Sunday, June 10, 2007

Second Book Finished

If THE BOOK OF THREE is about Taran's impetuous immaturity and the continuous mistakes he makes, THE BLACK CAULDRON is about how Taran begins to learn to deal with others. His biggest challenge is Ellidyr, a nasty, spiteful, mean-spirited person who acts as a mirror, forcing Taran to look at and overcome his own worst tendencies.

In the end, Ellidyr turns it around and makes the ultimate sacrifice by jumping into the cauldron to destroy it. "He has lost all else, even his steed."

"Or perhaps gained all," Gwydion answered. " And his honor shall be certain." Gwydion goes on to say that a barrow will be raised for Ellidyr, and also for Morgant, who switched sides at the end and who would have used the cauldron for ultimate power. Taran is incredulous that Gwydion would honor Morgant.

"It is easy to judge evil unmixed," replied Gwydion. "But, alas, in most of us good and bad are closely woven as the threads on a loom; greater wisdom than mine is needed for the judging...I honor Morgant for what he used to be, and Ellidyr for what he became."

Worth remembering.

I had hoped for all five books of the Prydain Chronicles in the 48 Hour Reading Challenge Weekend, but two will have to do. The other three will go with me to Colorado.


  1. Man, just this little taste is reinforcing my impression that I have got to go back and reread all of these.

    In fact, I think I’ll have to go out and find a nice set so I can be sure to have them to share with my daughters.

  2. Go for it! I'm even thinking that reading aloud these 5 books over the course of a two year loop with 4th and 5th graders would be an amazing experience. If not as a read aloud, then I need to find a literature circle group who would tackle them. These are books that shouldn't get lost among all the new and glitzy fantasy series.

  3. The Prydain series would be great as a read aloud to 4th and 5th garders! Every year, I have about 20 6th graders who start these, and they love them!Interestingly enough, almost everyone finds the first three chapters of The Book of Three slow. The students say that knowing this made them keep reading instead of giving up. I often recommend these as "Lord of the Rings Lite". The other Lloyd Alexander series that gets a lot of use is Westmark.


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