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Taran Wanderer

(The Chronicles of Prydain #4)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  39,054 ratings  ·  1,097 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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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  39,054 ratings  ·  1,097 reviews

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My personal favorite in “The Chronicles of Prydain” is, no contest, “Taran Wanderer”. It doesn’t have a whole lot of swashbuckling action and gallantry, but as I've reread the books through the years, I've come to see it as the key to the series, and what lifts it into the realm of classics. The core of this series has always been Taran’s growth from a somewhat foolish and hapless boy into a man, and with each consecutive book he learns a little more about himself and the world around him. This ...more
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.

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
Spencer Orey
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really liked this one! I missed the princess, but the adventures of Taran were interesting and gave a lot to think about.
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 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.
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
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.
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
Michael Sorbello
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Struggling to find a sense of purpose in the world, Taran separates from his crew to do a bit of soul searching. He searches for his noble or common lineage in the eastern regions of Prydain, far from both the realm and forces of Arawn and the demesne of the High King. Along the way, he meets many people, learns new skills and crafts, and confronts some rough characters.

The direction of the plot had trouble catching my attention at first, but the entire second half of the book was the best mater
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
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
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite of the five books. Somewhat seasoned by his previous adventures, Taran sets off to find out who he is. Like so many, he thinks his parentage has something to do with it. He's offered some easy answers, but continues to look & in the process meets some interesting people & learns several crafts. He learns them well enough to learn the basics & that he doesn't have the calling to master them.

Best of all, he learns that a simple bit of iron, cloth, or clay pot isn't simple at a
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prydain
This is the moment where Taran, and this series, grows up.

Taran Wanderer is a wondrous book, and I enjoyed it immensely. I can understand, however, why children (or adults) who adored the first three books in the Prydain series may be thrown off by it, as it doesn't really follow the same path as the others. As the title suggests, Taran (and subsequently the reader) are wandering for the majority of the story. This is also by far the darkest book yet in the series.

After the events in The Castle
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
Better than the Lord of the Rings series, in my opinion. Not that LOTR is bad, but sometimes that series could really drag out. The Prydain books on the other hand are more brisk, which will be appealing to some readers. Four books down, one more to go. Yay!
Joaquin Mejia
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Barb Middleton
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, fantasy
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
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
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
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
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best of the series so far. Easily. Taran is growing up and so is the series. This story reads like a little like a fable, even while holding many of the same fantasy journey elements of the previous three installments. The last few chapters were exceptionally perfect, and I personally think that the chapter titled "The Weir" is one of the favorite pieces of literature I've read recently. I have a feeling that others might feel the same way about one of the other encounters before or after. And t ...more
Juho Pohjalainen
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Taran gets some time off from saving his friends or detroying evil artifacts, and decides to spend that time to go on a personal quest of discovery, finding out more about himself and what his place in the world might be. There's not much at stake, world-wise: it's all very personal and down-to-earth and, with a cast of new and colorful characters, works great enough. Taran learns a lot, but also shows himself pretty clever from the beginning.

Well-written, tense, often funny, but I miss Eilonwy
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
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
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
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
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Phillip Murrell
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
My favorite of the Prydain books! It really added a lot of depth to Taran (without sacrificing my favorite character in Gurgi). It read more like a collection of short stories versus an epic one. I greatly enjoyed this. The stakes were the lowest they possibly could be. Not every day has to be filled with life and death choices (though a few still showed up on the pages), and definitely not at a scale that will define the fate of the world/kingdom/country/universe/etc. I'm so excited to start th ...more
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... ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love these as audiobooks.

Even though it took me several days to finish it, I loved the themes in this book the most. This series is so unique and much different than other fantasy novels I've encountered. Definitely recommend.
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. ...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 book ...more

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.” 96 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.” 55 likes
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