The Black Cauldron (Chronicles of Prydain Series #2)

( 56 )

Overview

The Newbery-winning fantasy series now available in gorgeous new paperback editions!

Since The Book of Three was first published in 1964, young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his quest to become a hero. Taran is joined by an engaging cast of characters that includes Eilonwy, the strong-willed and sharp-tongued princess; Fflewddur Fflam, the hyperbole-prone bard; the ever-faithful Gurgi; and the curmudgeonly Doli?all of whom ...

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Overview

The Newbery-winning fantasy series now available in gorgeous new paperback editions!

Since The Book of Three was first published in 1964, young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his quest to become a hero. Taran is joined by an engaging cast of characters that includes Eilonwy, the strong-willed and sharp-tongued princess; Fflewddur Fflam, the hyperbole-prone bard; the ever-faithful Gurgi; and the curmudgeonly Doli—all of whom have become involved in an epic struggle between good and evil that shapes the fate of the legendary land of Prydain. Released over a period of five years, Lloyd Alexander's beautifully written tales not only captured children's imaginations but also garnered the highest critical praise.

The Black Cauldron was a Newbery Honor Book, and the final volume in the chronicles, The High King, crowned the series by winning the Newbery Medal for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

Henry Holt is proud to present this classic series in a new, redesigned paperback format. The jackets feature stunning art by acclaimed fantasy artist David Wyatt, giving the books a fresh look for today's generation of young fantasy lovers. The companion book of short stories, The Foundling is also available in paperback at this time.

In their more than thirty years in print, the Chronicles of Prydain have become the standard of excellence in fantasy literature for children.

Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper of Prydain, faces even more dangers as he seeks the magical Black Cauldron, the chief implement of the evil powers of Arawn, lord of the Land of Death.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The same characteristics that made the first book so rich are again present—a fine flow of words; an inticate, active plot; an admirable balance between the forces of black and white magic ... Once-in-a-lifetime reading that will assure Prydain a permanent place in geographies of fictional territories."

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

 

"Taran, the gallant Assistant Pig-keeper, and his companions once again fare forth to destroy the evil that threatens their beloved country, Prydain.... A wise and wondrous tale written in epic fashion." —Booklist

Children's Literature - Sonya Goldman
Five enchanting books comprise the "Chronicles of Prydain" by Alexander. Prydain is a land with heroes and legends drawn from Welsh mythology. In TheBlack Cauldron, book 2 of the series, Taran takes further steps toward manhood. He must help destroy the vessel from which the fearsome Cauldron Born warriors spring to march with the evil lord Awren. The companions join with him again on this new adventure. Wondrous magic and a very arrogant young nobleman punctuate this gripping tale. The princess Eilonwy has been growing like a weed. Other books in the Chronicles include The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, The High King and The Book of Three.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805080490
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 5/16/2006
  • Series: Chronicles of Prydain Series , #2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 194,902
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Lloyd Alexander (1924-2007) was the author of more than forty books for children and adults, including the beloved children’s fantasy series, the Chronicles of Prydain, one of the most widely read series in the history of fantasy and the inspiration for the animated Disney film, The Black Cauldron. His books have won numerous awards, including the Newbery Medal, the Newbery Honor, and the National Book Award for Juvenile Literature.

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Read an Excerpt

Black Cauldron, The

CHAPTER ONE

The Council at Caer Dallben

Autumn had come too swiftly. In the northernmost realms of Prydain many trees were already leafless, and among the branches clung the ragged shapes of empty nests. To the south, across the river Great Avren, the hills shielded Caer Dallben from the winds, but even here the little farm was drawing in on itself.

For Taran, the summer was ending before it had begun. That morning Dallben had given him the task of washing the oracular pig. Had the old enchanter ordered him to capture a full-grown gwythaint, Taran would gladly have set out after one of the vicious winged creatures. As it was, he filled the bucket at the well and trudged reluctantly to Hen Wen's enclosure. The white pig, usually eager for a bath, now squealed nervously and rolled on her back in the mud. Busy struggling to raise Hen Wen to her feet, Taran did not notice the horseman until he had reined up at the pen.

