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The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain…

The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain Book 1) (original 1964; edition 2006)

by Lloyd Alexander (Author)

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5,148115867 (4.02)1 / 224
Title:The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain Book 1)
Authors:Lloyd Alexander (Author)
Info:Square Fish (2006), Edition: Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed, 190 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (1964)


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“Every living thing deserves respect, be it humble or proud, ugly or beautiful.” I just reread the Chronicles of Prydain, an amazing fantasy series by Lloyd Alexander. I am certain that others, as young people, struggled to pronounce Fflewddur Fflam, the spikey-haired bard whose enchanted harp breaks if he “exaggerates” facts, or the name of the beautiful princess Eilonwy of the red-gold hair, who often speaks using similes. Please consider reading the Chronicles if you have not done so. ( )
  Triptweeze | Jan 29, 2017 |
This was one of my favorite series of books when I was a kid. I started reading it to my girls, but they weren't interested, so I finished on my own. So fun. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
I'm not completely sold on this. I was turned off by the Gollum knockoff who kept talking about munchings and crunchings, but 10 year old me probably would have really loved this book. ( )
  adamwolf | Jan 4, 2017 |
The Book of Three introduces us to the young Taran, who is itching to be a hero. Through a series of setbacks and errors, he gathers a little band of misfits- Eilonwy, Gurgi and Fflewddur Fflam. It sets the stage for the rest of the series while remaining a good standalone book.

I first read this book way back in sixth grade as an assignment. At the time, I had never read fantasy, and really had no urge to do so. But I gave the book a chance because I loved my teacher. I'm so glad I did- this series has remained one of my favorites. I love how Taran grows throughout this book. His character starts out as a little whiny teenager (of which I have a lot of experience as a mom!) but ends up recognizing that there are more important issues in the world than what he wants for himself. I also love the character of Eilonwy. She is feisty and doesn’t let others (namely Taran) force her to do things she doesn’t want to do. ( )
  aharey | Nov 30, 2016 |
Although this book was slow at first, I definitely ended up enjoying this series.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lloyd Alexanderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hale, ShannonIntroductionsecondary authorsome 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
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For the children who listened, the grown-ups who were patient, and especially for Ann Durell.
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This chronicle of the Land of Prydain is not a retelling or retranslation of Welsh mythology. Prydain is not Wales—not entirely, at least. The inspiration for it comes from that magnificent land and its legends; but, essentially, Prydain is a country existing only in the imagination.

[From Lloyd Alexander's "Author's Note" to The Book of Three (1964)]
Taran wanted to make a sword; but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes. And so it had been horseshoes all morning long. Taran's arms ached, soot blackened his face. At last he dropped the hammer and turned to Coll, who was watching him critically.

[From "The Assistant Pig-Keeper", chapter 1 of Lloyd Alexander's The Book of Three (1964)]
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Book description
Blending rich elements of Welsh legend and universal mythology, Lloyd Alexander creates the imaginary kingdom of Prydain to tell a tale of enchantment, both good and evil, and of the Assistant Pig-Keeper who wants to become a hero.

In an enthralling chronicle, Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper to a famour oracular sow, sets out on a hazardous mission to save Prydain from the forces of evil. He meets adventures in which humor and valor are blended in a way that will keep readers of all ages completely absorbed — for this is fantasy that is rooted in reality and truth.

Mr. Alexander says in his introductory note: "Most of us are called on to perform tasks far beyond what we can do. Our capabilities seldom match our aspirations, and we are often woefully unprepared. To this extent, we are all Assistant Pig-Keepers at heart."

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805080481, Paperback)

The tale of Taran, assistant pig keeper, has been entertaining young readers for generations. Set in the mythical land of Prydain (which bears a more than passing resemblance to Wales), Lloyd Alexander's book draws together the elements of the hero's journey from unformed boy to courageous young man. Taran grumbles with frustration at home in the hamlet Caer Dallben; he yearns to go into battle like his hero, Prince Gwydion. Before the story is over, he has met his hero and fought the evil leader who threatens the peace of Prydain: the Horned King.

What brings the tale of Taran to life is Alexander's skillful use of humor, and the way he personalizes the mythology he has so clearly studied. Taran isn't a stick figure; in fact, the author makes a point of mocking him just at the moments when he's acting the most highhanded and heroic. When he and the young girl Eilonwy flee the castle of the wicked queen Achren, Taran emotes, "'Spiral Castle has brought me only grief; I have no wish to see it again.' 'What has it brought the rest of us?' Eilonway asked. 'You make it sound as though we were just sitting around having a splendid time while you moan and take on.'" By the end, Alexander has spun a rousing hero's tale and created a compelling coming-of-age story. Readers will sigh with relief when they realize The Book of Three is only the first of the chronicles of Prydain. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:33 -0400)

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Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper to a famous oracular sow, sets out on a hazardous mission to save Prydain from the forces of evil.

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