The Chronicles of Prydain Boxed Set (The Chronicles of Prydain #1-5)
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The Chronicles of Prydain Boxed Set (The Chronicles of Prydain #1-5)

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  3,327 ratings  ·  159 reviews
Millions of young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his lively companions as they journey through the magical land of Prydain. First published more than thirty years ago and translated into twenty different languages, Lloyd Alexander's beloved series has become the standard of excellence in fantasy literature for children....more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published September 27th 2007 by Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks (first published 1968)
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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
45th out of 2,198 books — 15,072 voters
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Best Fantasy Series, Trilogies, and Duologies
54th out of 1,573 books — 6,741 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ea Solinas
Lloyd Alexander's "Chronicles of Prydain" have become a classic staple of fantasy literature, a few rungs below "Lord of the Rings" and a few inches down from "Chronicles of Narnia." In this volume, all six books in his series are brought together, showing all of Prydain's beauty, richness, humor and sorrow as one big book.

"The Book of Three" opens with Assistant Pig-Keeper Taran yearning for adventure -- and getting more than he bargains for when he chases the pig into the woods, and is nearly...more
Noni
I just finished reading the whole 5 books in sequence. Each book itself is not long. One book contains between 100-200 pages only. But the journey inside the land of Prydain was certainly a long one.

It began with The Book of Three, where Taran was still a teenage boy, eager to see the world, to become a hero, with his prideful attitude. Along the way, in The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, with all the journeys and events, Taran grew up to become a man, kind, compassionate,...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I read these individually, having bought a boxed set years ago. They tell a wonderful fantasy story, much younger than The Lord of the Rings to which some try to compare it. While I can't say that I find it anywhere near as good as that epic, it is a worthy nominee to the crown of best Youth and YA fantasy. Adults can and I would think that if they are fantasy fans, will enjoy it also. The books are loosely based in Welsh mythology but they don't strain to stay with it and tell a story that's fu...more
Dans Mon arbre
I received this set of books, I believe, back when I was about 9 or 10 years old. 1984.

While I'd been reading for as long as I could remember (my parents insisted we did, and I thank them for that), these books changed reading from something I was expected to do into something I wanted to do. An appetite that still hasn't been sated.

They tell the story of a young boy's journey into manhood within a world of fantasy and kings and knights. The boy longs to be a hero, but in the course of his tria...more
Bonnie
I've been reading these books to my 9-year-old son, and we're both enjoying them. To give you a sense, other favorites of his have been all the Harry Potter books multiple times each, The Hobbit, and recently "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. These books are between Harry Potter and Tolkien in reading level, which I realize is a large gap. Our son, a relatively advanced reader who nevertheless chooses "Takes of a Wimpy Kid" as often as "The Hobbit," could probably read these on his own, once he g...more
Lennon
I was lucky to find this boxed set of books when my mind was the ripe age of ten. They were in the back of an old closet, and by their yellowing pages I knew they had been abandoned by time. I read them all within that first summer, even skipping meals at times, and the characters became my first inspirations for writing. The world Llyod created invited me to disappear into it. I then wrote my first novel the following summer, inspired by these works of art that I still balance upon the tallest...more
Anthony
The Chronicles of Prydain is an epic fantasy series by the late and great fantasy author Lloyd Alexander. To really appreciate his work you must read this series. Think the lord of the rings but on a feudal level, and written for children.

The series contains these stories:

The Book of Three – In which Taran an assistant pig keeper sets off to find a runaway pig that tells the future and ends up on a quest to save Prydain from the forces of evil. He is joined by Princess Eilonwy who possess a stro...more
Amos
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peterwilliam
Re-reading (28 years later) on 12/13/10.
Walter
The Chronicles of Prydain tell the story of young Taran, the Assistant Pig Keeper, who embarks on several adventures to battle evil in the mythical Kingdom of Prydain, a land modeled after Wales. The stories are based on Welsh mythology, but Alexander makes the stories very accessible to modern young readers. The characters in these stories are very well developed - the assistant Pig Keeper who would be a hero, the young lady who is the heiress to a line of magic princesses, the would be bard, a...more
Daniel A.
I first encountered Lloyd Alexander's work—not knowing who he was—when I read his first fantasy novel for young adults, Time Cat. To this day, I have fond memories of that novel of my youth, but when I began reading The Prydain Chronicles, possibly Alexander's most famous work of fantasy for children, I actually didn't make the connection between it and Time Cat; I had originally bought The Prydain Chronicles because I also fondly remembered the largely forgotten animated Disney movie The Black...more
Stefanie
So even though I technically read these as separate books, it seemed somehow disingenuous towards my final book count to rate them all separately. Particularly because I finished one per day basically just in a train ride. Sometimes, public transit is a real boon.