"You, there! Pig-boy!" The rider looking down at him was a youth only a few years older than Taran. His hair was tawny, his eyes black and deep-set in a pale, arrogant face. Though of excellent quality, his garments had seen much wear, and his cloak was purposely draped to hide his threadbare attire. The cloak itself, Taran saw, had been neatly and painstakingly mended. He satastride a roan mare, a lean and nervous steed speckled red and yellow, with a long, narrow head, whose expression was as ill-tempered as her master's.

"You, pig-boy," he repeated, "is this Caer Dallben?"

The horseman's tone and bearing nettled Taran, but he curbed his temper and bowed courteously. "It is," he replied. "But I am not a pig-boy," he added. "I am Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper."

"A pig is a pig," said the stranger, "and a pig-boy is a pig-boy. Run and tell your master I am here," he ordered. "Tell him that Prince Ellidyr Son of Pen-Llarcau ..."

Hen Wen seized this opportunity to roll into another puddle. "Stop that, Hen!" Taran cried, hurrying after her.

"Leave off with that sow," Ellidyr commanded. "Did you not hear me? Do as I say, and be quick about it."

"Tell Dallben yourself!" Taran called over his shoulder, trying to keep Hen Wen from the mud. "Or wait until I've done with my own work!"

"Mind your impudence," Ellidyr answered, "or you shall have a good beating for it."

Taran flushed. Leaving Hen Wen to do as she pleased, he strode quickly to the railing and climbed over. "If I do," he answered hotly, throwing back his head and looking Ellidyr full in the face, "it will not be at your hands."

Ellidyr gave a scornful laugh. Before Taran could spring aside, the roan plunged forward. Ellidyr, leaning from the saddle, seized Taran by the front of the jacket. Taran flailed his arms and legs vainly. Strong as he was, he could not break free. He was pummeled and shaken until his teeth rattled. Ellidyr then urged the roan into a gallop, hauled Taran across the turf to the cottage, andthere, while chickens scattered in every direction, tossed him roughly to the ground.

The commotion brought Dallben and Coll outdoors. The Princess Eilonwy hurried from the scullery, her apron flying and a cook-pot still in her hand. With a cry of alarm she ran to Taran's side.

Ellidyr, without troubling to dismount, called to the white-bearded enchanter. "Are you Dallben? I have brought your pig-boy to be thrashed for his insolence."

"Tut!" said Dallben, unperturbed by Ellidyr's furious expression. "Whether he is insolent is one thing, and whether he should be thrashed is another. In either case, I need no suggestions from you."

"I am a Prince of Pen-Llarcau!" cried Ellidyr.

"Yes, yes, yes," Dallben interrupted with a wave of his brittle hand. "I am quite aware of all that and too busy to be concerned with it. Go, water your horse and your temper at the same time. You shall be called when you are wanted."

Ellidyr was about to reply, but the enchanter's stern glance made him hold his tongue. He turned the roan and urged her toward the stable.

Princess Eilonwy and the stout, baldheaded Coll, meantime, had been helping Taran pick himself up.

"You should know better, my boy, than to quarrel with strangers," said Coll good-naturedly.

"That's true enough," Eilonwy added. "Especially if they're on horseback and you're on foot."

"Next time I meet him," Taran began.

"When you meet again," said Dallben, "you, at least, shall conduct yourself with as much restraint and dignity as possible—which, I allow, may not be very great, but you shall have to makedo with it. Be off, now. The Princess Eilonwy can help you to be a little more presentable than you are at the moment."

In the lowest of spirits, Taran followed the golden-haired girl to the scullery. He still smarted, more from Ellidyr's words than from the drubbing; and he was hardly pleased that Eilonwy had seen him sprawled at the feet of the arrogant Prince.

"However did it happen?" Eilonwy asked, picking up a damp cloth and applying it to Taran's face.

Taran did not answer, but glumly submitted to her care.

Before Eilonwy had finished, a hairy figure, covered with leaves and twigs, popped up at the window, and with great agility clambered over the sill.

"Woe and sadness!" the creature wailed, loping anxiously to Taran. "Gurgi sees smackings and whackings by strengthful lord! Poor, kindly master! Gurgi is sorry for him.

