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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully presented gem of children's fantasy., 13 Dec. 2011
By 
Shaun Horrigan "Shaun" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
Following the tale of Assistant Pig-Keeper, Taran, from his boyhood dreams of adventure and heroism, to him carrying the fate of the entire land of Prydain on his shoulders as a young man, these five books are truly one of the real gems of children's literature. In a tale of valour, friendship, sacrifice, and also love, wit and charm, Taran learns what it means to be a true hero.

This boxed set is beautifully presented with all of the five books having beautifully illustrated covers, my favourite of which is the cover to Taran Wanderer which has an amazing amount of detail. The books are supplied in a sturdy box and you also get a fully illustrated map of the land of Prydain. I have uploaded a picture of the box contents so you can see for yourself just how gorgeous this set looks.

I won't go into any depth here about each of the five stories as I have reviewed them each separately under their individual titles, but what I will say is that I absolutely loved every one of them!

The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain)
The Black Cauldron (Chronicles of Prydain)
The Castle of Llyr (Chronicles of Prydain)
Taran Wanderer (Chronicles of Prydain)
The High King (Chronicles of Prydain)

Overall: 5 stars - A really gorgeous boxed set of one of the classics of children's fantasy that I somehow missed when I was growing up. This boxed set would make a beautiful gift to any child who loves reading, or to any adult who loves fantasy. Very highly recommended indeed.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic chronicles, 26 Aug. 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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 run down by a sinister horned rider. Soon he teams up with a wandering king-minstrel, a sharp-tongued princess and a furry creature called Gurgi to save Prydain from the power of the Horned King.

"The Black Cauldron" has Taran and the others setting out to destroy Arawn Deathlord's evil cauldron, which turns dead men into unkillable zombies. But other forces are after the cauldron, including three peculiar witches who insist on trading something for the cauldron. What is worse, the company faces treachery from someone in their own camp...

"The Castle of Llyr" ties up some loose ends from the first book, as Princess Eilonwy is sent to the isle of Mona to become a fine lady. But she has barely arrived when she is kidnapped by a minion of the evil enchantress Achren, her "aunt." Taran sets out to save her, but must team up with the young man who wishes to marry Eilonwy -- even though Taran is rapidly falling in love with her.

"Taran Wanderer" has Taran setting out to discover his past, since he feels he can't ask Eilonwy to marry him if he is lowborn. With only Gurgi at his side, he encounters evil wizards, malevolent bandits, and finally learns that his father just might be a shepherd... until a new revelation leads him to learn of his true worth.

"The High King" wraps up the saga, with Taran returning home. But no sooner has he arrived than he learns that noble Prince Gwydion has been half-killed -- and the magical sword Dyrnwyn has been stolen by Arawn Deathlord. Now the heroes set out one and for all to attack Arawn's stronghold and get back the sword -- but how can they defeat a deathless army and a shapeshifting enemy?

Finally, "The Foundling" fills in a few of the gaps with short stories that illustrate the backstory of the Prydain novels. Among the stories are the tragic history of Dyrnwyn, how the wizard Dallben was reared by the three witches (and where he got the Book of Three), and the love story of Eilonwy's parents.

Take two parts "Lord of the Rings," add a bit more humor and comedy, and stir in bits and pieces of Welsh mythology. That pretty much sums up the Prydain Chronicles, which is one of the rare series that is meant for kids, but is as rich an experience for adults. Even better, if they know the origins of the old legends and myths that make up the edges of these stories. Alexander populates this little world with evil enchantresses, deathless warriors, eager teenagers and talking crows, all the while coming up with an original storyline that doesn't smack of lifted legends.

In a sense, the whole series is a coming-of-age story, where Taran learns wisdom, maturity, loss and love. Oh yeah, and that that Chinese curse about interesting times is quite correct. Princess Eilonwy and the bard-king Fflewddur Fflam add a bit of comic relief, but they are also strong characters in their own right, as is the fuzzy sidekick Gurgi, who goes from being an annoyance to a loyal and lovable friend.

"The Chronicles of Prydain" are fantasy at its best, mingling myth and legend with a fast-paced plot and endearingly quirky characters. Definitely not something to miss.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant-loved the chronicals since I first read them, 22 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
I first read the Chronicals of Prydain 10 years ago when I was 7 and I instantly fell in love with them.They are classics and should be publicised equally as much as other fantasy series such as the 'Chronicals of Narnia'and the 'Harry Potter'books.This is the first time that I have heard of a combined edition and I am very glad,even though I haven't seen the cover,I feel sure that the previous lack of popularity of the wonderful books is due to the appaling Disney adaption,'The Black Cauldron' and the subsequent editions of the chronicals with such garish covers that no self-respecting child would have been seen with them in public.Finally a version that can be related to by the over fives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb storytelling, 5 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
Having read these books as a child & having enjoyed the animated Black Cauldron when I saw this set I couldn't resist! Purchased on the pretence of being for my 2 lads they haven't even read them yet as I've been hogging them. I still love them 25 years after reading them first. I'd say any kids should read these and I'm sure mums & dads would love it too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing books, 14 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
A sweet and big coming-of-age tale. Each book brings something to the whole without ever tackling the same themes and without being the same as the one before. A fantastic saga, that lets the reader wonder if the story of Taran could not be is own, or the one of each and everyone of us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant children's fantasy fiction, 31 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
I'm sure the reason why I'm so hooked on Tolkien, Feist, Donaldson and Eddings is because my mother started me off with the Prydain Chronicles when I was young. I was completely enthralled, and I wanted to be the princess Eilonwy. A brilliant way to start a budding fantasy fiction fan, with lots of intrigue, swords, magic, etc. Highly recommended, and one of the volumes won the Newbery Award for children's fiction in 1969.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prydain, 27 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
A fantastic series, full of excitement and adventure, great humor through out and a cast of wonderful and very loveable characters. The myth's and magic of the series is so compelling and it doesn't matter if you're child or an adult you will fall in love with the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful timeless funny quest series., 10 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
Why this series isn't more popular in the UK I don't know. It has strong female and male heroes (which is rare enough), wonderful prose, a serious quest and some hilarious minor characters. Buy it for the child who can't think what to read after Harry Potter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book that should be rated with other good books, 26 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
I found this book dumped in the back of a shelf on my school library. I soon as I saw it I fell in love with it. I would recommend this book to any young reager wishing to bacome a great author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars childhood revisited, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: The Chronicles of Prydain (Paperback)
I first read these as a child back in the eighties delighted to rediscover these gems just as good as I remember very pleasing to read once more
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The Chronicles of Prydain
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (Paperback - 25 Oct. 2011)
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