Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander

Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander

The fourth book in the Chronicles of Prydain finds the hero Taran in a state of frustration. In the last book, he discovered his love for Eilonwy. She is now far away on the island of Mona learning to be a princess. He'd like to marry her but he does not know who his parents are. He fears he will be unworthy of her hand if he is lowly born. He sets off to discover whether he has noble or peasant blood in his veins. Thus Taran, assistant pig-keeper, is transformed into Taran Wanderer. He soon finds out that the Mirror of Llunet (forgotten somewhere in the Cantrevs countryside) reveals one's true identity. He hopes to discover a royal origin so he can marry the princess. But he will have many adventures on his way.

The book moves at a brisk pace from adventure to adventure, slowly building up Taran's character as he learns much more about the world he lives in and consequently about himself. The descriptions are delightful even if some of the names seem unpronounceable. The ending is satisfying except for one hanging plot thread which I hope is resolved in the final book, The High King. I was going to read something else in between but now I'm continuing on to the next volume.

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