"But there is news!" Gurgi hurried on. "Good news! Gurgi also sees mightiest of princes riding! Yes, yes, with great gallopings on white horse with black sword, what joy!"

"What's that?" cried Taran. "Do you mean Prince Gwydion? It can't be ..."

"It is," said a voice behind him.

Gwydion stood in the doorway.

With a shout of amazement, Taran ran forward and clasped his hand. Eilonwy threw her arms about the tall warrior, while Gurgi joyfully pounded the floor. The last time Taran had seen him, Gwydion wore the raiment of a prince of the royal House of Don. Now he was dressed simply in a hooded cloak of gray and a coarse, unadorned jacket. The black sword, Dyrnwyn, hung at his side.

"Well met, all of you," said Gwydion. "Gurgi looks as hungry asever, Eilonwy prettier than ever. And you, Assistant Pig-Keeper," he added, his lined and weathered face breaking into a smile, "a little the worse for wear. Dallben has mentioned how you came by those bruises."

"I sought no quarrel," Taran declared.

"But one found you, nonetheless," Gwydion said. "I think that must be the way of it with you, Taran of Caer Dallben. No matter," he said, stepping back and studying Taran closely through green-flecked eyes. "Let me look at you. You have grown since last we met." Gwydion nodded his shaggy, wolf-gray head in approval. "I hope you have gained as much wisdom as height. We shall see. Now I must make ready for the council."

"Council?" Taran cried. "Dallben said nothing of a council. He did not even say you were coming here."

"The truth is," Eilonwy put in, "Dallben hasn't been saying much of anything to anybody."

"You should understand by now," said Gwydion, "that of what he knows, Dallben tells little. Yes, there is to be a council, and I have summoned others to meet us here."

"I am old enough to sit in a council of men," Taran interrupted excitedly. "I have learned much; I have fought at your side, I have ..."

"Gently, gently," Gwydion said. "We have agreed you shall have a place. Though manhood," he added softly, with a trace of sadness, "may not be all that you believe." Gwydion put his hands on Taran's shoulders. "Meanwhile, stand ready. Your task will be given soon enough."

 

 

As Gwydion had foretold, the rest of the morning brought many new arrivals. A company of horsemen soon appeared and began tomake camp in the stubble field beyond the orchard. The warriors, Taran saw, were armed for battle. His heart leaped. Surely this, too, had to do with Gwydion's council. His head spun with questions and he hurried toward the field. He had not gone halfway when he stopped short in great surprise. Two familiar figures were riding up the pathway. Taran raced to meet them.

"Fflewddur!" he called, while the bard, his beautiful harp slung over his shoulder, raised a hand in greeting. "And Doli! Is that really you?"

The crimson-haired dwarf swung down from his pony. He grinned broadly for an instant, then assumed his customary scowl. He did not, however, conceal the glint of pleasure in his round, red eyes.

"Doli!" Taran clapped the dwarf on the back. "I never thought I'd see you again. That is, really see you. Not after you gained the power to be invisible."

"Humph!" snorted the leather-jacketed dwarf. "Invisible! I've had all I want of that. Do you realize the effort it takes? Terrible! It makes my ears ring. And that's not the worst of it. Nobody can see you, so you get your toes stepped on, or an elbow jabbed in your eye. No, no, not for me. I can't stand it any more!"

"And you, Fflewddur," Taran cried, as the bard dismounted, "I've missed you. Do you know what the council is about? That's why you're here, isn't it? And Doli, too?"

"I know nothing about councils," muttered Doli. "King Eiddileg commanded me to come here. A special favor to Gwydion. But I can tell you right now I'd rather be back home in the realm of the Fair Folk, minding my own business."

"In my case," said the bard, "Gwydion happened to be passingthrough my kingdom—purely by chance, it seemed—though now I'm beginning to think it wasn't. He suggested I might enjoy stopping down at Caer Dallben. He said good old Doli was going to be there, so of course I set out immediately.

"I'd given up being a bard," Fflewddur continued, "and had settled quite happily as a king again. Really, it was only to oblige Gwydion."

At this, two strings of his harp snapped with a resounding twang. Fflewddur stopped immediately and cleared his throat. "Yes, well," he added, "the truth of it is: I was perfectly miserable. I'd have taken any excuse to get out of that damp, dismal castle for a while. A council, you say? I was hoping it might be a harvest festival and I'd be needed to provide the entertainment."

