|The Book of ThreeLloyd Alexander|
"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 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."
In their more than thirty years in print, the Chronicles of Prydain have become the standard of excellence in fantasy literature for children."
When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher forced me to read this series because she wanted me to try different genres. I was so angry that I had to read something as stupid as fantasy, when all I really wanted to do was re-read the Little House books. However, I ended up loving this series and have thought on it with fondness all these years. I thought I would re-read it to see if it was as good as I thought when I was in fourth grade. While I enjoyed it this time, it was hard not to compare it to The Lord of the Rings because there are really so many similarities, and it was left wanting in that comparison. So I guess you could call it The Lord of the Rings -lite.
I love the characters, and love the fact that there is a pronounciaton guide at the back of the book for their names. Kind of wish I would have discovered that sooner. There was excitement and adventure, good guys and evil guys, an interesting world, and growth in characters. I highly recommend this series to upper elementary/lower middle school students.
Areas of concern: Fantasy violence, some really evil characters.