The Castle of Llyr
by Lloyd Alexander
The third book in The Prydain Chronicles
again involves young Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his loyal companions, in a somewhat more romantic adventure. Each of the books shows Taran a little older and wiser. He began as a boy who dreamed of adventure and glory and honor in battle, and is developing into a man who knows that honor is not won on the battlefield. Men of honor are sometimes needed there, to be sure, to defend good against evil.
In this story the Princess Eilonwy, who was really quite a little girl when Taran rescued her from the fortress of Achren in the first book, has grown into what used to be called a "young lady" in need of finishing in the manners of ladyhood. So the aged enchanter Dallben has decided to send her to the Isle of Mona, where she can get her manners from the royal court of King Rhuddlum.
Taran, who has begun to realize he is in love with Eilonwy, is at first saddened, then alarmed as he finds out that she is to be betrothed to the gawky, clumsy, and in all ways useless Prince Rhun. He is finally horrified when Eilonwy is abducted by the evil Steward Magg and the even eviller (gasp! shock!) enchantress Achren. Aided by faithful wild-man-of-the-forest Gurgi, humurous yet perilous bard Fflewddur Flam, the hapless Prince Rhun, and the ever-dependable warrior-prince Gwydion, Taran goes on a gallant quest to save his princess only (perhaps) to face heartbreak at the end.
On the way the companions encounter a giant music-loving cat named Llyan, a self-pitying giant human named Glew, and many other intrigues and dangers. Like all of the Prydain books it is full of adventure, danger, humor, and camraderie, plus a good dose of romance.
Recommended Age: 10+
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