"Whatever it is," Taran said, "I'm glad you're both here."

"I'm not," grumbled the dwarf. "When they start talking about good old Doli this, and good old Doli that, watch out! It's for something disagreeable."

As they made their way to the cottage, Fflewddur looked around with interest. "Well, well, do I see King Smoit's banner over there? He's here at Gwydion's request, too, I've no doubt."

Just then a horseman cantered up and called to Fflewddur by name. The bard gave a cry of pleasure. "That's Adaon, son of the Chief Bard Taliesin," he told Taran. "Caer Dallben is indeed honored today!"

The rider dismounted and Fflewddur hastened to present his companions to him.

Adaon, Taran saw, was tall, with straight black hair that fell to his shoulders. Though of noble bearing, he wore the garb of an ordinary warrior, with no ornament save a curiously shaped ironbrooch at his collar. His eyes were gray, strangely deep, clear as a flame, and Taran sensed that little was hidden from Adaon's thoughtful and searching glance.

"Well met, Taran of Caer Dallben and Doli of the Fair Folk," said Adaon, clasping their hands in turn. "Your names are not unknown among the bards of the north."

"Then you, too, are a bard?" asked Taran, bowing with great respect.

Adaon smiled and shook his head. "Many times my father has asked me to present myself for initiation, but I choose to wait. There is still much I hope to learn, and in my own heart I do not feel myself ready. One day, perhaps, I shall be."

Adaon turned to Fflewddur. "My father sends greetings and asks how you fare with the harp he gave you. I can see it wants repair," he added, with a friendly laugh.

"Yes," admitted Fflewddur, "I do have trouble with it now and again. I can't help, ah, adding a little color to the facts—most facts need it so badly. But every time I do," he sighed, looking at the two broken strings, "this is the result."

"Be of good cheer," said Adaon, laughing wholeheartedly. "Your gallant tales are worth all the harp strings in Prydain. And you, Taran and Doli, must promise to tell me more of your famous deeds. But first, I must find Lord Gwydion."

Taking leave of the companions, Adaon mounted and rode on ahead.

Fflewddur looked after him with affection and admiration. "It can be no small matter if Adaon is here," he said. "He is one of the bravest men I know. That and more, for he has the heart of a true bard. Someday he will surely be our greatest, you can mark my words."

"And our names are indeed known to him?" Taran asked. "And there have been songs about us?"

Fflewddur beamed. "After our battle with the Horned King—yes, I did compose a little something. A modest offering. But it's gratifying to know it has spread. As soon as I fix these wretched strings I'll be delighted to let you hear it."

 

 

Soon after midday, when all had refreshed themselves, Coll summoned them to Dallben's chamber. There, a long table had been placed, with seats on either side. Taran noticed the enchanter had even made some attempt at straightening up the disorder of ancient volumes crowding the room. The Book of Three, the heavy tome filled with Dallben's deepest secrets, had been set carefully at the top of a shelf. Taran glanced up at it, almost fearfully, sure that it held far more than Dallben ever chose to reveal.

The rest of the company had begun to enter when Fflewddur took Taran's arm and drew him aside as a dark-bearded warrior swept by.

"One thing you can be sure of," the bard said under his breath, "Gwydion isn't planning a harvest festival. Do you see who's here?"

The dark warrior was more richly attired than any of the company. His high-bridged nose was falconlike, his eyes heavy-lidded but keen. Only to Gwydion did he bow; then, taking a seat at the table, he cast a cool glance of appraisal on those around him.

"Who is he?" whispered Taran, not daring to stare at this proud and regal figure.

"King Morgant of Madoc," answered the bard, "the boldest war leader in Prydain, second only to Gwydion himself. He owes allegiance to the House of Don." He shook his head in admiration. "They say he once saved Gwydion's life. I believe it. I've seen thatfellow in battle. All ice! Absolutely fearless! If Morgant's to have a hand in this, something interesting must be stirring. Oh, listen. It's King Smoit. You can always hear him before you can see him."

