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Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4)

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  27,984 Ratings  ·  681 Reviews
Taran is an Assistant Pig-Keeper no longer; he 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 August 24th 1967)
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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
70th out of 602 books — 1,011 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Outsiders by S.E. HintonOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken KeseySlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Best Books of the Decade: 1960's
110th out of 748 books — 1,117 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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.
Daniel
May 11, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
U odnosu na prethodne knige ova je dosta ... mirnija, daje vremena da se diše a i sam fokus nije ni na čemu epskom već pokušaju spoznaje samog sebe. E sada ima malo previše kuknjave za moj ukus ali opet sve je nekako ozbiljnije, manje humora i ima dosta finih rečenica i stvari koje mogu da poteraju na razmišljanje tako da može preporuka.

One more to go :)
Michelle Isenhoff
Jul 13, 2012 Michelle Isenhoff rated it it was amazing
“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
Feb 13, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humor
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.
May 07, 2012 Courtney H. rated it really liked it
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
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
Jacob
May 11, 2016 Jacob rated it liked it
A very strong start that kind of falters, and the pacing is a bit uneven. However, as I read the first half I was reminded how much I enjoy this series and how much a new generation should still read these classics. I'll take one more whack at trying to get my kids interested in a bard with a harp that breaks every time he lies (named Fflewddur Fflam, no less), a hairy person-thing who speaks in rhyming talkings and squawkings, a not-entirely-cooperative-but-yes-entirely-plot-driving semi-intell ...more
Zezee
Nov 09, 2015 Zezee rated it really liked it
As posted on Zezee with Books.

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
...more
Melaniemouse
Aug 10, 2015 Melaniemouse rated it it was ok
I knew just from reading the jacket cover that this was going to be my least favorite of the series. A lot of series have a book like this, where the main character is literally just wondering around the whole time. The plot line is so predictable, and boring. "And now I go to this place, and this happens. And then I go to this place, and this happens. And next I go to this place, where this happens." (Kind of like "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" - my least favorite "Narnia" book...) It really isn' ...more
Ensiform
Apr 14, 2012 Ensiform rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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 really liked it
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
Edward Davies
Jun 13, 2016 Edward Davies rated it really liked it
This was far better than the last few Prydain books, even though towards the end the chapters at times felt like self-contained short stories. It won't be long before I read the concluding book again...
Cristi-Lael
Apr 07, 2016 Cristi-Lael rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
2.75 stars. This was my least favorite book of the series. It rather dragged on and, while Taran learned some good life lessons in it, I found the book unnecessary. However, I still really liked the first 3 books and look forward to the last one in series.
Rosa
Feb 29, 2016 Rosa rated it really liked it
Shelves: multi-reads
My general memory of reading this book when I was a pre-teen was that it was my least favourite of the series. Reading it again though, I'm not sure why that was. My only guess is because it didn't have Eilonwy in it, and therefore became a book about a boy trying to find himself. Which, in my younger years, when I had a lot of required reading for school, seemed to be the point of most literature. And I didn't find reading about boys particularly interesting or something that I could particular ...more
KayLynn Zollinger
Sep 01, 2015 KayLynn Zollinger rated it really liked it
Excellent book. Taran decides he must learn who he is and where he comes from. It's like Buddy the Elf meets community college general education. Except even more awesome, more serious, and less sugary.
Bill Tillman
Another wonderful Prydain tale, learning life's lessons and choices. Another six years have passed, this time I listened to the Audible version. Utterly enjoyable Taran reaches manhood.
X
May 29, 2009 X rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Benjamin Thomas
Mar 13, 2016 Benjamin Thomas rated it it was amazing
In a series like this I am always hesitant to pick a favorite of the bunch because I don’t want to lessen the experience of the others. But in this case…if I were to make an exception…I might just select this fourth book as the best of an excellent series. That’s keeping in mind, of course, that I have yet to read the fifth and final volume.

By the time this novel starts, Taran has quite a few adventures under his belt and has proven his mettle to friends and foes alike. However, he is still just
...more
Metaphorosis
Nov 10, 2015 Metaphorosis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2015-rev
4.5 stars - Metaphorosis Reviews

With his friend Eilonwy off learning about princessing, Assistant Pig Keeper Taran begins to worry about his parentage. With faithful companion Gurgi, he sets off to learn about himself.

There's little in this book that will surprise an experienced adult reader of fantasy. For younger readers, though, Taran Wanderer is a pretty fine book It's a solid discovery adventure that never loses track of the fun, while still being packed full of solid, serious morals about
...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
Ivan
May 25, 2014 Ivan rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 14, 2014 Michelle O'Leary rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-by-me
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.
Nov 29, 2013 Sage T. rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 08, 2013 Jennifer Zartman rated it really liked it
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
Jul 29, 2012 Julianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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
Joseph Oh
Oct 22, 2010 Joseph Oh rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
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
Sep 30, 2009 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
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
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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)

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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.” 67 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.” 41 likes
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