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Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  24,595 ratings  ·  590 reviews
Taran is an Assistant Pig-Keeper no longer; her has become a hero. Now he dreams of winning the hand of the Princess Eilonwy. Eager to find his origins, Taran sets off with the faithful Gurgi on a quest across the marvelous land of Prydain. Their journey takes them to the three witches in the Marshes of Morva, through the many realms of Prydain, and finally to the mystical ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Square Fish (first published November 1967)
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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlSwitch! The Lost Kingdoms of Karibu by Karen  Prince
Best Children's Fantasy
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Outsiders by S.E. HintonOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken KeseySlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michelle Isenhoff
“Who am I?”

That is the question Taran seeks to answer in book four of the Chronicles of Prydain. Taran has already had many adventures, fought many foes, won several battles, and fallen in love with Princess Eilonwy. He is held in high esteem by all who know him, yet he is still an Assistant Pig-Keeper, an orphan with no known history. Were his parents peasants, or could he be of noble blood, making him worthy of the princess? This is what he seeks to learn, and he covers all of Prydain in his q
...more
Barb Middleton
I liked this story the least of the Prydain Chronicles. It's important to the series because it shows Taran really understanding that his identity is based on his ability and accomplishments rather than on position; however, I missed Eilonwy who is barely in it and I found myself not becoming attached to the new characters as much. I didn't think there was enough dynamic. Mostly Taran is being mentored and there isn't as much tension as characters, interact with each other. The story reads more ...more
Courtney H.
I really enjoyed Taran Wanderer. Taran grew up quite a bit, which made him more fun to read as a protagonist. I really liked the characters that Alexander introduced. Some were nuanced; some were merely Good (like the people of the Free Commots), but still likeable and for once not bumbling, if still somewhat whimsical.

This book follows Taran as he quests for his parentage. Alexander introduces us to some of his most nuanced, interesting characters yet, such as Craddoc; and Taran himself grows
...more
Ashley
In terms of character development, Taran Wanderer is probably the most impressive of the five Chronicles of Prydain books.

There is no evil to overcome in this one, no one wrong to right, no one to rescue. Taran simply wants to know where he came from, and so he sets off from Caer Dallben with only Gurgi and his faithful steed Melynlass to accompany him and no idea of where to start looking for the secrets to his heritage. Of course, Taran also has some other motives going on here. Mostly he want
...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Of the five books, this affected me most. I felt so much for Taran, his loss, his loneliness, his sufferings. I love the fullness of his characterization.
Andrea
That is some deep stuff. In the fourth book of Prydain Chronicles Taran realizes that he loves Princess Eilowny (who is again missing from the narrative) and goes on a journey of self-discovery. He hopes to be of noble birth, so he can propose marriage to the princess, thinking that an assistant pig-keeper would not be worthy of her hand. What he gets though is a lesson in self-worth, societal prejudices, and misconceptions about human nature. Can facilitate some great philosophical discussions ...more
Zezee
Another adventure in the Chronicles of Prydain series. This time, Taran embarks on a quest to discover who he is and where he’s from.

Quick summary:

This installment picks up shortly after The Castle of Llyr. Eilonwy is still on the Isle of Mona learning to be a lady but Taran is back at Caer Dallben. He misses Eilonwy and wants to be worthy of her hand so he begins to inquire about his origins. He first sets out for the Marshes of Morva because who better to tell him who he is if not Orddu, Orwen
...more
Jan-Maat
Nice coming of age story that marks a change from the other books in the series. I'd say it was reasonably free standing, but then I'm the kind of person who regards starting watching a film from the middle as a challenge rather than an impediment. Here the adopted Taran wants to find out about himself and has a series of adventures culminating in accepting himself without having to have noble ancestors to make life worth living.

The journey towards this destination is made up by Wanderjahr round
...more
Ensiform
The fourth book in the Chronicles of Prydain. Taran, despairing that he will ever know himself, leaves Caer Dallben with Gurgi to find the Mirror of Llunet, which will show himself as he truly is. Taran meets greedy cantrev lords, aids a generous king, is taken captive by a mad wizard, and apprentices himself to a smith, a weaver, and a potter.

In some ways, this is the weakest of the books, being a series of only occasionally suspenseful events, with little in the way on conflict or climax, and
...more
Ren the Unclean
Oct 11, 2007 Ren the Unclean rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
Shelves: fantasy
I really liked this book. It, along with The Black Cauldron, is probably my favorite in the series so far.

