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The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain (The Chronicles of Prydain)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,159 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
When Lloyd Alexander finished the Chronicles of Prydain, readers asked for more! So, in 1973, Mr. Alexander wrote a collection of short tales about the land of Prydain. These stories revisit familiar characters and reveal more about the history of this magical land.

Here readers will find Dallben, destined to be an enchanter; Angharad, Princess of the House of Lyr; Kadwyr,
Paperback, 122 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Puffin Books (first published 1973)
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It's hard to credit some of the stuff I'm seeing from fellow reviewers on this page. Maybe they don't believe Mr. Alexander when he says The Foundling and Other Tales is perfectly capable of standing on its own, but a single reading of this wee book should clue everyone in as to exactly what it is they are holding. Namely: This is a book of fables, or would-be legends; it isn't meant to answer burning questions about the population of a long-running series (although apparently it does in part fu ...more
Michelle Isenhoff
Jun 16, 2014 Michelle Isenhoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE the Chronicles of Prydain. They’re an older MG fantasy series (1960’s) that won plenty of awards in their day, yet they have a lingering worth for today’s readers. The wisdom and nobility portrayed in them and the incredible craftsmanship of the story reminded me greatly of the Chronicles of Narnia. If you like one, I bet you’d like the other.

Anyway, I was aware of this companion volume to the series but hadn’t taken the time to check it out until one of my blog commentators who loves thi
Tzu-Mainn Chen
Apr 08, 2014 Tzu-Mainn Chen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-appropriate
This book consists of very short stories that serve to expand upon some of the history of Prydain that is only obliquely mentioned in the main series.

+ stories are lyrical and written with the pleasing rhythms of classic fairy tales; feels a bit like a baby comforted by listening to its mother's heartbeat
+ the stories can also be unsparing: the cost of wisdom, the haunted insanity of the mad King Rhitta
+ but there is considerable lightness as well
+ magic talking animals are always cool
- i kinda
Elijah Spector
Feb 11, 2009 Elijah Spector rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Realistically, this should probably only merit three stars as a book on its own. But these stories aren't really meant to be read on their own, it's meant to be read after the Chronicles of Prydain series proper. And as a last visit to the world, a fleshing out of various small bits of the backstory, and a set of Aesop-like fables, The Foundling is a very enjoyable success.

Also, each story takes about ten minutes or less to read, so it's a quick one.
Mar 22, 2013 Ginny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read and loved the Prydain Chronicles, then you will enjoy reading this collection of short stories about some characters' beginnings. I liked Coll's story best, but he is one of my favorites in the series. I also loved this description, "Fflewddur Fflam ruled a kingdom so small he could almost stride across it between midday and high noon." There were many moments like this in the reading that just made me smile.
Dharia Scarab
Jul 02, 2015 Dharia Scarab rated it liked it

My love of reading started when i was young, and it gives me immense pleasure to provide books to Spread the Word Nevada, an organization that passes them on to children in the community. They are a terrific organization supporting an important cause. If your local I encourage you to check them out. For those living further a field, look in your own community, their may already be a similar program in place. And if not, you can always help start one.

Myself, I go ou
Dec 26, 2014 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read for an adult, but fun none-the-less. I loved the Chronicles of Prydain and this filled in some of the gaps. In the vein of Aesop's Tales or traditional fairy tales, these stories instruct you against pride, greed, and anger. A person is never too old to hear stories like that.
J. Aleksandr Wootton
Apr 23, 2014 J. Aleksandr Wootton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who've read the Prydain series
Found this book in the bargain bin - I didn't even know it existed. Couldn't pass up this ticket back to the land of Prydain, re-visited this time in folktale-esque short-fiction form rather than fantasy epic. Most enjoyable.
Jan 16, 2015 Ilona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A re-read of a book I first read in my twenties. I enjoyed it as much this time as the first, and in between I've read these charming short stories to my children. Fantasy stories told in a folk-tale style, they are full of lovely concepts like the value of wisdom, kindness, and courage, the evils of bullying and abuse of power, but in a rich, involving, utterly non-preachy way.