A bellow of laughter resounded beyond the chamber, and in another moment a giant, red-headed warrior rolled in at the side of Adaon. He towered above all in the chamber and his beard flamed around a face so scarred with old wounds it was impossible to tell where one began and another ended. His nose had been battered to his cheekbones; his heavy forehead was nearly lost in a fierce tangle of eyebrows; and his neck seemed as thick as Taran's waist.

"What a bear!" said Fflewddur with an affectionate chuckle. "But there's not a grain of harm in him. When the lords of the southern cantrevs rose against the Sons of Don, Smoit was one of the few who stayed loyal. His kingdom is Cantrev Cadiffor."

Smoit stopped in the middle of the chamber, threw back his cloak, and hooked his thumbs into the enormous bronze belt which strained to bursting about his middle. "Hullo, Morgant!" he roared. "So they've called you in, have they?" He sniffed ferociously. "I smell blood-letting in the wind!" He strode up to the stern war leader and fetched him a heavy clout on the shoulder.

"Have a care," said Morgant, with a lean smile that showed only the tips of his teeth, "that it will not be yours."

"Ho! Oho!" King Smoit bellowed and slapped his massive thighs. "Very good! Have a care it will not be mine! Never fear, you icicle! I have enough to spare!" He caught sight of Fflewddur. "And another old comrade!" he roared, hurrying to the bard and flinging his arms about him with such enthusiasm that Taran heard Fflewddur's ribs creak. "My pulse!" cried Smoit. "My body and bones! Give us a tune to make us merry, you butter-headed harp-scraper!"

His eye fell on Taran. "What's this, what's this?" He seized Taran with a mighty, red-furred hand. "A skinned rabbit? A plucked chicken?"

"He is Taran, Dallben's Assistant Pig-Keeper," said the bard.

"I wish he were Dallben's cook!" cried Smoit. "I've hardly lined my belly!"

Dallben began to rap for silence. Smoit strode to his place after giving Fflewddur another hug.

"There may not be any harm in him," said Taran to the bard, "but I think it's safer to have him for a friend."

All the company now gathered at the table, with Dallben and Gwydion at one end, Coll at the other. King Smoit, overflowing his chair, sat on the enchanter's left across from King Morgant. Taran squeezed in between the bard and Doli, who grumbled bitterly about the table being too high. To the right of Morgant sat Adaon, and beside him Ellidyr, whom Taran had not seen since morning.

Dallben rose and stood quietly a moment. All turned toward him. The enchanter pulled on a wisp of beard. "I am much too old to be polite," Dallben said, "and I have no intention of making a speech of welcome. Our business here is urgent and we shall get down to it immediately.

"Little more than a year ago, as some of you have good cause to remember," Dallben went on, glancing at Taran and his companions, "Arawn, Lord of Annuvin suffered grave defeat when the Horned King, his champion, was slain. For a time the power of the Land of Death was checked. But in Prydain evil is never distant.

"None of us is foolish enough to believe Arawn would accept a defeat without a challenge," Dallben continued. "I had hoped for a little more time to ponder the new threat of Annuvin. Time, alas,will not be granted. Arawn's plans have become all too clear. Of them, I ask Lord Gwydion to speak."

Gwydion rose in turn. His face was grave. "Who has not heard of the Cauldron-Born, the mute and deathless warriors who serve the Lord of Annuvin? These are the stolen bodies of the slain, steeped in Arawn's cauldron to give them life again. They emerge implacable as death itself, their humanity forgotten. Indeed, they are no longer men but weapons of murder, in thrall to Arawn forever.

"In this loathsome work," Gwydion went on, "Arawn has sought to despoil the graves and barrows of fallen warriors. Now, throughout Prydain, there have been strange disappearances, men suddenly vanishing to be seen no more; and Cauldron-Born appear where none has ever before been sighted. Arawn has not been idle. As I have now learned, his servants dare to strike down the living and bear them to Annuvin to swell the ranks of his deathless host. Thus, death begets death; evil begets evil."

Taran shuddered. Outdoors the forest burned crimson and yellow. The air was gentle as though a summer day had lingered beyond its season, but Gwydion's words chilled him like a sudden cold wind. Too well he remembered the lifeless eyes and livid faces of the Cauldron-Born, their ghastly silence and ruthless swords.