Anyway, these comprise books 2-6 (out of I believe 9 total) books that my dear friend has lent me. Though they're children's books, and though I sometimes long for more darkness and grit, I have to admit I really enjoyed the stories. I'...more
Beth
I fell in love with these books when they were first read aloud to me as a child, and they remain just as wonderful now that I’m an adult. The tale is of adventure and daring, of finding oneself and coming-of-age. But the best thing about these books are their truly unforgettable characters.

The story unfolds in the fantasy realm of Prydain, a world steeped in Welsh mythology. Taran, a young Assistant Pig Keeper (to a very special pig) longs to be a hero, but finds heroism to be quite different...more
sabisteb
Die Taran Reihe wurde ursprünglich vom SWR 2005 für den „Dschungel für Kinder“ produziert. Zunächst waren die CDs einzeln erhältlich und seit 2007 in einer Sammelbox mit allen 5 Teilen der Serie.
„Die Chroniken von Prydain“, wie die Bücher um Taran auch genannt werden, sind Klassiker der Kinderliteratur, die von Lloyd Alexander zwischen 1964-1968 veröffentlicht wurden. Diese Geschichten stehen in der Tradition der Narnia Chroniken und des Herrn der Ringe. Es geht um den klassischen Kampf Gut gege...more
Daria
Technically the edition I read and own. Take my word for it - the Prydain Chronicles are meant to be read as one huge sprawling epic. If I should be so bold I would say that the Prydain Chronicles themselves challenge the Master of all Epics, Tolkien's LOTR. In some cases, I would even say that Prydain is worthier of holding the shining pedestal. Lloyd Alexander has the unique (even among great writers) ability to teach morals and lessons in his tales in a gentle manner; he is simpler in his spe...more
Katharyn
A coming of age tale in an Ancient Nordic Magical setting; Assistant Pig Keeper Taran, along with Princess Eilonwey, animal man Gurgi , and King/want’a-be Bard Fflewddur Flam struggle for the sake of all that is good in a world facing Evil domination.

These books are heavy laden with Nordic Mythology, and such show a high resemblance The Lord of the Rings. Those of you who found the lack of female strength in the Lord of the Rings frustrating, will prefer the Prydain Series (while stronger, also...more
Miz Lee
I found this series in Jr. Hi and read it through with great glee, concern, and pleasure. Years later I bought the series to read to my children using voices for some of the characters. Gurgi came out close to a Cookie Monster/Yoda combo. When Disney made the The Black Cauldron, we went to see it and came out of the film disgusted that it had been so ineptly portrayed. Read the books! They have mystery, action, adventure, evil and good. Laugh, shiver, shake, boo, hiss, and applaud the victory of...more
Kelly Cozy
My brother-in-law bought these for my son for Christmas, at my suggestion. I read this series when I was my son's age and loved them. I'm pleased to report that they hold up very well.

In the mythical land of Prydain, young Taran longs for heroism and adventure. But alas, he's stuck being an Assistant Pig-Keeper (his adopted father, the enchanter Dallben, keeps an oracular pig, Hen Wen). But when Hen Wen runs away and is sought after by the Death Lord Arawn and his henchman the Horned King, and w...more
Kiera Beddes
I desperately want to compare the Prydain chronicles to LOTR but I can't, seeing as I haven't read LOTR yet. But I have seen the movies so based on that experience, I see a lot of similarities. The first book, (The Book of Three) in the series was part of the curriculum in sixth grade, so I remembered reading that. And to spite a kid in my class, I read the last book (The High King) in the series, never returning to them until this summer when I watched the 1985 Disney butchered attempt at portr...more
Erik
I was pretty much minding my own business, plucking the odd Encyclopedia Brown mystery from the elementary school library shelves when my third grade teacher told me to check these out. They began a lifelong affection for fantasy novels, specifically fantasy series.

It's natural to utter the name Tolkein while discussing these books due to numerous parallels between Middle Earth and The Realm of Prydain, not to mention both author's utilization the multi-volume format. Alexander's Prydain series...more
Andrew
These books, alongside The Hobbit, changed the way I saw the world when I was younger. It made me want to travel through woods and forests in search of adventure and action. These books made me who I am. Easily read by children, but should be read by everyone of all ages. One of the few series' that are truly ageless. More should be written this well. Read it.
Michelle
Sep 05, 2011 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All, young or old, male or female, but especially recommended to teen boys
Do you know a boy who is dreamy and longing for adventure, glory, the “freedom” of men, and a name or reputation others look up to? I know a boy like this. Taran of Caer Dallben, Assistant Pig-Keeper, is also such a boy.

