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The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5)

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  38,284 Ratings  ·  790 Reviews
When the sword of Dyrnwyn, the most powerful weapon inthe kingdom of Prydain, falls into the hands of Arawn-Death-Lord, Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, and Prince Gwydion raise an army to march against Arawn's terrible cohorts. After a winter expedition filled with danger, Taran's army arrives at Mount Dragon, Arawn's stronghold. There, in a thrilling confrontation with Arawn ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Square Fish (first published October 27th 1968)
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Kyle Lloyd Alexander says himself that you can read any book in the series as its own book without reading the others but it is nice to have background…moreLloyd Alexander says himself that you can read any book in the series as its own book without reading the others but it is nice to have background knowledge on the story beforehand.(less)
The Giver by Lois LowryHoles by Louis SacharA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Most Deserving Newbery
31st out of 95 books — 2,499 voters
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Best Children's Fantasy
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 14, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
There are times in life where everything seems to go right, and then there are the times where everything seems to go wrong. The High King is both of these. There were times I wanted to throw the book down and times I couldn't even bear to close it at night. The book, while a fairy tale, is life.

Nothing in life is free and all things come with a price, even the price of gifts that we wish we could keep. And the gift that requires the greatest price is that of love. People change, move, and die.
May 13, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Vrlo lep zavrsetak za jedan jako lep serijal. Imamo svega ovde, i srece i tuge, delova da stane srce delova da se opustimo. Manje vise sve je razjasnjeno, svi likovi su dotaknuti i nagradjeni prema zasluzi. Sta drugo reci, citajte.

Jedino sto mi smeta sto je ceo serijal nekako prekratak. Mozda je to do moje profesionalne deformacije da skoro svi fantazi romani imaju knjige od 500+ strana, ali kolko sam uzivao citajuci prosto mi je zao sto je gotovo.
jillian nessie

This was intensely traumatic and magnificent.

4.5 stars
Aj the Ravenous Reader
A great finale to the series. It was a hundred percent worth reading. :)
Because I listen to my audiobooks in the car, I went for a drive Saturday evening just to finish this book. Time and gas well spent. Really enjoyed making my way through this series over the last month and a half. Some of the best children's fantasy I've read. Wish I would've read it as an actual child.

Aside from a couple of minor complaints, The High King was a really good ending to this series.

Arawn and his minions have stolen the magical sword Dyrnwyn from Prince Gwydion, tipping the balance
Single review for the Chronicles of Prydain, as they are similar in style and quality and could have been produced as a single large volume of five sub-books.

The Chronicles of Prydain are children's books. Some children's books hold up well when read by an adult, but these are definitely for kids and do not carry any added depth. The adventures are amusing but flat. You might smile at Eilonwy's sass and moxie and Fflewdur Fflam's tall tales. But you're probably also going to cringe at Taran's e
Jul 23, 2015 Nico rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, it-sucked
This one felt more rushed than the others. some of the big reveals were really disappointing. like other books in the series, more time is spent on their daily trivialities than the big picture. the death of the main antagonist of the entire series was addressed in a fight lasting no more than a page. it felt anticlimactic. arawn was killed too easily. lesser villains were given better fights and deaths. I hated glew, better characters than him died whilst we had to endure his whining for an ent ...more
Jun 18, 2007 Camille rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
This is to date one of the best children's novels I've read in one of the best children's series out there. Alexander draws on a wealth of Welsh mythology to put together a rags to riches story of a pig-keeper, his growth from child to youth to man, and the decisions we are all forced to make in adulthood. There were many different types of closure in the final book -- the first time I read it I cried, which is really rare for me. I found the portrayals of key characters moving as well as the st ...more
Jan 08, 2016 Metaphorosis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2016-rev
3.5 stars - Metaphorosis Reviews

Arawn Death-Lord has Gwydion's magic sword, and he has sent out his dread armies to conquer Prydain. With only the slimmest of hopes, Taran and Gwydion must raise an army and strike at Arawn's stronghold to try to end his evil once and for all.

