Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  20,856 ratings  ·  512 reviews
Great evil threatens the peaceful land of Prydain. Taran, a lowly Assistant Pig Keeper, must battle a diabolical fiend or face the destruction of his beloved home. Accompanied by a host of companions as loyal as they are strange, Taran discovers that being a hero means much more than facing danger. His courageous heart struggles with questions of good and evil, nobility an...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Square Fish (first published November 1967)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Taran Wanderer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Taran Wanderer

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingSwitch! The Lost Kingdoms of Karibu by Karen  PrinceCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Best Children's Fantasy
64th out of 482 books — 714 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Outsiders by S.E. HintonCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken KeseyA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Best Books of the Decade: 1960's
115th out of 622 books — 756 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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
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.
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
This book got more interesting to me than the first three. It starts out with some simple and largely unbelievable adventure stuff and turns into a deeper search by the main characters Taran to figure out who he is. Taran begins to learn that who he is defined more by what he chooses to do with himself than it is by what his lineage is. This is very similar to one of the main messages of the Disney movie Aladdin, but it comes through more poignantly to me in this book than it did in Aladdin. I h...more
There are some parts of this book that I really, really like. And there are some parts that make me want to reach into my cd player and strangle Taran to death. Good times. I'm really glad he becomes less of a whiner by the end of the book.
This book chronicled my favorite part of the bildungsroman - the sometimes meandering journey toward self-realization, with the accompanying maturation/gaining of skills. Much better executed and less predictable than the rest of the series.
Steve Hemmeke

I read the first three of this series out loud to the kids, but quit half way through this one - a rarity. It was that... blah. We finished it separately, but the younger ones lost interest.

Not bad, just boring. The older kids finished it, and I'm looking forward to the last of the series, which is a Newberry Award winner.

Taran sets off to discover who he is. He learns several trades. The values of initiative and strength to serve others comes through strongly. Also, being able to take hard...more
Charity (CJ)
Taran Wanderer is quite a bit different from the other books in the series. Taran's quest in this one is much more personal, and he does most of it with only Gurgi by his side. He travels about, engaging in Karate Kid-style training and learning lessons that go beyond the trades that he learns.

Although it seemed a little obvious and a tad contrived, the lesson of this book is one that I'm glad that my children are hearing, that character and self-worth aren't things we're born with but things we...more
It went well with the series, but was one of those books that made me think "when will this ever end?"
I wish the adventures that Taran ran across in this book was found in the previous books in this series. It was almost like a montague that you see in movies. At the end of the book, Taran needed to find out about himself and so in less than 50 pages, he quickly learns two (almost three) new skills.

This book was needed in the series. Alexander read my future mind when writing this book. We needed to know more about Taran and what his story was. I can understand not covering this entirely in the...more
This is an absolutely incredible book, one that is guaranteed to give you a strong, irreversible dose of bookjoy. A compelling story about a teenage boy out to discover the hidden secrets of his past to determine the uncertainty of his future, it features used self-discovery themes that are engulfed in a new, honest approach, under the cover of a blend of Welsh mythology and Lloyd Alexander's creative imagination. This book will always hold a special place in my heart, for its well-written style...more
Here we get a book all about the boys. It a sort of book on the inner journey of Taran. While many of the things in the book are quite simplistic, we do get a better glimpse of who Taran is as a character. Until now, I don't think we have gotten as thorough a glimpse as we do in this book. We hear very little about Princess Eilonwy, but that's probably a relief for the author since he doesn't need to figure out what he can allow or forbid her to do or where to insert her so that she isn't ignore...more
I made it through Book 4 of the Chronicles of Prydain. Only one more to go and I can officially discard the shame of having never read one of the most lauded series in children's literature. ;) This book is, as the title suggests, all about Taran ... and the wandering he does. The pacing and plotting felt pretty slow throughout, but I'm hoping this dedicated search for self-worth means the fifth book will have a little more adventure and a little less Assistant Pig-Keeper identity crisis.

What I...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nightbirds on Nantucket (The Wolves Chronicles, #3)
  • The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4)
  • Knight's Castle (Tales of Magic, #2)
  • The Basilisk’s Lair (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, #2)
  • The Squire, His Knight, and His Lady (The Squire's Tales, #2)
  • Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2)
  • Wren's War (Wren, #3)
  • The River at Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #3)
  • The Hero and the Crown (Damar, #1)
  • Rinkitink in Oz (Oz, #10)
  • Juniper (Doran, #2)
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 Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain #1) The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5) The Castle of Llyr (The Chronicles of Prydain #3) Time Cat

Share This Book

“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.” 54 likes
“Trust your luck, Taran Wanderer. But don't forget to put out your nets!” 23 likes
More quotes…