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The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  42,627 ratings  ·  1,676 reviews
Taran wanted to be a hero, and looking after a pig wasn't exactly heroic, even though Hen Wen was an oracular pig. But the day that Hen Wen vanished, Taran was led into an enchanting and perilous world. With his band of followers, he confronted the Horned King and his terrible Cauldron-Born. These were the forces of evil, and only Hen Wen knew the secret of keeping the kin ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Square Fish (first published August 1964)
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Community Reviews

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Bryce Wilson
Blast From The Past Year Zero:

Hooboy. I have conflicted feelings about the book, and my feelings about those conflicted feelings are also conflicted. So there's that.

To make a long story short I loved this series when I was kid, I needed to pick up a gift for my nephew who is apparently Mini-Me, so I grabbed him the first couple of books in this series. Figured I'd give him something better to read then the Eragon type crap he's reading now. Of course I couldn't resist but take a look at them
...more
Ryen
I really liked this book but I liked it even more because I got to read it with my dad.
Madeline
Back in the days before Harry Potter, I was too young to get through Tolkien and wasn't interested in The Chronicles of Narnia - fortunately, I had The Chronicles of Prydain.
The series (there are five books in all) takes place in a setting similar to Wales in the Middle Ages. The main character is an assistant pig-keeper named Taran - the reason there's a need for both a pig-keeper and an assistant is because the pig in question can predict the future. The books are full of witches, magic sword
...more
Jonathan
3.5 stars

I believe wholeheartedly that C.S.Lewis got it right when he said that a book not worth reading as an adult should not be read when a child. Yet it seems a preoccupation of children's writers (I excuse picture book writers in general) to create stories only children can read. This is an exception and hence a very fine work of children's fiction.

While I found the start of the book rushed and the writing less than exceptional I was drawn quickly into this book. I felt early on that the wo
...more
Jon
Apr 17, 2013 Jon added it
Recommends it for: tweens, young adults and the young at heart who crave adventure
Recommended to Jon by: Terence
Terence
For some reason, I've had a hankering to reread these books for a few months. A yen I gave in to this weekend when I checked out a Science Fiction Book Club omnibus edition of all 5 novels and a collection of short stories (the latter of which, I haven't read).

Having read The Book of Three, I can see where my moral compass may have begun to form. I first read these books in sixth grade as an extracurricular project, and then made a filmstrip of the final book, The High King (yes, a "filmstrip" -
...more
Lyndz
Kids who cannot understand or don’t have the patience for the Lord of the Rings but who want to read fantasy novels may enjoy this.
As for me, if I wanted to read Fellowship of the Ring I would have just read it. I didn’t like this book at all, there were too many obvious similarities to the Lord of the Rings and I just kept becoming more and more irritated with the parallels as the book progressed.
(ahemmm... *fake cough* blatant ripoff *end fake cough*)
Sorry to my friends that love it, but I j
...more
Karl Marx S.T.
I have often heard about the Chronicles of Prydain as it said to set standards of excellence in fantasy for children’s literature. Honestly, I really wanted to read fantasy books from the past for it evoke a sentimental feeling in me, maybe because of it written in the year of 1964? For I believe that fantasy from the past (The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc…) are more original for they are less influence by technology and just based on pure thoughts, humble opinions that makes ...more
Alana
Whenever I'm at my parents' home, surrounded by the books of my childhood, I will inevitably pick one up and read. This time, I selected the first of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles: The Book of Three. If you haven't read Lloyd Alexander at all, then I feel terribly sorry for your sad and empty childhood.

The basic plot should seem quite familiar: a peaceful land threatened by evil and the people who must band together to save it. It's the telling of the story that really makes it unique, th
...more
nessie tavariel
In which an Assistant Pig-Keeper, a snarky red-head princess, one of those comical Bards with a tendency to exaggerate, a very Gollumesque (but considerably more pleasant) creature, and a really awesome horse (the horse had to be mentioned) on a quest to find a really wise pig?

That. Is brilliant.