Taran Wanderer focuses entirely on Taran as he struggles to find out where he comes from and who his parents are. It is uniquely written, as each chapter covers (more or less) one leg of his journey, as he confronts some problem, learns from it, and continues his journey. It is very satisfying to see Taran do things right and succeed in everything he does through his own wit, rather than bei
...more
Claire
REVIEW WIP

Ah, that's better. We're back up to the maturity level of The Black Cauldron, but the struggle leans much more to the internal end of the spectrum than the external. While Taran learns about the many different types of people (in his world and therefore in ours), he continues to wonder what type of person HE is, and how he fits into the grand scheme of things. The ending, while a bit predictable (view spoiler)
...more
X
A quick, mostly exciting read. It's not my favorite in the series mostly due to the lack of all my favorite characters, but Alexander's writing is still good and the story is enjoyable.
Ivan
This may be my favorite in the series thus far. I felt we got to know Taran much better in this book, which is appropriate as Taran finds himself. There are a number of "meaning of life" paragraphs that I highlighted. I've let months go between reading each book, but feel I must launch right in to the last The High King. Is it as good as Narnia? Does it have to be? I think it will appeal to the same readers.
Michelle O'Leary
Taran Wanderer is the fourth installment of Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain series. This book was one moral lesson after another, meant to mature the central character Taran. The main plot of the series, the battle of good vs. evil in the fight against the uber-evil Arawn remained static. In my opinion, the series could have done without this book entirely, or possibly condensed it into the first couple chapters of the last book. If you want to know how kids feel about this sort of r ...more
Sage T.
I read Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander
Taran has gone through many quests and tough times. He is working at Caer Dallben when he wonders who his parents are. He now goes on a great journey to discover who his parents are.
A couple of the many problems Taran faces are that Taran finds Doli, who has been turned into a frog, he sees war going on between two kings and a king trying to stop it, and he makes a blade that looks ugly but is extremely strong.
My favorite character was Gurgi because he is
...more
Jennifer Zartman
I read these chronicles many years ago, but I read them out of order. I started with Taran Wanderer, read The High King, then filled in the blanks. At the time I was reading through lists of recommended reading for young people, and liked the Welsh flavor and the good lessons wrapped in action. My kids all really enjoyed the series as well.

This time I've read the series in order and at a quick pace. I would still recommend them to young people, though I find myself less satisfied than when I re
...more
Andy
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
...more
Julianne
I re-read all of the Chronicles of Prydain recently and surprised myself by liking this book the most. I know that wasn't the case in my first reading, back when I was in middle school. In fact, if memory serves, this was probably my least favorite, a long slog a had to get through before diving into the treats in the final book.

Now that I'm older and wiser...or maybe now that I have a longer attention span and a greater appreciation for the difficulties of "scratching for my own worms," I reall
...more
Joseph Oh
Lloyd Alexander's fourth book, Taran Wanderer, is one of the best books in the Prydain Chronicles. I enjoy this book because of how Taran, the main character of the entire series, finally decides to venture out of Caer Dallben to discover if he had noble blood or just some lowly farmer. The real value and interest about the book is that Taran, and the reader, will learn some of life's hardships and values.

One example comes from Hevvyd the smith, “Life is a forge, say I!” telling Taran that life
...more
Robert Beveridge
Lloyd Alexander, Taran Wanderer (Henry Holt, 1967)

Alexander's fourth journey into the world of Prydain is a very different beast from its predecessors; the darker turn taken very slightly in The Castle of Llyr is sharpened here, and much more to the forefront. In this one, Taran, who has always wondered about his parentage, leaves Caer Dallben on a quest to find out who he truly is. Only Gurgi goes with him, though the two do meet up with an old friend or two eventually. Taran learns where he ma
...more
Eugenia
5/5 estrellas

Este libro fue muchísimo más maduro que el resto. Hubo una partesita que hasta se me llenaron los ojos de lágrimas. Esta hecho de manera distinta, pero me ha encantado igual. No quiero leer y a la vez si, el último
Natasha
May 24, 2009 Natasha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Natasha by: Velinda
The Pilgrim's Progress for children.

This is my second time through this book--the first time since my childhood. I remember thinking this was the only book in the Chronicles of Prydain that bordered on boring. But reading it as an adult I got the symbolism and it ranks up there with Bunyan's.