"To the meat of it!" cried Smoit. "Are we rabbits? Are we to fear those Cauldron slaves?"

"There will be meat enough for you to chew on," answered Gwydion with a grim smile. "I tell you now, none of us has ever set on a more perilous task. I ask your help, for I mean to attack Annuvin itself to seize Arawn's cauldron and destroy it."

Copyright © 1965 by Lloyd Alexander. Renewed 1993.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    A reviewer

    It is totally tubulor. like so totally frying my bacon. I like the movie too. The Cauldron Born rock like ACDC. Oh mr. lloyd alexander, thank you for this great book you bestowed upon us. i yield my bacon to you.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Classic fantasy fiction

    The Black Cauldron is the second book of the Chronicles of Prydain. In it, the hero Taran once again needs to leave home and have adventures-this time to regain the powerful zombifying Black Cauldron from the Death Lord. Very cute.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2010

    A must read-very exciting

    I used to watch the Disney movie The Black Cauldron all of the time. It wasn't till recently that I discovered it was an actual book series. The series is five books, and so far this is my favorite one. Lloyd Alexander vividly gives the reader an up close and personal view of all of the characters personality. By giving such a clear description of everything and everyone's personality you can easily vision everyone's expressions, and the tone of the environment. I believe the plot was excellent. I am not necessarily a fan of books where there is travel or a journey, they somewhat bore me. The black cauldron did have a journey however Lloyd Alexander kept it short and sweet and very exciting. The battle sequences were intense and you just imagined the force and desire for victory. One thing that frustrated me about the book was all of the betrayal. It got me mad and I almost wanted to shred the book sometimes. However all of the betrayal did bring forth a lot of lessons, such as when people have too much power they tend to abuse it. I can really relate that to some of today's issues all across the world. I immediately thought about how easy it is too loose a good person if they fall off the curb. The witches in the story were undoubtedly my favorite characters. They were funny and did not necessarily take sides. The setting is in a land named Prydain. It obviously has a setting similar to northern Europe. Most all of the characters along with most of the objects in the story are based off of Welsh mythology, such as Arwan, Gwydion, the black Cauldron, and the kingdom of Llyr. I sometimes find it difficult to pronounce the names, but have no fear there is a convenient pronunciation guide in the back. The great thing I think about this book series is the fact that it leaves a lot of unanswered questions, which we may or may not find out. And Alexander clearly loves cliff hangers. At the end of the book he doesn't really end it; he just seems to take a pause. I have also begun to read the Castle of Llyr and it started up right where the Black Cauldron left off. You will constantly find yourself hoping and praying for all of the characters safety. And you just want them to be alright. You really begin to bond with them almost as though you were there.I respect Lloyd Alexander a lot. He brings the world of Prydain to life. He has written a review even for the book Wicked, it is right there on the back if you are curious. I definitely plan to finish this sires and will continue to read Lloyd Alexander's books. All in all, I strongly recommend this book for people who are looking for a good leisurely read about valor and honor. You may just find yourself looking for an adventure of your own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2008

    Growing Up

    Each of us must grow up and transition between childhood and adulthood. Taran, an assistant pig-keeper, wants to grow up, but hardships he never expected come flying into his life. He must make decisions that will determine his future, if he survives. I really enjoyed reading this book that is filled with a tangled web of character opinions of what is right and wrong. It is a fast paced book that addresses some of the hardships teenagers face in today¿s world while keeping a magical setting. Throughout the course of the story, Taran must make decisions that affect not only his life, but the lives of his friends as well. He must choose between right and wrong, good and evil, and must face the consequences of his actions, sometimes at a very great price to him and his friends. It is a very well written book that addresses some of life¿s most serious issues, such as right and wrong, good and evil, and accepting responsibility and consequences for ones actions. It shows the consequences of evil and what can happen if it is allowed to thrive in a community. Another reason I really enjoyed this book is there is no offensive language or extremely graphic scenes. I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys suspenseful fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2007

