Drew Graham's Reviews > The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain

The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
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Apr 25, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: me, re-read
Read from March 16 to 18, 2012

Reread > 14 April 2016 - 19 April 2016

This took me a lot longer to re-read than I would have liked (darn busy weekends), but I still enjoyed it a lot. I remember wishing there had been a little more backstory behind some of the tales, and also somehow that it featured Taran and Eilonwy and Gurgi somehow, but in the end it's more Prydain and it just adds that much more depth to the world and history, so I'm totally down.

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The land of Prydain is home to many legends and stories, and not only those contained in the five books that comprise The Chronicles of Prydain. This book presents eight stories of the history and legends of Lloyd Alexander's mythical land, such as the origin of Dallben's magical powers and how he came to possess The Book of Three, some of the history of the sword Dyrnwyn, young Coll's journey to save and protect Hen Wen, and the story behind Fflewddur Fflam's magical harp.

Ever since I re-read this series last year I have wanted to read this companion volume of short stories. Lloyd Alexander's writing is as stellar as ever, and his characters as charming. It's nice that he responded to the fans by giving them a little bit more Prydain when they evidently so adamantly requested it. I confess I was the slightest bit disappointed with some of the stories I so looked forward to reading, as some of them seemed not to really explain the origin of things, or how they came to be, just how they came to play as regards the characters in the Chronicles (like, it doesn't actually explain where or how the Book of Three came to be, just how Dallben came by it; or exactly how or when Dyrnwyn was made, just its significance in Prydain history; or how Hen Wen came to be special in the first place, only that she IS special and has been desired for her powers by many; or why or how the harp reacts to fibs in the way it does, only how it came to Fflewddur). In some ways they aren't origin stories as much as further tales of Prydain, fleshing out the characters and the world to give a little more meaning to the events that came in the chronologically later Chronicles. Still, they were really fun to read, and it was so nice to go back to Prydain for a little while. There are some morality play and animal-based fable type stories too.

This slender book of short stories was delightful. It has a little bit of everything, from romance to history, from magic to warfare. It was so great to go back to Prydain for a short time, and although these tales didn't always get all the way to the root of some of the legendary elements of Lloyd Alexander's series, like I rather expected and/or hoped, it's nice to get a little more of a look at the stories and backstories behind the characters and world.
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04/25 marked as: read
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