The stories in this book move quickly and are well-written. The characters are unique and well-developed. The friendships are true, strong, and loyal. We can all hope for friends such as these.

At the end of the book, Taran has grown into a man and has learned the hard truth of Ad...more
Carol
These books were the "youngest" of the YA fiction I've read, which meant that the story, the characters, and their development were simpler than I'm used to. Nonetheless, I truly enjoyed reading these books. They were utterly charming. And of course, the Wales-inspired setting and the incorporation of elements from Celtic myths was right up my alley. I did think that Taran started off a bit whiny and irritating, but he matured nicely over the course of the books and came out well at the end. I r...more
Keith
When I was young, I loved these stories; enough so that I read my copies into near oblivion, and even managed to arrange multiple interviews with the author, who was kind enough to invite me (and later my sister) into his modest home. When I grew up, I found them a bit flat, perhaps even bordering on naïve, which is not so uncommon for "youth fiction." Now that I am (ahem) middle-aged, I find them to be lovely once again, at least if one can approach them with something of the wondrous, open min...more
E.G. Foley
This series was formative for me as a writer and as a human being! :) Taran and his friends got me through my childhood, and the mystical Welsh setting inspired me decades later to set one of my own novels in Wales. In short, every kid should read the Prydain books before they leave middle school. It's a classic.
Barbara
Mar 30, 2011 Barbara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Barbara by: Thom Manning
This series is a great read. They are a quick read. If you want to know if you like them, book one, "The Book of Three", can stand alone. There will be unanswered questions, but the adventure in the book is complete. Book two, "The Black Cauldron", is also its own adventure although there are still things in the land of Prydain that need to be resolved.

These book do have a dark element to them and sometimes some graphic battle images, but never described in gorey detail. I'm surprised Disney eve...more
Brian King
"I love 'cried' as a dialog tag," cried Mr. Alexander as he read yet another page of his book, "I just can't get enough of it. The next book I write I will use it even more than once or twice per page."

Other than that the extreme repetitive use of 'cried', a casual reader such as myself would have enjoyed the book maybe a little more. Umm, it is like when someone... Well, you know, it's like when someone repeatedly uses the word 'like' or 'ummmm'. Once you hear it, you can't stop focusing on it...more
Lacey
I read the series with my boys and we all thoroughly enjoyed them. I liked that the characters were well developed and made appearances throughout all of the books. Recommended for your young readers!
Stephanie
Jun 28, 2014 Stephanie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Stephanie by: A mystery. Probably a hand-me-down.
Shelves: children-s, fantasy
I read them--all of them? I mostly liked them. I don't remember very much else. Possibly one of the first books I ever read where I had no idea how to pronounce anything.
Stephen Dranger
Aug 03, 2009 Stephen Dranger rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy readers, people who don't mind children's books
Recommended to Stephen by: Isaac
This is probably the best children's fantasy series I've read. The first book (Book of Three) is merely okay (I'd give it 3 stars) but the second book, The Black Cauldron is fantastic and the series just gets better from there.

The series works as a children's book not just by virtue of being simple and easy to read; its themes are inspiring and its morals are in the right place -- none of that "divine right of kings" like Tolkien and none of the misogyny of C.S. Lewis. It also has a real female...more
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED: Reminiscing ... [s] 3 87 Aug 10, 2011 07:09AM  
  • The Dark is Rising Sequence (The Dark is Rising, #1-5)
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1-4)
  • The Mabinogion Tetralogy
  • The Time Quartet Box Set (Time Quartet, #1-4)
  • Merlin
  • King Arthur: Dark Age Warrior and Mythic Hero
  • Tolkien's Ring
  • The Druid Animal Oracle
  • Christian Mythmakers: C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Williams, Dante Alighieri, John Bunyan, Walter Wangerin, Robert Siegel, and Hannah Hurnard
  • The Song of the Lioness Quartet (Song of the Lioness, #1-4)
  • Welsh Fairy Tales
  • The Violet Fairy Book
  • Sea of Death (Greyhawk: Gord the Rogue, #1)
  • Darkin: A Journey East
  • Faery Swap
  • Dark Magic (The Godwars, #2)
  • The Earthsea Trilogy
  • The Abhorsen Trilogy Box Set (Abhorsen, #1-3)
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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 Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain #1) The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5) Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4) The Castle of Llyr (The Chronicles of Prydain #3)

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