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The Castle of Llyr (The Chronicles of Prydain #3)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,638 Ratings  ·  594 Reviews
Princess Eilonwy hates to leave her friend Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, and her beloved home, Caer Dallben. Why does she have to go to the Isle of Mona to train as a proper lady when she's already a princess? But Eilonwy soon faces much more than the ordeal of becoming a dignified young maiden, for she possesses magical powers sought by the evil enchantress Queen Achren. W ...more
Nook, 192 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Henry Holt & Company (first published 1966)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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[Name Redacted]
When I was a boy this was my favorite book in the series, largely because of Taran's developing feelings for Eilonwy. I was a sucker for romance in those days, and Taran's struggle is as much with his deepening love for her as with the machinations of Achren and her conspirators. The potential for romance has been there since the first novel, but it seems as though the two of them have not been forced to acknowledge it simply because there has never been a need to do so. Their lives at Caer Dall ...more
Elijah Spector
Jan 23, 2009 Elijah Spector rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
A note on how times have changed: In the author's note at the beginning of this book, Lloyd Alexander puts forth a pre-emptive plea for his readers to not be frustrated with certain villains not getting comeuppance at the end, explaining that there will be more books with which to tie up loose ends. These days we're so used to the idea of fantasy series that such a concern seems rather quaint, doesn't it?

Anyway, I've been tearing my way through the Prydain series, and this was yet another short
Sep 08, 2008 X rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to X by: Q
A nice continuation of the series. It was fun to finally get to some characters that I had heard about for some time, and I am curious to read the next two books.
I liked The Castle of Llyr better than book one, but not as much as book two. At first, it seemed like another case where all the main happenings would be physical. Eilonwy is sent away to learn how to be a proper princess (a thing which she despises--she'd much rather stay in Caer Dallben with Taran and act the scullery maid than learn to sew things and wear dresses and chat with ladies all day). But soon after the companions arrive at the Isle of Mona (they escorted her there by ship, accompan ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 31, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Somewhat for older readers now the feelings of the characters are coming to the fore. Birth status being a problem (an assistant pig keeper has trouble if he falls in love with a princess after all). Of course even in youth novels the course of true love never runs smoothly. Envy, magic spells, abduction, amnesia, it's as bad as anything Wessly and Buttercup faced...

Oops, sorry I left a spoiler to change that. Give me a second...

(view spoiler)
As charming as ever! My only beef with this sequel is the fact that Eilowny is reduced to nothing more than a damsel in distress here. She is kidnapped by evil doers in the very beginning and our brave companions must go through all the adventures without her witticisms in order to rescue her. Humph, I much preferred her to be part of the action. But it was still a sweet, fun, charming tale as ever. I can't stay mad at Lloyd Alexander for too long.

I must say that the strongest part of the serie
Moira Fogarty
“For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are.”

A delightful story of adventure, The Castle of Llyr is supposed to be a romantic entry in the Prydain Chronicles, despite the fact that there are few tender scenes at all, and not a single kiss.

For me, the lack of a kiss was a delight; Princess Eilonwy leaves Caer Dalben with an escort to go to the Isle of Mona and be trained in the ways of a lady, gets into a spot of trouble with a bad guy (because of Gwydion's poor decision t
Ren the Unclean
Oct 11, 2007 Ren the Unclean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
Shelves: fantasy
The castle of Llyr is probably as well done as the first book in the series, but does not quite compare to The Black Cauldron.

Eilonwy leaves Caer Dallben to learn to be a lady, and Taran goes with her as an escort. This leads to adventures on the Isle of Mona, rather than continental Prydain which reveal more about Eilonwy's background and give Taran, Gurgi, and Fflewdur more opportunities for adventures.

I may have liked this book more if it had more impact on the land of Prydain, since it sort
Sep 06, 2012 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
I first read this as a kid and have reread many times since. I love the entire series but this one is probably my favorite. Taran discovers that he is definitely in love with Eilonwy. Talk about feisty characters! I still don't know who I enjoyed mroe: The girl or the cat! Glew the giant was also fun, if only because he was so utterly a failure in being despicable, even though he tried his best. Or is that worst? Taran is really beginning to grow up in this story and it is a delight to see him m ...more
Another fast-paced, action-packed tale. I was expecting it to be much worse (based on other reviews), and once again very LotR-esque, so I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

Probably not as good as the last, but I am looking forward to Taran Wanderer. Though, for being a book about Eilonwy, there's not much character development in here for her. It's still all about Taran, which I like.
Vidumini Pamuditha
I randomly spotted this book on my sister's shelf. This book was very slow paced and I didn't like most of the descriptions. Most of the time, I was fed up with this book.

Then I really hated the love triangle that existed in this book...Taran-Elinowy-Rhun. I thought it was really inappropriate.

But at some points, I really liked some of the things.

To be honest, I really hated almost all every character.

