The Book of Three
The Chronicles of Prydain #1
pages: [paperback] 190
“You know how chickens are, imagining the world coming to an end one moment, then pecking corn the next.”
Taran & Eilonwy
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.
I got The Book of Three for my birthday, after my friend noticed one of my favorite Disney movies, The Black Cauldron, was based on this book series. While this book certainly captured the aspects of an old fairy tale combined with a hero’s adventure, it didn’t quite manage to capture my heart as well.
Taran was an interesting main character who had to deal with both his pride and the fact that he’s nothing more than Assistant Pig-Keeper. This annoys him to no end as he’d much rather be off adventuring and saving the world. Little did he know that he would get that chance and enjoy it far less than he expected to.
The cast of characters was wonderful. From the bard who continuously breaks his harp strings with his excessive lies to the dwarf who wants nothing more than the ability to turn himself invisible. They all have their quirks and faults and little ways to make the story a bit funnier while bringing more danger into the story as well.
Some parts of the tale dragged on and on and this relatively short book took months for me to read. I kept picking it up and setting it down again, never feeling a strong association with it. It was just an okay thing to read when I had nothing else to do and no other book around me.
I’d recommend this book for younger audiences as well as those who like adventure stories and don’t mind a build up to the actual action. The journey, I think, was what I had the most problems with, and that was the bulk of the book.
AN ARDUOUS ADVENTURE. 2.5/5 stars