alice grass

The Book of Three by Llyod Alexander- Review

Sunday, June 29, 2014
I recently picked up the Book of Three which is the first book in the Chronicles of Prydain series by Llyod Alexander.  I am reading this series for my Project Disney The Black Cauldron movie.  Which is a swear one of the least favorite Disney movies.  I have of course heard of this series before but never took the time to read.  Here is the goodreads description:

Taran dreams of adventure, but nothing exciting ever happens to an Assistant Pig-Keeper--until his pig runs away. A chase through the woods leads Taran far from home and into great danger, for evil prowls the land of Prydain. With a collection of strange and wonderful friends whom he meets on his journey, Taran finds himself fighting so that good may triumph over evil--and so that his beloved home will not fall to a diabolical fiend 


I am conflicted about this book.  While it is good it also drags at some parts. Let's just say what this book is... Lord of the Rings (LOTR).  Yes, it is different.  But a lot of it parallels LOTR. But I still think it's a great high fantasy for middle school readers.  The villain in the book is truly a great villain, the Horned King. He wears human skulls and his arms are covered in blood. The book is full of fun magical creatures.  Witches, Dwarves, zombies, princesses... everything you could want in a fantasy.  I also liked the description of the world.  World building is important in fantasy books, this one even includes a map at the front.  Which I think all high fantasy books should have. 
I did enjoy the characters in this book which is one of the reasons I think I enjoyed it.  Taran the main character and our hero is not your typical hero.  He doubts himself and really just succeeds by luck and help from others. He even knows this.  Our princess is Eilonwy who is a great strong character in the book... very snarky and I love it. She is trying to be a sorceress but not having much luck. I wish I had read this book as a kid.  Most of the reviews I've read have people loving this book from when they were younger. 

The book cover confuses me and I can't get it off my mind.  I took a picture of it to show it here.  There is a scene on it of people riding horses.  On the backside of the book there is a horse with a big black blob on it and I just can't figure out for the life of me what it is!!  It looks like the horse is dead and there is a person laying next to it.. and then a big black blob!

If you are looking for a great fantasy series that isn't too hard to read this is perfect.  Short and sweet.  Though it does compare a little too much to LOTR it still does make a fun read.

The crystal ball says:

Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!


  1. I've been having a hankering for fantasy lately, and it seems there aren't too many fantasy books we can describe as "short and sweet", so I may have to give this one a go!

  2. This does sound like a fun fantasy read! Most importantly to me is the strong female character because young kids need that in their books! And that black blob definitely is strange! I think I might pick this one up at some point! Also just saw you reviewed Maleficent, on my way to check that review out now;) Great review!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  3. I loved this series as a kid, but I haven't read it as an adult. I've thought that I should reread it, but you never know if the books you read as a child will live up to your memories as an adult.

  4. This one is a nice and short length. Really you can read it in no time flat. The whole series (5 books) could probably be read in a week or two depending on how much time you want to put into it. Enjoy!

  5. The black blob drives me nuts! It's like a blob with dreads. I just don't know !! WHAT IS IT!

  6. I do agree with what you said about reading something as an adult. I loved the Vampire Diaries as a teen.. but will I love it as much now that I am older?????

  7. Even if it parallels LOTR a bit, this sounds really interesting so I hope to read it one day! I'm glad the princess is a strong character and snarky! Snark is always fun! And I think I have the blob thing figured - maybe it is the hindquarters of the horse and the dread locks thing is the tail? Although it is weird that the Horned King's cape is partially covered by the hindquarter... I guess someone didn't want to spend too much time on the back half of the cover. LOL

  8. OH yeah... now that you say that.. I think you are RIGHT about the black blob. That makes perfect sense. My mind was seeing the black blob as it's own object. But now I can see it is the back of the horse. You have solved the mystery!! I should be starting the second book in the series as soon as I finish the book I am reading right now.

  9. Oh, I read this when I was a child! I remember sitting in my grandparents garden trying to get into the sequel, but I never could. Still, this was fantastic- it took me years to work out it was the basis for The Black Cauldron (which I watched last year and thus started the realisation) and I would love to read it again one day.
    I adore the cover you read- I believe the black thing is the rump of the horse, like Charlene said, with the tail being the tassle-like thing is the tail. Perhaps the cloak is supposed to have flicked behind, onto the other side... ?

    Wonderful review!

  10. This is one of my favorite children's fantasy series. I discovered it right after I fell in love with Narnia, when I was looking for similar books. Back then (in the 1970s), there weren't very many! I encourage you to keep going with the series, which I think gets even better as Taran grows up. Taran Wanderer is wonderful and sometimes heartbreaking, and the final book is... well, you'll probably figure out where it's headed, but not entirely. As for similarities to LOTR, yes, of course. Both authors drew inspiration from the myths and literature of Britain, although Alexander draws on Welsh and Celtic sources a bit more, and less on the Old English sources.

  11. I do want to continue in the series. I have the next book sitting right here too. I think there are only 5 books and they seem short to me so I can't wait to get through them. I wish I would've read the series as a child. I don't know if my mother knew about them to buy them.

  12. I think they were more popular (and had less competition) in my childhood than in yours, so it's not surprising that your mom didn't come across them. BTW, I love the new blog design! Did you do it yourself?

  13. I did not do the design myself. I wish. LOL! I hired someone to do it when I couldn't find a free one anywhere that I liked.


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