These are background tales to the larger Prydain series, and people who have read that series will recognize names here
Jasmine Woods
Oct 06, 2014 Jasmine Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short and wonderfully sweet, this collection of Prydain related stories all come with a hidden message but are
never preachy and never any less than captivating. As the author himself states in the foreword of the book, long-time readers of Prydain, like myself, will get more out of the tales than others but with that said I would love to give a child this book in lieu of Aesop's fables or the Parables of Jesus, before they set out with Taran on his journey. I would say I wished only that the boo
Christopher Rush
This unusual return to the land of Prydain is certainly enjoyable for the "real fans" of Prydain, but casual readers will certainly not be interested in it. It's a series of loosely-related prequel short stories years before Taran and the main story era, and while that kind of backstory supply is enticing, I've only given it three stars because it tells us effectively nothing new except for how Coll rescued Hen Wen from Arawn. Most of the stories are interesting, indeed, and worth reading by the ...more
Joel Neff
Feb 15, 2015 Joel Neff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Look, I’m not sure why I’m bothering to review the book. It is wonderful, phenomenal, enchanted and enchanting, gripping and electrifying and terrifying and a whole host of other emotions that I’m not even sure I can name. This book, The Foundling and Other Tales, is a bare handful of stories about characters, places, and themes we have read about in The Prydain Chronicles. As such, it is both familiar and yet wholly new and, and...

I first read this book when I was ten years old. It was a bit af
Anoush Emrazian
May 17, 2014 Anoush Emrazian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, jmrl
Short stories, all with some gem of a moral, set in Prydain.

Some words of wisdom:

1. "At the end of knowledge, wisdom begins . . . and at the end of wisdom there is not grief, but hope."

2. "Stones are all right, in their way . . . but the trouble with them is, they don't grow."

3. "I only helped you imagine these things to be more than what they are. If this pleased you for a few moments, I could ask nothing better."

4. "But let us hope next time you can help your friends as they helped you."

5. "Re
Mar 02, 2014 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like The Chronicles of Prydain
This is a collection of short stories that take place before the events of The Chronicles of Prydain. They can be read before, after or even independent of the series. The read a bit like Grimm's Fairy Tales with a bit of a moral at the end.

"The Foundling" - The tale of how Orddu, Orwen and Orgoch found Dallben when he was a baby. Dallben has to leave them after he accidentally ingests a potion and he is given a gift by them which has a consequence.

"The Stone" - The tale of how Maibon, a cottage
May 31, 2013 Mloy rated it liked it
This should have been the first book because it's a wonderful way to emerge yourself in the world of Prydain. The stories are short and sweet but important nonetheless to learning more about some of the (now) beloved but often less mentioned characters. In The Foundling, the three witches from the Marsha of Morva are still a favorite, they are so quirky without meaning to and the story of The Book of Three was simply brilliant-- accumulating all that knowledge, in a short amount of time, will ha ...more
Alyianna Baggins
Jul 05, 2012 Alyianna Baggins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karl Orbell
Oct 13, 2012 Karl Orbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, which is really part of The Chronicles of Prydain, but not officially part of the main set, more additional lore, to accompany them. It is a collection of eight short stories, all prequels to the main chronicles, telling the prelude to many story lines from the main.

The books are:

i) The Foundling - a story of Dallben's young life, with Orwen, Orddu and Orgoch.
ii) The Stone - a moral fable, including Doli
iii) The True Enchanter - the story of the meeting of Eilonwy's parents
iv) The Ras
Joseph R.
Mar 11, 2012 Joseph R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
This collection of eight short stories is set in the mythical world of Prydain. They are all about events that happen before The Book of Three. Reading this before the rest of the Chronicles of Prydain will not spoil the novels (I've read the first two) though some minor secrets are given away. I started reading it as my "the kids are playing in the family room so I can read a paragraph or two before they ask me a question or want me to do something" book. The stories are short and quite memorab ...more
Drew Graham
Jun 16, 2015 Drew Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
The land of Prydain is home to many legends and stories, and not only those contained in the five books that comprise The Chronicles of Prydain. This book presents eight stories of the history and legends of Lloyd Alexander's mythical land, such as the origin of Dallben's magical powers and how he came to possess The Book of Three, some of the history of the sword Dyrnwyn, young Coll's journey to save and protect Hen Wen, and the story behind Fflewddur Fflam's magical harp.

