Friday, July 6, 2018

The Book Series You're Missing Out On: The Prydain Chronicles in Review

Reading these books feels like coming home. To me, that stands out more than anything else. I haven't felt that feeling since Harry Potter, or maybe with Percy Jackson. But this series moved my heart in a way that even those beloved books did not. This is storytelling at it's finest, high fantasy at its peak, and something that you are all missing out on. Just trust me this one time when I recommend something. If you enjoy fantasy, if you just enjoy a good story, then pick these ones up. Trust me, you're in for one hell of a ride that you won't regret.

the characters

Is this my favorite part? Maybe. I can't pronounce half of their names, but nevertheless, these characters have carved their mark on my book-loving heart. Taran, our hero extraordinaire, is just a kid when we first meet him. He's a bit naive and has aspirations of being a hero and moving up in the world. But as he grows older, his character grows with him, transforming into someone so kind and humble that it nearly breaks my heart.

Lloyd Alexander knows how to execute character development done right. To not only grow in maturity and kindness, but to allow your characters to fail and learn is magical to witness. These are the kinds of characters you cry over (and you will) and root for. 

Our strong female character, Eilonwy (pronounced: eye-LAHN-wee), is spunk personified. She is a fiery force to be reckoned with, and always has something sassy to say. I identify with her, as I think a lot of girls do. As for the rest of the companions, including a failed bard turned wanderer and a rhyming animal/human, you'll find no shortage of friendship, humor, love, and even a little bit of magic. I fell in love with all of them, as if they were my own flesh and blood friends. 

the story

This story stands the test of time. In fifty years, a hundred years, I think people will still be reading it. I mean, it's already over 50 and is still acclaimed as one of the best children's/middle grade book series of all time. Although, this is one of those rare cases where I don't think there's any age bracket. You can love these at 7, 17 (like me), or 70. A book like this speaks through generations.  It is classic high fantasy, the kind that you can see the impact of in books from today. This is the kind of tale that inspires.There's magic, whimsy, honor, heartbreak, and it's the kind of story I want to reread again the moment I put it down. 

the writing

Lloyd Alexander doesn't try to win you over with fanciful, flowery language. He lets the story tell itself. The story can speak for itself, the characters, the magical land of Prydain, and the adventures that it holds. Reading these books is exploring magic, music, and your own heart. You can imagine the world and its inhabitants as if it were real, a vivid and hopeful endeavor filled with danger, enchantresses, and dark kings. 

the reason

The reason I love this series to the depth that I do is not one that can be described in one sentence, or paragraph, or even a whole review. The Chronicles of Prydain is meaningful to me, and I can't imagine not wanting to sit down with a cup of tea and revisit it days or years from now. It is certainly the best series I have read in a long time, because while each book can stand on its own, as a cohesive whole, the series is just magic. 

Publication Date: March 12, 1964
Publisher: Square Fish
Pages: 190
Series: The Chronicles of Prydain #1
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: Taran wanted to be a hero, and looking after a pig wasn't exactly heroic, even though Hen Wen was an oracular pig. But the day that Hen Wen vanished, Taran was led into an enchanting and perilous world. With his band of followers, he confronted the Horned King and his terrible Cauldron-Born. These were the forces of evil, and only Hen Wen knew the secret of keeping the kingdom of Prydain safe from them. But who would find her first?

This one is dedicated to my dad, who has always supported me and my love of reading, and who introduced me to this wonderful series that will stay in my heart for years to come. 


  1. Hmm, I haven't heard of these ones! Looks good though

    1. It's a pretty old series! They were published in the sixties, so my dad grew up reading them and passed them down to me. I wish more people would know about them, they are truly magical.