The High King is not the strongest of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain quintet. He's building here on an established foundation, and much of the outcome in a YA adventure is foreordained. Still, for all that there's little suspense
Aleksandar Janjic
Jul 20, 2015 Aleksandar Janjic rated it it was amazing
Иако, као и у осталим књигама серијала, има доста моралисања и поповања (што је ваљда и неопходно у књизи намијењеној млађим узрастима), очигледно је да све то долази од неког коме је срце на правом мјесту. Таран дефинитивно није најспектакуларнији главни лик у историји књижевности, увијек је озбиљан, често патетичан и дефинитивно потпуно лишен хумора, али избор који је направио на крају ове књиге не може а да га не начини симпатичним.

Ово што сам горе споменуо око тога да је књига (наравно, као
Mar 05, 2016 Gwyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I've finished the Chronicles of Prydain, after a year and a half of reading them off and on, and am still as unsure what I think of them as when I read the first of five. The only way I can sort this out is if I do this review in bulletin form :P

Things I Love or Like about this Book

1. Eilonwy. Same as all others in this series. My goodness, the Princess of Lyr is one of my favourite literary maidens of noble birth out there. I love Eilonwy not caring about her dirty hair and loving to have i
Dec 18, 2014 Aelvana rated it it was ok
Taran is done wandering, but he returns to news of a horrible loss: Arawn has stolen Gwydion's sword Dyrnwyn. Confident he has removed the only real threat to his rule, the death lord is preparing for invasion. But Taran and his friends are not going to surrender without a fight. From the island of Mona to the Free Commots, all friends of good gather for the last great battle for the fate of Prydain.

The war wages fiercely in this book as Gwydion's ever-dwindling army opposes traitors, Huntsman,
Courtney H.
May 07, 2012 Courtney H. rated it really liked it
This was my favorite of the five novels, though obviously one reason it was brilliant was because it could rest on, and grow out of, the foundational first four books. Still, I thought this book, better than the others, balanced the fun of YA writing (clear, solid writing, interesting characters, well paced plot) with more challenging plot points and characters.

This books is about war, though, and Alexander does not pull punches: many characters die, characters you did not think he would kill of
Apr 21, 2016 Cristi-Lael rated it really liked it
Very well done, this whole series. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This is a great introduction to high fantasy for middle grade readers. I wish I had read it when I was younger, but I'm at least glad I finally got there in the end.
Oct 23, 2007 Autumn rated it it was amazing
Lloyd Alexander was a kind, simple man with a passion for mythology, especially Welsh lore. These books began with an exploration of ancient stories, and grew into what I believe to be the best children's literature out there. I still read them now and again, just because they move me so. Alexander manages a rather brilliant balance of humour and sorrow--something rarely found in books written for young people. His characters are lovable, entertaining, and real, despite their fantastical setting ...more
Ghost Ryter
Can...can I give this 100 stars?
May 05, 2016 Amelmag rated it really liked it
A truly fitting ending to the Chronicles of Prydain -- which is saying quite a lot.

This book may have been the most uneven -- the most uncomfortable -- when it came to the mixing of lighthearted fairy-tale and serious-minded romance -- the mixing of cheerfully humorous companions and agonizing deathblows -- but it still succeeded far more than it failed.

I am most impressed by the way the Chronicles form, not a series (in the way we've come to understand that term), but a single narrative creat
Bill Tillman
One of the very best series I have read. It is an interpretation of the Mabinogin welsh myths. Ah once again I come to the end of this tale having listened to the excellent work of the Audible crew.
Samantha Waxman
Okay, I am going to do a review for the entire series here, because it’s the last book in the series. I own these books, and they were some of my favorites growing up so I thought it was time for a reread. Did they stand up to my nostalgia, as some other books (notably Sabriel by Garth Nix and the His Dark Materials trilogy) have? The answer is partially, but not entirely. Here’s why:

The characterization of Eilonwy bothered me a bit. In the first few books she is quite independent and free-minde
Aug 10, 2015 Melaniemouse rated it liked it
A good ending to the series, if, again, it did lean heavily on LOTR (like, bordering on plagiarism at times, in my opinion). I still feel like I don't quite have a handle on how old the characters are, and how much time has passed over the course of the series. I guess my best guess is that when they started, Taran and Eilonwy were like 13 and 12, and at the end they're like 18 and 17? He keeps referencing things that happened in the earlier books as event from his "boyhood," cause apparently he ...more
May 23, 2015 Kathi rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery
A couple of months ago while reading Newberys, I wrote about not really liking high fantasy, but believing that The Hero and the Crown was the best I had read. Not anymore.

Although I only read the last in Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, The High King has improved the genre for me.

