much about them beyond general emotional impressions: the first two were adventurous, the third a bit odd, the fourth dry and philosophical, and the fifth - well, it all went to hell in the fifth book. The announcement of these new yearly 50th Anniversary editions, therefore, are a great excuse not just to revisit the series but to separate them out and consider them somewhat more...individually.

The big surprise for me is that in many ways, The Black Cauldron does not feel like its own story. It feels something like an extended coda to The Book of Three. I kept having to think back to the events and characters of the first book, and it seems obvious that Alexander (or his editor) assumed that the eager child reader of 1965 would have read and probably reread that earlier adventure shortly before starting the new one. The first third or so of The Black Cauldron drags a little as we bridge from what happened before, reintroduce familiar friends, and set up an "easy" goal that pretty clearly won't go easily at all.

Fortunately, once things start to go wrong for the characters, things start to go very right for the book. The eponymous cauldron (or "Black Crochan") is a golden goose, a total MacGuffin - what it does is ultimately far less important than what it drives people to do. Alexander is examining classical, heroic concepts of pride and honor, along with a more modern treatment of the fine line between light and dark. In Prydain, the greatest heroes still have flaws, and traitors were once good men who should still be remembered for their former, braver deeds. Most intriguing of all are Orddu, Orwen and Orgoch, supernatural figures (implied to be the Three Fates) who are also totally amoral. Their interactions with Taran and his friends are both funny and unsettling in turn. Although Alexander's prose is both straightforward and spare, his gentle contemplations on the complexity of morality are surprisingly effective.

The Black Cauldron ends definitively, but the reader is left with the unspoken impression that this is only one small battle in a much bigger war. (Again, it feels like Alexander was writing installments of a series from the outset.) I'm going to be very interested to return next year for The Castle of Llyr; already, we're moving away from simple adventure stories and more into a philosophical examination of Taran's growth. As a child, I found the progression of the series confusing because it defied my "fantasy lit" expectations. As an adult, however, I'm finding it both intriguing and surprisingly rewarding. ( )
1 vote saroz | Jan 12, 2016 |
The Black Cauldron is one of my favorites among the Chronicles of Prydain for its perfect storytelling, maturing characters, and sense of high heroics. In this tale, Lloyd Alexander again draws on Welsh mythology to spin a fast-paced story with subtle moral choices and consequences.

Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper of Prydain, has already met with danger and adventure in the previous story, The Book of Three. Now a new evil threatens Prydain, as Arawn builds his deathless army by means of the Black Cauldron (or Crochan). If he isn't stopped, he will soon overrun all the land with warriors who cannot be killed. Gwydion is emphatic that the Cauldron must be captured and destroyed, but how?

The whole cast is here: Princess Eilonwy of latent magical powers, Fflewddur Fflam, a sometime king turned bard, Doli the irascible but goodhearted dwarf, and faithful Gurgi, a talking beast poised between the worlds of animals and men. Prince Gwydion is also present, and some new characters: the proud and scornful Ellidyr, the bard Adaon, and of course the the always-entertaining Orwen, Orgoch, and Orddu, the three mysterious Fates who may be found (or not) in the Marshes of Morva.

This is a high adventure that keeps you reading for its own sake, but even as a young reader I appreciated Taran's struggles in dealing with proud people like Ellidyr (who are, sadly, all too common). Even more, I learned to look for the factors that make such people so abrasive: a more profound lesson I am still studying. Never in the least bit preachy, nevertheless Alexander imparted some helpful truths to me that have application far beyond the boundaries of his Prydain.

I'm sure others have mentioned the Disney movie of the same title, lamenting its flattened simplification of the more subtle thrusts of story and character (besides its rather unforgivable sin of smashing several books into one very short cartoon). I can't quite share the hate, having enjoyed the movie for what it tries to do, but of course the books are infinitely better.