Ever since I re-read t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2009 Cheryl rated it it was ok
This is a collection of short stories which introduce the reader to some of the characters and objects which play a role in the The Chronicles of Prydain. The Foundling was published after the 5 books in The Chronicles, but each story takes place before the events in The Book of Three, the first in the series.

I liked that these stories gave us a further glimpse into Prydain, which I am sad to leave with the conclusion of The High King, however I was quite disappointed by the quality of these sto
Sep 17, 2008 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jake by:

Lest anyone be super impressed that I’ve managed to finish another book this week; this book is neither long, nor is it “difficult” reading in any sense of the word. This is not to say it’s not worthwhile, merely that it isn’t something I’d pick up if you’re looking for a serious intellectual challenge.

The Foundling is a collection of short stories set in the same setting as Lloyd Alexander’s more well-known and popular Chronicles of Prydain; essentially, it’s a prequel book, adding some detail
May 07, 2012 Leonardo rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Assistant-Pig Keepers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeremy Preacher
The Foundling is an awfully slight little collection. The stories are more fables than anything, with morals rather than plots. For that, they're not bad - "The Smith, the Weaver, and the Harper" and "The Sword" are both well-balanced in the traditional Welsh style and offer some enlightenment about the world of Prydain. But the rest are no more than tidbits - charming but ultimately unsatisfying.
Justyn Rampa
Nov 27, 2011 Justyn Rampa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
The only reason I gave this four stars was because it is simply too short. In some ways this book is a wonderful transition to reality after finishing The Chronicles of Prydain. Lloyd Alexander graciously gives us just a little more time in the world he has created. However, these stories occur before the first book in the series proper. Reading this book is somewhat like getting to spend time with one of your favorite people before you ever met them. You get a chance to see what their life was ...more
Robert Beveridge
Lloyd Alexander, The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain (Henry Holt, 1970)

Alexander returned briefly (and I do mean briefly; this book runs just ninety-six pages) to Prydian, the Wales-inspired land of his classic Tarn cycle, for a series of short stories detailing some of the prehistory of the characters that came to be so beloved in the series, including Dallben and Coll, and the history of some of its items (notable Dyrnwyn and Fflewdur Fflam's harp). If you've read the series recently, as

Fans of The Book of Three--rejoice! Alexander presents us with 6 short stories set in Prydain (part Wales, part Middle Earth), before the actual triolgy begins. We pre-meet some old friends, which is always fun. Some of the tales are grim while others are whimsical, but all are woven with Alexander's skillful charm into a tapestry of myth, sorcery and dreams of valor.

As the author explains: "Popular demand makes a splendid pretext for a writer to do what he
Jefferson Coombs
The year I input for the date I finished this book is a complete guess but it is in the general ball park. As a huge fan of the Prydain Chronicles this is a book that I read to complete the experience. It was worth reading but not a classic like the core of the series.
Ren the Unclean
Oct 24, 2007 Ren the Unclean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of the Chronicles of Prydain
Shelves: fantasy
This book is a series of short stories set in the realm of Prydain. It is an interesting set of stories, as it gives you a bit of backstory for many of the magical objects in the books and some of the characters, as well as adventures that were hinted at in the main story but were not actually revealed.

The Foundling sort of suffers as most short story collections do, in that the stories are too short to have any real substance to them. They read quickly, but suffer from their brevity.

Still, with
This one doesn't really stand out on its own, but then it probably isn't supposed to; it's really more of a supplement. It wasn't marketed as "Book 6 of the Chronicles of Prydain" when I was growing up. In fact, a lot people I've talked to who've read the other five haven't even heard of this one.

Most of the stories I only have vague recollections of. The one about the harp was fun, but would have been better if I hadn't already known about why the strings would break all the time. About the on
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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)
  • The Castle of Llyr (The Chronicles of Prydain #3)
  • Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4)
  • The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5)

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“For the odd thing about wisdom is the more you use it the more it grows; and the more you share, the more you gain. You'd be amazed how few understand that.” 2 likes
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