    Worthy To Be Praised

    I grew up reading the books in my mother's collection, of which the Prydain Chronicles were a favorite. When Disney made a movie with the same name I was wary, for good reason. Other than the main characters, little else is the same. Do not pre-judge this series if you saw the movie, as they are nothing alike. Simply, this series is amazing, and you really see Taran develop from boyhood into a mature adult. Lloyd Alexander writes with honesty, humor, and seriousness about the failings and triumphs of the characters. Every emotion is something real people feel, and none are exaggerated or 'airbrushed' into something false. The action is exciting, the emotional scenes heart-rending. I adore this series and think that everyone should give it a try. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Press here if you want to see what its realy about

    Best book read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    In love with a book

    I am in love with this series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    Nothing like the movie (thank goodness)

    The second book in the Chronicles of Prydain, The Black Cauldron takes Taran and his companions on a dangerous mission- to steal the cauldron from Arawn and destroy his ability to create the zombie-like Cauldron Born.

    This book is full of adventure, but also has a deeper vein running through it. Taran faces some difficult choices and deals with tragic events.

    The book is nothing like the Disney movie- I hated the movie and how it changed everything!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    To haymitch rules

    You mean from the hunger games?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Hah

    ( • ) ( • )

    {()}


    :——D

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    E

    Nothing.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Cloud

    Ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    This reveiw broght to you by haymitchrules

    I like this bk a lot. Eilleen is my fave charecter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Cool

    It looked exciting and it is

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Better than the last I guess.

    I don't see what the big deal is with this story. It's not detailed and is entirely way too short. I read this in one sitting, and have to say that it's not any better than the first book in the series. It left me feeling like I just wasted my time when I could have been reading something more worthwhile. Can't give it a 2.5, so it gets a 3 star.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2006

    Review for class

    The Black Cauldron is an adventureous book with different characters all striving toward the same goal-save Prydain! However, this journey has different meanings for different people, and if you would like to know what those meanings are read this book! LLoyd Alexander is the author of this Newbery Honor book, he has written an entire chroncile on Prydain consisting of five books, one of which was another Newbery winner titled The High King. Alexander, LLoyd. The Black Cauldron. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1999.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    omg i love this book!

    i love this book and movie! it is enchanting although somewhat difficult to read. this book was really good though. Only dim-witted people who don't respect good literature would think badly of this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006

    What matters is what lies within you...

    'The Black Cauldron' took me by surprise. Expecting it to be like the Disney movie (although, looking back I wonder why I was so naive to think that a book is anything like the movie), I found Book 2 to be full of wonder and excitement beyond anything Mickey Mouse could deliver. Perhaps one of the most inspiring of all Five books, 'THe Black Cauldron' tests the companions (Taran, Eilonwy, Gurgi, and Fflewddur). Not only was their courage tested, but their true virtue, for Taran and the gang was, more than once, given the chance to become evil doers. In the end, as Alexander puts it, you cannot always judge good anv evil 'unmixed,' sometimes you must remember people for what they once were and others for what they became.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2006

    Enchanting. Enthralling. Excelent.

    This book is one of the best. The story centers around an adolescent strugling with his selfishness and pride as another youth patronizes him in the middle of a life-or-death mission. This young man, Taran, must act wisely in the midsts of the chaos or send the entire quest and lives of his freinds to ruin. I highly recommend it. This book is full of peril, dilemmas, unique characters and amazing sacrifices.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2006

    A worthy book from a worthy series.

    I'm here to repudiate the thoughtless one star reviews you will see on this page. Let's be honest now. There are two types of reviews you see on the internet. The first variety is written by people who hate the product in question. The second type is written by people who can't imagine living without the reviewed item. As for me... I just happened to really enjoy this book. I'm not simply lauding the Black Cauldron by giving it five stars. It's a worthwhile book, for children and adults alike. Lloyd Alexander's writing style is believable, just like his characters. While I have enjoyed the Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter books, neither series can be compared to the Prydain Chronicles. There is a wonderful and poignant sense of humanity present in Lloyd Alexander's books, especially in The Black Cauldron and Taran Wanderer. Also, you won't find any irritable 'snogging' sequences in this series. If you're willing to invest some of yourself (and not just your money) into these books, I'm sure you'll see why this series can't be compared with Rowling's or Colfer's. They just deliver on totally different levels.

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