Prydain is such a wonderful series to reread as an adult. Next time I revisit it will probably be with my sons! ( )
3 vote wisewoman | Nov 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
The Newbery-winning fantasy series now available in gorgeous new paperback editions! SinceThe Book of Threewas first published in 1964, young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his quest to become a hero. Taran is joined by an engaging cast of characters that includes Eilonwy, the strong-willed and sharp-tongued princess; Fflewddur Fflam, the hyperbole-prone bard; the ever-faithful Gurgi; and the curmudgeonly Doli all of whom have become involved in an epic struggle between good and evil that shapes the fate of the legendary land of Prydain. Released over a period of five years, Lloyd Alexander s beautifully written tales not only captured children s imaginations but also garnered the highest critical praise. The Black Cauldronwas a Newbery Honor Book, and the final volume in the chronicles,The High King, crowned the series by winning the Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Henry Holt is proud to present this classic series in a new, redesigned paperback format. The jackets feature stunning art by acclaimed fantasy artist David Wyatt, giving the books a fresh look for today s generation of young fantasy lovers. The companion book of short stories,The Foundlingis also available in paperback at this time. In their more than thirty years in print, the Chronicles of Prydain have become the standard of excellence in fantasy literature for children.
Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
added by kthomp25 | editSyndetic Solutions, Inc.
 
Sonya Goldman (Children's Literature)
Five enchanting books comprise the "Chronicles of Prydain" by Alexander. Prydain is a land with heroes and legends drawn from Welsh mythology. In TheBlack Cauldron, book 2 of the series, Taran takes further steps toward manhood. He must help destroy the vessel from which the fearsome Cauldron Born warriors spring to march with the evil lord Awren. The companions join with him again on this new adventure. Wondrous magic and a very arrogant young nobleman punctuate this gripping tale. The princess Eilonwy has been growing like a weed. Other books in the Chronicles include The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, The High King and The Book of Three. 1965, Henry Holt and Bantam Doubleday Dell, $16.96 and $4.99. Ages 10 up.

added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Sonya Goldman
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lloyd Alexanderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Langton, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, Jody A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maitz, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ness, EvalineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pilhjerta, Ritva-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The following pages are intended, hopefully, to do something more than continue the Chronicles of Prydain. "What happens next?" is always an urgent question, and this volume attempts to answer it, at least partially. Nevertheless, The Black Cauldron should stand as a chronicle in its own right. Certain matters previously hinted at are here revealed more fully; and, while extending the story, I have also tried to deepen it. [from the "Author's Note"]
Autumn had come too swiftly. In the northernmost realms of Prydain many trees were already leafless, and among the branches clung the ragged shapes of empty nests. To the south, across the river Great Avren, the hills shielded Caer Dallben from the winds, but even here the little farm was drawing in on itself. [from chapter 1, "The Council at Caer Dallben"]
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine this with the Disney movie!
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
In the imaginary land of Prydain, where "evil is never distant," Prince Gwydion faces dangers more threatening that have ever been dreamed of. It has become imperative that the Black Cauldron, chief implement of the evil powers of Arawn, lord of the Land of Death, be destroyed.

For each of the warriors chosen to journey to Arawn's domain, the quest has special meaning. To Ellidyr, the youngest son of an impoverished king, it means a chance to satisfy his bitter longing for fame. For Adaon, beloved for his gentleness and bravery, the quest is an omen whose significance he dreads to discover. And to Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, the adventure seems a glorious opportunity to wear his first sword, and be a man among men.

In this story, filled with great sacrifice and great adventure, each warrior fulfills his destiny in ways entirely unforeseen.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080508049X, Paperback)

The Newbery-winning fantasy series now available in gorgeous new paperback editions!

Since The Book of Three was first published in 1964, young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his quest to become a hero. Taran is joined by an engaging cast of characters that includes Eilonwy, the strong-willed and sharp-tongued princess; Fflewddur Fflam, the hyperbole-prone bard; the ever-faithful Gurgi; and the curmudgeonly Doli--all of whom have become involved in an epic struggle between good and evil that shapes the fate of the legendary land of Prydain. Released over a period of five years, Lloyd Alexander's beautifully written tales not only captured children's imaginations but also garnered the highest critical praise.

The Black Cauldron was a Newbery Honor Book, and the final volume in the chronicles, The High King, crowned the series by winning the Newbery Medal for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

Henry Holt is proud to present this classic series in a new, redesigned paperback format. The jackets feature stunning art by acclaimed fantasy artist David Wyatt, giving the books a fresh look for today's generation of young fantasy lovers. The companion book of short stories, The Foundling is also available in paperback at this time.

In their more than thirty years in print, the Chronicles of Prydain have become the standard of excellence in fantasy literature for children.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:46 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper of Prydain, faces even more dangers as he seeks the magical Black Cauldron, the chief implement of the evil powers of Arawn, lord of the Land of Death.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
34 avail.
31 wanted
3 pay6 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.12)
0.5
1 8
1.5 3
2 17
2.5 4
3 155
3.5 41
4 375
4.5 41
5 342

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 107,563,312 books! | Top bar: Always visible