The Prydain Chronicles
by Lloyd Alexander
The first official Walt Disney feature-length animation that ever earned a PG rating was The Black Cauldron
, based not so much on the book by that name as on the entire Prydain
series by Philadelphia-based author Lloyd Alexander. Loosely modeled on Welsh mythology, the Prydain Chronicles
tell the adventures of an Assistant Pig-Keeper named Taran, as he grows from boyhood into manhood. In five magnificent books, Taran finds his true place in the world, as well as good friends, true love, and the means of preventing evil from destroying his world. He also learns that war isn't particularly glorious, and all about sacrifice and loss. This funny, poignant, exciting series has a great deal in common with J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
. The five books of Prydain
, written in the 1960s, are The Book of Three
, The Black Cauldron
(a Newbery Honor Book), The Castle of Llyr
, Taran Wanderer
, and The High King
(winner of the Newbery Medal of 1969).
Recommended Age: 10+
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