Listening to the audio CD, I did need to start over twice to understand who—and what—the characters were and the events that were happening. Even then, I went to Wikipedia’s plot summary of the first few chapt
Sam Wescott
Sep 27, 2014 Sam Wescott rated it really liked it
Holy character development, batman. I actually liked Taran in this book. The adventures had higher stakes and the characters seemed rounder than usual, with depths not previously seen.

I got weepy at several points in the book (view spoiler), which makes me respect the character development even more. Well done, Lloyd Alexander. I ha
Mar 02, 2016 Rosa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multi-reads
Re-reading this last one was so.much.FUN. Mainly because I could not remember how this series ended for the life of me. I couldn't remember the plot, or who lived and who died. NOTHING. So, re-reading it felt like reading it for the first time.

On the whole, I like how it ended. Not all the characters we've grown to love survive the final series of battles. There are definitely some good twists in here. And the farewells at the end left a couple of tears in my eyes (I must confess.) Also, what i
Jun 22, 2009 X rated it really liked it
Recommended to X by: Q
I thought this was the best of the series. It has a decidedly different - darker, but not really *dark* - feel than the previous books, but the characters remain the same. A nice world and a good adventure, though the end was disturbingly reminiscent of other fantasies; I shan't say more to avoid spoilers.
Jun 28, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing
Medal Winner 1969
Wonderful ending to an excellent series. This ties up all the loose ends and storyboard, without feeling contrived or letting that drag the story at all. Love these characters, and am very satisfied. I think the closing paragraph is one of the best ever.
Janne Paananen
Dec 13, 2015 Janne Paananen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prydain kroniikka saa arvoisensa päätöksen. Aikaisemmissa osissa Taran Vaeltaja on saanut kansan puolelleen ja nyt on aika koetella uskollisuutta kun alkaa taistelu "lopullista" pahaa vastaan. On myös aika tehdä lopullisia tunnustuksia Eilonwylle. Vaan aina tuppaa tulemaan jotain tielle.

Kolmasosassa kaipaamaani kahden pahan välistä yhteenottoakin päästään toteuttamaan, mutta hieman vaisunlaisesti. Viisiosaisen kronikan loppu on kuin suoraan Harmaisiin Satamiin lähtemisestä... Tolkieninsa on Lloy
Jun 28, 2016 Jacob rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, classic, youth
A decent story, particularly for one focused on one last big battle in the series. It gets points from me for being unpredictable, although the surprises can be a bit clunky, especially at the end. But I LOVE stories where the guy doesn't get the girl. Don't worry, I didn't spoil it for you, although in many ways this book is an adaptation of The Return of the King.

Almost all the recurring characters are brought in. Even Medwyn, the awesome caretaker of animals from The Book of Three has a scene
Dec 08, 2009 Jessica rated it it was amazing
This is the fifth and last book of the Chronicles of Prydain. The story begins as the Assistant Pig-Keeper Taran, his companion Gurgi, and the crow Kaw return to Caer Dallben to find that the Princess Eilonwy has returned from the island kingdom of Dinas Rhydant. Taran realizes that all he wants is to be with Eilonwy even if he isn't of noble blood. However, before he is able to confess these feelings their friends Fflewddur and Gwydion send word that Arawn, the Death Lord, has stolen Taran's ma ...more
Sep 19, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
"Greater, more disastrous, and demanding more courage are the battles into which Taran leads his followers against Arawn Death-Lord.... The book has the philosophical depth and overtones of great fantasy." --The Horn Book

Book Description
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
Marci Christensen
Jun 09, 2011 Marci Christensen rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a great ending to a great series. All the excitement, traveling, character development, story line, and good versus evil in an easy to read, less convoluted format than any other book series I've read. I loved all the characters, even the ones that were maybe supposed to be comic relief type of characters were endearing. It left me feeling satisfied and entertained. I really despise books that end in a very abrupt way. If there is any place in a book that I like to the story d ...more
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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)

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“Long ago I yearned to be a hero without knowing, in truth, what a hero was. Now, perhaps, I understand it a little better. A grower of turnips or a shaper of clay, a Commot farmer or a king--every man is a hero if he strives more for others than for himself alone.
Once you told me that the seeking counts more than the finding. So, too, must the striving count more than the gain.”
“Is there worse evil than that which goes in the mask of good?” 79 likes
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