Add to that mix an abundance of magnificent Welsh names, mythology tie-ins, the no-begad-nonsense-about-it—but still witty—writing style, and you have this delightfully frabjous book. We loves it, prec
...more
Ashley
The Book of Three is not the most impressive book on first reading, even despite there being some things that set it apart, first and foremost its Welsh-inspired settings and characters of myth and legend. Mostly, it seemed a bit like a Tolkien clone with a plot barely even trying to be anything more: Collecting the group of adventurers. The beyond evil bad guy. Swords and sorcery, kings and princesses and princes. Wizards who commune with animals.

Right away The Book of Three did demonstrate a c
...more
[Name Redacted]
A childhood favorite which remains one of the most wonderful books I've ever read.

Part of what makes it so engaging is the unconventional nature of the protagonists, all of whom are defined as much by the faults as by their virtues: Taran, far from being a "Marty Stu", is infuriatingly impetuous, hotheaded, and stubborn (a character so well-defined that until others pointed it out, i never noticed that his appearance was never described); Eilonwy, far from being a "Mary Sue", is scatterbrained,
...more
Anthony Ryan
This is really where it all began for me. Over three decades ago this book set me on the path to a lifelong love of, and later career, in fantasy fiction. Between the ages of ten and thirteen I must have read this book six times or more, along with all the others in the series. Alexander's blend of Welsh legend and modern fantasy tropes is both enchanting and compelling and the adventures of Taran, orphan and assistant pig-keeper, are a truly classic example of the hero's journey from boy to man ...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abby Johnson
Based on Welsh mythology, this book tells the tale of Taran, the lowly Assistant Pig-Keeper, who gets wrapped up in a quest to stop the Great Horned King from destroying the land of Prydain. Accompanied by a rugged band of compatriots, including a displaced princess, an exagerating unofficial bard, and a wolf man, Taran feels that every decision he makes on the journey is the wrong one... Does the rugged band have what it takes to stop the evil spreading over the land?

LOVED this book. I'm so sad
...more
Matthew Hunter
Enjoyable, even adorable in that younger sibling sort of way. It's the love-child of Tolkien's and T.H. White's imaginations, a mixture of Arthurian chivalry, gallantry, and demonic armies. Medwyn's name reminds of Merlin, though he longs to hang out with Lord Elrond of Rivendell. Taran's a Wart/Frodo mingling. Gurgi's a less conflicted Gollum. Gwydion wants to be Aragorn worse than anything. Doli and Gimli are brothers. The Cauldron-Born remind of orcs. On and on and on. These similarities can' ...more
Dmroberts
This book is a classic in my view - it was a book that my mother first read to me as a child, and which I later re-visited myself quite some years later. For me, this is one of those titles that first got me interested in literature.

The author, Lloyd Alexander, was an interesting man, and excellent to his fans. I wrote him when I was little, included a story (it was probably tripe), and my picture. Much to my surprise he wrote me back. He wrote me a brief hand-written message, and thanked me for
...more
Cathy
Great book. I think this is the first time I've read Lloyd Alexander, although I can't believe that's true. As a parent, I would like to put the main character, Taran in the corner quite a bit, but he's a boy that likes danger. It seems like the adults treat him like an adult way too easily, even though he's probably twelve years old, if that. I like the fantasy aspects of the book, and I like that the fantastical creatures aren't all happy and tra-la-lally (not a word, I know). The book is quit ...more
Madeleine Price
So.....on a Saturday afternoon in the basement, I was looking around in the "old books". I picked this one up, and remembered that this was one that my mom had read to me. I remembered nothing of the story, or anything else. So, not expecting much, I sat down on the couch and starting reading.
I finished reading it a few days later, and then Black Cauldron. What kept me reading this? I loved this book, and can't wait to reread it. There has to be a separate set of books for Eilonwy. Her refusal t
...more
Lightreads
Embarking on another childhood nostalgia quest. These are a bit more obscure than previous subjects, but I read them to tatters once upon a time. Literally tatters – I recall wearing out multiple cassette tapes.

