These enchanted me in grade school. I read them alongside "The Hobbit" and found them much more engaging than the Narnia series, and a great preparation for medieval literature and Tolkien's trilogy. Similar to Tolkien, Alexander grounded his works in a "real" terrain, this time the Welsh peninsula, and his stories explore Celtic themes with a rich depth and a strong grasp on landscape as well as character. There's humor, love, and maturity, suitable for young people moving up from childhood to teen challenges. And, this Welsh theme reminds me to finally get to Evangeline Walton's Mabinogion Tetralogy, a grownup retelling of those tales from mythology on this same "Prydain," that is, protoBritain.
Absolutely one of my favorite fantasy series (and probably in my top five fantasy series alongside the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, and J.K. Rowling), Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain is a wonderful quintet of books that detail the adventures of Taran and his allies. The books were published one each year from 1964-1968 and were inspired in part by the epic fantasies of Tolkien and Lewis, but also in part by the Welsh and Celtic mythology found in … more
The Chronicles of Prydain (sometimes given as The Prydain Chronicles) is a five-volume series of children's fantasy novels by author Lloyd Alexander. First published from 1964–1968, the stories detail the adventures of a young man named Taran, who is awarded the honor of Assistant Pig-Keeper but dreams of being a grand hero, and his companions Princess Eilonwy, Fflewddur Fflam the wandering bard and king, a feral yet gentle creature called Gurgi, and a dwarf named Doli. Since a recurring facet of the series is the progression from youth to maturity, particularly prominent in Taran Wanderer, the series could be considered a bildungsroman.
In the early 2000s, an unabridged audiobook production of the series was produced by Listening Library, narrated by James Langton, with author's notes read by Lloyd Alexander.
The Black Cauldron, an animated film based on the books, was released by the Walt Disney Company in 1985.