Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Castle of Llyr

By Lloyd Alexander

Princess Eilonwy has accompanied Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, on all his adventures. But a princess needs special skills that can only be learned in a royal household, so she travels to the Island of Mona to being her proper education. As it turns out, court life isn’t as boring as it seems to the unwilling princess-friends and enemies appear in many guises, and danger hides in every corner. When Eilonwy disappears and disturbing rumors about the evil enchantress Achren surface, Taran and his companions undertake an exciting and terrifying mission to rescue their princess. But will Taran battle to save Eilonwy’s life only to lose her in the end?

It was this book that got me hooked on the chronicles of Prydain. I really enjoyed watching Taran mature and grow in this adventure. He becomes the leader of his little band of friends, including the rather simple-minded prince Rhun. There is quite the shift for Taran, who is uncomfortably aware of his growing feelings for Eilonwy, who as a princess is destined to marry a nobleman. There is a fun relationship between Taran and Prince Rhun, who is a hopeful candidate for Eilonwy's hand. This book was really fun and full of the high style of writing that I enjoy echoing Tolkien for kids.

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