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Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  33,031 Ratings  ·  881 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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Paul Christensen
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Taran Wanderer
As Taran goes enquiring for his parentage,
To find the deepest secrets of his heritage,

He finds more than he bargains for by far,
As he’s forced to meet his inner self and spar

With the riddle of what heritage actually means;
Unexpected is the answer that he gleans.

Greybeard by Paul Christensen
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain, #4), Lloyd Alexander
The Book of Three (1964) is a high fantasy novel by Lloyd Alexander, the first of five volumes in The Chronicles of Prydain. The series follows the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper, a youth raised by Dallben the enchanter, as he nears manhood while helping to resist the forces of Arawn Death-Lord. In 2012 The Book of Three was ranked number 18 among all-time best children's novels in a survey published by School Libra
...more
Ivan
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

It's nice fairytale-like story that reminds me of stories I read as kid early in early grades.I think it's ok middle grade read but not much more. Young me would like this book but adult me found it uninteresting. That maybe reasonable but there are some books like Coraline, Graveyard book, Un Lun Dun that both my middle grade self and my adult self would adore.
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.
Michelle Isenhoff
Jul 13, 2012 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
Daniel
Apr 15, 2016 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 :)
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 a Wanderjahr rou
...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The fourth part of the series is, as the author writes in his foreword, the most heroic of all. In this, our beloved pig keeper begins a journey to discover his true origin so that he can stand next to his beloved as an equal. In this journey, we follow the classic pattern of fairy tales and mythological circles, with the hero encountering difficulties, obstacles, dangerous people and overcoming them with his power and wit. Of course, on this trip he meets people who give him valuable advice and ...more
Barb Middleton
Feb 13, 2014 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
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
Courtney H.
Apr 29, 2012 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
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
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, fantasy
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
Joaquin Mejia
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-book
Since I did not get to write reviews for the previous books of "The Chronicles of Prydain" I think I will have to explain a little bit of the story. This series of five books follows a young man called Taran who really wants to be a hero. He dreams of glory, honor, and adventure. But he realizes that heroism is not easy. He learns it the hard way through his adventures in the fantasy land of kings, queens, princes, and princesses called Prydain where he encounters things both wondrous and terrib ...more
Eustacia Tan
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like I mentioned in my review of The Castle of Llyr, I borrowed the remaining books of the Prydain series as soon as I could. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get The Foundling and other Tales of Prydain, but at least I got the last two books of the series!

In Taran Wanderer, Taran decides to leave Caer Dallben and search for this true parentage. Well, the truth is that he’s hoping to find out he’s of noble parentage so that he can ask Eilonwy for her hand in marriage. And so, Taran and Gurgi wander thr
...more
Daniel Polansky
I loved these when I was a kid and it turns out I kinda love them now too. I’m maybe going to write a review for someone, if not I’ll post something longer here.
Lara Mi


“True allegiance is only given willingly.”

Having discovered his feelings for the Princess Eilonwy, Taran, now more than ever, longs to know his parentage. Travelling through all corners of Prydain, his quest leads him to farmers and kings - yet from none can he learn who he truly is.

Unlike the previous instalments, Taran Wanderer does not focus on any particular evil that must be met. In a way, Taran is his own enemy as he, almost aimlessly, travels from place to place. It gives the book a mo
...more
Devyn Duffy
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone except very young children
Recommended to Devyn by: my fourth-grade English teacher
"I've never heard the work complain of who did it, so long as it got done!"

Taran Wanderer, the fourth book in the five-book Prydain Chronicles series, has been my favorite since I first read it as a fourth-grader. While half of the story is adventure in the face of grave danger like in the other books, the other half of the story is more human and real.

Taran is now old enough to realize that it's OK to admit that he likes a girl. Unfortunately, Eilonwy is a princess and is away at princess schoo
...more
Jacob
Apr 28, 2014 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
Ensiform
Apr 14, 2012 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
Melaniemouse
Aug 10, 2015 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
Ren the Unclean
Aug 22, 2007 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
imyril
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books written for children but resonating for adults: the little book of Prydaini parables, full of teachings on finding yourself and growing up well. As a child, I found it frustrating. As an adult, I marvel at it (altho the gloss here is very thin; I’d rather it felt less like a collection of retold myths). It’s an odd lull in the usually rambunctious adventures of an assistant pig keeper, but one that leaves a tear in my eye.
Edward Davies
Jun 08, 2016 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...
KayLynn Zollinger
Nov 18, 2014 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.
X
May 19, 2009 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.
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.
Lylah
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsten
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Prydain book I read as a kid, and it's always been my favorite of the series. Unlike the rest of the series, this is a journey story - Taran has set out on a quest to find out who he is, since his parentage is unknown. The various people he meets along the way all contribute to his growth, and he comes to realize that being himself is enough, and what he does with his life matters more than his unknown origins. From an adult perspective the message delivery is maybe a little h ...more
Rob Brock
The fourth book of the Chronicles of Prydain presents a far more personal journey for Taran, the Assistant Pig Keeper. While the action is not as quick-paced as the other books in the series, the story is deeper and more meaningful than any of the other books so far. Besides the first book in the series, this volume could stand on its own for new readers to the series, but I'd still urge you to read the books in sequence. While I suppose some may take some of the life lessons Taran learns on his ...more
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Lloyd Chudley Alexander 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 in 1969. Alexander's other books ...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)
“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.” 81 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.” 51 likes
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