There are so many lessons to be learned by the reader along with the protagonist. While Taran searches for his parentage hoping to find himself to be high-born, he learns more about himself than could ever
...more
Jessica
You know that part about 4/5 through the movie when the plot turns into a montage? Lots of important events and preparation are tossed together in a few minutes of film short-hand showing our characters getting ready for the climactic scene.

Taran Wanderer is the montage scene of the Prydain Chronicles. We see our hero growing up, learning life lessons, maturing. But, really, very little actually happens. Lloyd Alexander claims that each of the novels can be read outside of the series as a whole
...more
Jeremy Preacher
Taran Wanderer is by far my favorite of the Prydain books, and right up there with my favorite children's books ever. It's an episodic adventure, mostly small in scope - there are fights with bandits, an evil enchanter, and smalltime nobility of dubious morals, but no great evil threatens the land. The focus is on Taran's struggle to find an identity as an adult, beginning with his search for his parents.

This always resonated particularly well with me. I'm adopted, and while I have a loving and
...more
Aelvana
Taran finally gives in to his curiosity regarding his own lineage, and with Dallben's blessing he goes off to seek his parents. With Gurgi at his side, he sets out determined to let nothing stand in his way. With each new conflict, each new friend or foe, he learns more about being a man, but moves no closer to his parents. But does he want the truth? For when he finds it, he finds a test harder than any he's had yet to face.

Taran has lost most of the impetuousness of his youth and moves fully i
...more
Magali
As a grand adventure, the type that Taran dreamed of in The Book of Three, this book is a disappointment; not unlike our protagonist, as a thirteen-year old I was bored and dissatisfied with this book and hurried to finish it and get on to the next epic quest. But as a coming-of-age story, and the point in the series where Taran comes into his own, it is a masterpiece, and when I finish it nowadays I often have to pause a moment to wipe away a tear and process everything that I just read.

Taran
...more
CJ
I remembered about halfway through that this had been my favourite of the series the two other times I'd read it (starting when I was I think 11). This is definitely the dark book in the series, but not because of the undead in the second book, or the abuse and kidnapping in the third. No, this book is dark because it showed (without being pathetic) what the common folk of Prydain went through on a daily basis, and not just in their work, but in what they had to deal with from warlords and ruffi ...more
Tzu-Mainn Chen
The fourth book in the Prydain series is an odd one. In it, the orphan Taran leaves his home at Caer Dallben to seek his true parentage. He hopes to discover noble heritage, as he believes that will make him worthy of the hand of Princess Eilowny.

+/- this book reads very differently as an adult than it did as a child. perhaps it's just me, but the theme of "discovering who you are" resonates very strongly now, and not at all when i was small

+/- unlike the other books in the series, there is no r
...more
Aleksandar Janjic
Од свих књига о Тарану, ова је најрастрзанија и најдезоријентисанија. Почетак обећава да ће бити нешто слично као у претходним књигама - наиме Таран се упути у потрагу за својим идентитетом, надајући се да је можда племенитог поријекла (мада је нејасно на основу чега уопште гаји таква надања), е не би ли могао да смува принцезу Ајлонви - међутим онда све то оде на страну и почну да се дешавају неке сасвим десете ствари.
Почетак има огроман плус, пошто се одмах појављују моје омиљене вјештице из
...more
Mitchell
A quest to find one's self. And yet this one is a bit different and a nice growth in this series. And yet it has the least echo of any of the Mabinogion of any of the books in this series so far. Almost as though the author realized the story was the important part. The supporting cast has mostly been stripped away and it was time for Taran to actually figure out who he was. This one was not perfect, but it was worth reading.
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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)
  • The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5)
The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain #1) The Black Cauldron (The Chronicles of Prydain #2) The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5) The Castle of Llyr (The Chronicles of Prydain #3) Time Cat

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“Life's a forge! Yes, and hammer and anvil, too! You'll be roasted, smelted, and pounded, and you'll scarce know what's happening to you. But stand boldly to it! Metal's worthless till it's shaped and tempered! More labor than luck. Face the pounding, don't fear the proving; and you'll stand well against any hammer and anvil.” 66 likes
“Llonio said life was a net for luck; to Hevydd the Smith life was a forge; and to Dwyvach the Weaver-Woman a loom. They spoke truly, for it is all of these. But you,' Taran said, his eyes meeting the potter's, 'you have shown me life is one thing more. It is clay to be shaped, as raw clay on a potter's wheel.” 32 likes
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