Thursday, May 5, 2011

Taran Wanderer

By Lloyd Alexander

Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper, who wants to be a hero, goes questing for knowledge of his parentage, hoping that his journey will ennoble him in the eyes of Eilonwy, the princess with the red-gold hair. Accompanied by several loyal friends, Taran begins his search when three wily enchantresses of the Marshes of Morva send him to consult the Mirror of Llunet for the answers he is seeking, cryptically promising that “the finding takes no more than the looking.” During his adventures he meets Craddoc, the shepherd, and the common people of Prydain, whom he comes to respect and admire. With their help, he continues his mission to learn the secret of the Mirror and the truth about himself.

This is my favorite of the Prydain books. It's really a turning point for Taran, who leaves Caer Dallban of his own free will to seek his parents. Taran is a everyman kind of character, an assistant pig-keeper who desperately wants to be more for the girl he loves. This novel follows Taran as he travels through the free commots and meets all sorts of people who help him, and others who hurt him, and challenges that nearly break his heart. This is the most touching of the books, your hopes fly high with Taran's, and your heart breaks for him when he suffers. There are few characters that you will root for as much as this assistant pig-keeper who is searching to find out who he really is.

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