Most of the time, I was yawning through this book of boredom.So, it quite took a lot of time to
Benjamin Thomas
The third book in the five volume "Chronicles of Prydain" series of classic youthful fantasy tales continues the grand story of Taran, the Assistant Pig Keeper and his companions. This time around Princess Eilonwy must travel to the Isle of Mona to train to be a proper and dignified young maiden because her future as the bride of Prince Rhun is already planned. But of course nothing ever happens in so straight forward a manner and we are treated to another grand adventure. Eilonwy, as it happens ...more
Apr 19, 2012 Ensiform rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In this, the third entry in the Chronicles of Prydain, the growing Princess Eilonwy is sent to the Isle of Mona to learn how to be a young lady, and to be engaged to the bumbling, affable Prince Rhun. Taran, Gurgi, and Fflewddur Fflam accompany her, only to find that through treachery she is kidnapped by Achren, the witch. Teaming with the prince and Gwydion, the three follow her trail, braving a giant feral cat and a maudlin, puny, cave-bound giant (a memorably sinister character, simpering and ...more
Mr. Graham
Feb 05, 2010 Mr. Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Castle of Llyr is the third chapter in Prydain Chronicles. Our old favorite characters are developed, as much is learned about Eilonwy. It is enjoyable to learn the background of the main characters even as the story moves forward. In this book we learn a little more of Gwydion, the Prince of Don, who is idolized by our hero, Taran. We learn more of Achren, who was introduced in book #1 as an evil enchantress. In addition, some new and fascinating characters are introduced. It builds the ant ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eilonwy is growing up, and must be sent to a court to be trained, rather than continuing her carefree life with Taran, Gurgi and Dallben at Caer Dallben. So, Taran is sent to accompany her to the island of Mona, where she will be taught how to truly be a princess. They travel in the company of Rhun, the clumsy, reckless, but well-intentioned Prince of Mona. Once at Mona, Taran realizes that part of the purpose of bringing Eilonwy here was to become Rhun's consort. He also comes across a plot on ...more
Paola (A Novel Idea)
Originally posted at A Novel Idea Reviews

Rating: 4/5

The third book in the Prydain Chronicles focuses a lot more on the Princess Eilonwy than any of the others so far. In this book, our hero Taran begins to realize he is much fonder of Eilonwy than he is willing to admit. He realizes this sharply when the Princess, who has been living at Caer Dallben as scullery maid and one of the wizard Dallben’s wards, must depart to learn how to become a Queen. Taran escorts Eilonwy to the island palace where
Courtney H.
May 07, 2012 Courtney H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed by The Castle of Llyr, perhaps because I set myself up to like it best. On the one hand, the book again set up some great characters--Magg is a good, conniving bad guy; and Llyan is fabulous, as is her interactions with Fflewddur. The book in many ways is a bridge for the series, rather than a story unto itself. It explains the baubble; it sets up some of Eilonwy's backstory as an enchantress, deals with Achren, gives us some good new characters to join the cast in subsequent ...more
Oct 31, 2009 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This is the third book in The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. In a way, this is Princess Eilonwy's tale, where she is sent off to the King and Queen of Mona to learn to be a young lady. Naturally, that involves lots of needlework and hairwashing and dancing about and listening to other young ladies prattle and Eilonwy hates it. Can you blame her? So it's not surprising that she runs off with Magg, the evil chief steward and gets herself into a bad spot with the dreaded Queen Achren.

Feb 12, 2014 Rhea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young fantasy lovers/ people who want a short, fun fantasy
3.5 stars

Tropes are used because they work, and in The Castle of Llyr this is no exception.

This is a typical children's high fantasy written with energy and spirit, and cast with typical but endearing characters. There's Taran, your noble hero from humble beginnings; Eilonwy, your feisty princess who doesn't want to be a lady; Rhun, your foppish but kind-hearted prince; and your typical Evil Villians Who Want To Take Over the World.

This is a series, so this book is a smaller arc that fits into a
Robert Beveridge
Lloyd Alexander, The Castle of Llyr (Yearling, 1966)