Anyway, this is young fantasy inspired from Welsh legend (or appropriated, it depends on how you look at it). Taran, Assistant Pigkeeper, desperately wants to go on adventures, and then he gets some and discovers they are more difficult than assumed. Also, rescuing oracular pigs is compli
...more
Daniel Banker
I'm baffled by this books 4+ rating. Just to confirm my suspicions I went and checked the rating for Enders Game and, just as I thought…4+. So, unfortunately I am going to have to lump this into the “I read this when I was younger before I knew what good writing was and most importantly before I read the books the author was pathetically attempting to ape”. I read LOTR when I was little after sneaking it off my dad’s bookshelf. My mum was none-too-pleased. If I had read this first perhaps I woul ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
عنوان اصلی جلد نخست از سری پنج جلدی در زبان اصلی «کتابِ سه» است، هرچند نخستین جلد از سری «ماجراهای پرید‌این» میباشد، عنوان سری د‌ر برگردان فارسی به «افسانه های پرید‌این» و عنوان جلد نخست «تاران و شمشیرِ سحرآمیز» انتخاب شده است، عنوان اصلی جلد دو نیز «پاتیل سیاه» بوده که بانو سیادت عنوان «تاران و پاتیل جادویی» را برای آن برگزیده، عنوان اصلی جلد سوم «قلعه ی لیر» بوده که با عنوان «تاران و قصر قدیمی» چاپ شده است، جلد چهام نیز عنوان اصلی اش «تاران سرگشته» بوده که در برگردان فارسی عنوان «تاران و آیینه ...more
Jessica
Sep 19, 2007 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 12 to 20
Shelves: fantasy
This has to be the very best book in the entire series.

The Synopsis:

"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. Be
...more
Elijah Kinch Spector
When I was a kid, someone gave me a copy of The Book of Three, and even though I was transfixed by the cover, I never actually read the damn thing. Honestly, I didn't read much as a kid at all. As I've just recently started to get really into fantasy, I can't help but wonder what would have happened had I read this book when I was a child.

Nonetheless, after recently seeing the film The Black Cauldron, in which it was so very clear that a lot of the story was missing, I became curious to finally
...more
Ren the Unclean
Jan 07, 2009 Ren the Unclean rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
Read this on the train today. It's fun and a quick read. It's nothing especially new, in all the fantasy I've read. Even the relatively light-hearted tone and the characterisations aren't precisely new. It's shallow, really -- by which I mean that I didn't really feel strongly drawn to the characters, or caught up in their danger. It did make me giggle, though and Eilonwy is a really fun character. I kind of wished Gwydion had been more fleshed out, too, because he's normally the kind of charact ...more
Lawson
The Chronicles of Prydain (The Book of Three, etc.) were among my most loved books as a child. When I became a parent, I reread them and my other childhood favorites. I was amazed anew.

Taken as a whole, the series is one of the most interesting, complex (but still child-appropriate) coming of age stories I've ever read. Taran is a solid main character, and Eilonwy, a substantial female character, is amazing.

I have now read these books countless times – paging through them, listening to the audio
...more
Mati
AWWWW

¿Cómo algo tan adorable me llevo tanto tiempo? El final es tan lindo...no te presiona para que leas el siguiente, pero al mismo tiempo te dice "yo se que quieres leer el que sigue".

Me encantan las analogías del libro, me ha pegado esta frase "...a veces es más importante el buscar que el encontrar." Me recuerda a mi situación actual así que quiero creer que es cierta.

El libro es muy tierno, me confunde en las descripciones de las peleas, con los lugares y las personas (tienen nombres mu
...more
Eris Augustine
Jun 01, 2014 Eris Augustine rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Eris Augustine by: Elevetha
4.5 piggies

It was a bit slow for me to get into, but once Eilonwy showed up the party STARTED. Such sass. Taran and her are perfect for each other.

Love the Welsh mythology in this book, too! Very subtle, but woven very deeply into the story.

And every novel needs to have a prophetic pig in it, 'kay.
Andrea
It's been a while since a fantasy novel charmed me so much. This book offered me exactly what I was looking for when starting the likes of Roger Zelazny or Piers Anthony. Fortunately Alexander didn't disappoint me as the aforementioned authors did.
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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...
The Black Cauldron (The Chronicles of Prydain #2) The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5) Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4) The Castle of Llyr (The Chronicles of Prydain #3) Time Cat

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“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.” 210 likes
“Neither refuse to give help when it is needed,... nor refuse to accept it when it is offered.” 130 likes
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