The third book in Alexander's classic series takes Taran and friends to Ireland (excuse me, Llyr) when Eilonwy is given over to their regents for a more rounded education than she can get with a couple of old men and an assistant pig-keeper. Things get complicated when Taran, who has started to fall in love with Eilonwy, meets the Prince of Llyr, who becomes an immediate rival for Eilonwy's affections. Worse yet, when they actually get to the C
Drew Graham
Jun 16, 2015 Drew Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
I more or less devoured this book. Unlike the first two, where there's a well-defined quest to find some object or defeat some foe, this book is a little bit of a mystery, more of a rescue mission, so the stakes are even higher. Adding to the previously established history and drama, this book more prominently ushers in the element of magic, increasing understanding of previously introduced plot points and characters. There's still a lot to learn about this world and its inhabitants, and the way ...more
Michelle Isenhoff
The wonderful group of companions that overcame danger and evil in book one of the Chronicles of Prydain return for a second bold adventure in The Black Cauldron. This time, Taran is called away by Prince Gwydion on a quest to seize the cauldron that belongs to the evil Lord Arawn. Within this vessel the Dark Lord creates his cauldron-born, those “mute and deathless warriors who serve the Lord of Annuvin. These are the bodies of the slain, steeped in Arawn’s cauldron to give them life again.” To ...more
Mar 16, 2010 Tristan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2010
I wasn't too impressed by the first book in this series. I thought the series was going to be a bit boring but WOW did I miss the mark. I was approaching it all wrong and I know I'll have to reread it to see if I appreciate Alexander's work more. I think what confused me was that this series, like The Lord of the Rings, is meant to be approached as one large story, in other words, if you want to get past the superficialities, the important character developments happen as the series progresses a ...more
May 28, 2010 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This continues my rereading of the Prydain Chronicles, and I'm still having as much fun as ever, plus enjoying the audio versions. What's interesting is seeing which details are familiar and which come as a surprise. In this book, Taran and Eilonwy really start to feel like teenagers, although the action of the book is still at a level that younger readers can grasp and appreciate. There are more complex themes at play (and if I remember correctly, this continues in the final two books as well) ...more
A bit better than the previous books but still not good enough. Eilonwy in particular is a character things happen to but we don't get to really see live. Though to be fair none of the characters go very deep. But the plot was a bit better and the scenes with Glew the little giant and his overly large cat were pretty good. But there's not enough here to recommend them much more. But it was a quick short fairly enjoyable read. Call it 3.5 of 5.

Eilonwy is sent to the Isle of Mona to be taught to be a Princess. Taryn and Gurgi accompany her.
They meet the bumbling Prince Rhun.
Achren wants to capture her. She gets help from Magg, the kings helper. He kidnaps Eilonwy, which sets off the adventure to find her. Fflewddur and the crow, Kaw are helping.
They come upon a giant mtn lion named Llyan.
Carr Colour: the small isle Eilonwy comes from. Achren has her imprisoned there.
Glee: a giant who entraps the rescue group.
They find a small enchantm
Another fun installment where you get to learn more about Eilonwy. A few fun new characters are introduced. Sometimes when I'm reading these, I forget that they're JV fiction and not YA fiction, and I'm always surprised when things happen so quickly, they kind of just go from one thing to the next, which is fine in a book like this.
Peter N.
Jun 27, 2012 Peter N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying this series with the boys. I do not think this one is as good as "The Black Cauldron." But it is still enjoyable. There are numerous unique characters in the story, such as the small man turned giant Glew and the romantic rival Prince Rhun. All of these add color to the story and keep it from being a simple rescue mission.

What sets this story apart is the feelings Taran has developed for Eilonwy. As with most love, it is hard to know when it begins. But by the end of the book it i
Mary Stephanos
Jun 04, 2011 Mary Stephanos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Castle of Llyr"--the third volume in Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles--again confronts the evil that menaces the land of Prydain but on a much smaller scale. The princess Eilonwy has left Caer Dalben to learn to be a proper lady. When she disappears, Taran and faithful Gurgi go in search of her. Like Alexander's earlier books in this series, the story is fast-paced and fully imagined. Those expecting to learn more about Eilonwy, however, may be disappointed; although we learn more about ...more
This one needed more Eilonwy. I mean, it was all about her, in a sense, and yet we didn't have much of her dialogue and her opinions and her management of Taran, which I missed a lot. I'm glad Gurgi is a character that sticks around: I've come to think he's sweet, and non-human characters can be fun. I'm getting quite fond of all the regulars, but please don't ask me to try and spell the bard's name...

The way this book treats Achren is interesting, the way that really at the end she gets a secon
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Lloyd Chudley Alexander (January 30, 1924 - May 17, 2007) was an influential American author of more than forty books, mostly fantasy novels for children and adolescents, as well as several adult books. His most famous contribution to the field of children's literature is the fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain. The concluding book of the series, The High King, was awarded the Newbery Medal i ...more
More about Lloyd Alexander...

Other Books in the Series

The Chronicles of Prydain (5 books)
  • The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain #1)
  • The Black Cauldron (The Chronicles of Prydain #2)
  • Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4)
  • The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5)

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“...alas, raising a young lady is a mystery even beyond an enchanter's skill.” 52 likes
“Perhaps,' Taran said quietly, watching the moon-white riverbank slip past them, 'perhaps you have the truth of it. At first I felt as you did. Then I remember thinking of Eilonwy, only of her; and the bauble showed its light. Prince Rhun was ready to lay down his life; his thoughts were for our safety, not at all for his own. And because he offered the greatest sacrifice, the bauble glowed brightest for him. Can that be its secret? To think more for others than ourselves?'

That would seem to be one of its secrets, at least,' replied Fflewddur. 'Once you've discovered that, you've discovered a great secret indeed--with or without the bauble.”
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