Read The High King by Lloyd Alexander Online


When the sword of Dyrnwyn, the most powerful weapon inthe kingdom of Prydain, falls into the hands of Arawn-Death-Lord, Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, and Prince Gwydion raise an army to march against Arawn's terrible cohorts. After a winter expedition filled with danger, Taran's army arrives at Mount Dragon, Arawn's stronghold. There, in a thrilling confrontation with ArawnWhen the sword of Dyrnwyn, the most powerful weapon inthe kingdom of Prydain, falls into the hands of Arawn-Death-Lord, Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, and Prince Gwydion raise an army to march against Arawn's terrible cohorts. After a winter expedition filled with danger, Taran's army arrives at Mount Dragon, Arawn's stronghold. There, in a thrilling confrontation with Arawn and the evil enchantress Achren, Taran is forced to make the most crucial decision of his life....

Title : The High King
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ISBN : 9780805080520
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 253 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The High King Reviews

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-03-18 13:13

    The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5), Lloyd AlexanderThe High King (1968) is a high fantasy novel by Lloyd Alexander, the fifth and last of The Chronicles of Prydain. It was awarded the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1969. The series follows the adventures of Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper, as he nears manhood while helping to resist the forces of Arawn Death-Lord. In the concluding volume Taran and companions join the rest of Prydain in a great effort to defeat Arawn directly. Finally Taran must decide whether to be High King.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و ششم ماه آگوست سال 2008 میلادیعنوان اصلی کتاب پنجم را مترجم «تاران و فرمانروای بزرگ» نامیده استعنوان: افسانه های پریداین - کتاب 5 : تاران و فرمانروای بزرگ؛ نوشته: لوید الکساندر؛ مترجم: مریم سیادت؛ تهران، تندیس، 1385؛ در 286 ص؛ شابک:9789648944198؛ جلد ؛ قرن 20 مسری پنج جلدی «افسانه‌ه ای پرید‌این» د‌ر د‌هه‌ ی 60 سده بیستم میلاد‌ی برای نخستین بار در ایالات متحده به چاپ رسید‌ه، به نوشته مهتاب روشنگران: «لین کارتر»، منتقد‌ مهم اد‌بیات فانتزی، از قول نویسنده ی سری «ماجراهای پریداین» نقل می‌کند‌، که جد‌ا از اثرپذیری ایشان از: «تالکین»، کار او ملهم از کتابِ مهم د‌یگری د‌ر اد‌بیات فانتزیِ قرن بیستم، یعنی: «شمشیر د‌ر سنگ» نیز هست (کتابی که به افسانه‌ های «آرتورشاه» می‌پرد‌ازد‌). همین مهم باعث شد‌ه تا سری «پرید‌این»، علاوه بر د‌اشتن المان‌های فانتزی بزرگسال، به طنز و شوخ و شنگیِ فانتزی‌های نوجوان هم نزد‌یک بشود‌. ا. شربیانی

  • Jessica
    2019-02-24 13:06

    There are times in life where everything seems to go right, and then there are the times where everything seems to go wrong. The High King is both of these. There were times I wanted to throw the book down and times I couldn't even bear to close it at night. The book, while a fairy tale, is life.Nothing in life is free and all things come with a price, even the price of gifts that we wish we could keep. And the gift that requires the greatest price is that of love. People change, move, and die. Those we love do not forever remain with us and love is not without its trials and pain. But though we may give up what we think we desire in life, in the end--if it were for love--we know that it was worth it.There are many examples of forgoing one's heart's desire in order to do that which is for the "greater good." In the end, our lives can either be lived for our own good or for the good of those who come after: I know which life I will choose to lead. How about you?

  • Daniel
    2019-03-13 21:14

    Vrlo lep zavrsetak za jedan jako lep serijal. Imamo svega ovde, i srece i tuge, delova da stane srce delova da se opustimo. Manje vise sve je razjasnjeno, svi likovi su dotaknuti i nagradjeni prema zasluzi. Sta drugo reci, citajte.Jedino sto mi smeta sto je ceo serijal nekako prekratak. Mozda je to do moje profesionalne deformacije da skoro svi fantazi romani imaju knjige od 500+ strana, ali kolko sam uzivao citajuci prosto mi je zao sto je gotovo.

  • jillian n.
    2019-03-15 18:53

    This was intensely traumatic and magnificent. 4.5 stars

  • Sotiris Karaiskos
    2019-03-12 16:05

    The fifth and final part of this splendid series and as is customary in this all accounts are closed by an epic battle in many stages. Its description is more than staggering, as the author is creating breathtaking combat scenes, who also are making us more emotionally involved with our beloved heroes, who overcome their limits due to the sense of duty and the love they have for each other. In the end all this adventure leads us to a dramatic climax followed by one of the most moving finale I have read in the field of fantasy but also in general. That's how I came to the end of this story and to the completion of the reading of the five books that as small as they are is their size so big are in emotional depth. That is why I'm in the very rare situation to get to the end of a series and feel a sadness because there in nothing more to read. It does not matter, however, what is left is that the fullness that the author so generously offered me will always be somewhere inside me and the heroes of these books will forever be my literary friends. And somehow, with this overwhelming sentiment that has flooded me - and I did not wait to pass in order to write a more objective review - I seriously state that this is one of the best high fantasy series ever written and I will suggest to everyone to read it, or, better, I will express my sorrow for all those who have not yet done so. My fantastic greetings to everyone and one of the last criticisms I'm writing in 2017 I wish for a fantastic year to come. Πέμπτο και τελευταίο μέρος αυτής της υπέροχης σειράς και όπως συνηθίζεται σε αυτό κλείνουν όλοι οι λογαριασμοί μέσα από μία επική μάχη σε πολλά στάδια. Η περιγραφή της είναι κάτι παραπάνω από συγκλονιστική, με τον συγγραφέα να δημιουργεί σκηνές μάχης που κόβουν την ανάσα αλλά παράλληλα μας κάνουν να εμπλακούμε περισσότερο συναισθηματικά με τους αγαπημένους μας ήρωες, οι οποίοι ξεπερνάνε τα όρια τους εξαιτίας της αίσθησης καθήκοντος αλλά και της αγάπης που τους δένει. Στο τέλος όλη αυτή η περιπέτεια μας οδηγεί σε μία δραματική κορύφωση που ακολουθείται από ένα από τα πιο συγκινητικά φινάλε που έχω διαβάσει στο χώρο της φαντασίας αλλά και γενικότερα. Κάπως έτσι έφτασα στο τέλος αυτής της ιστορίας και στην ολοκλήρωση της ανάγνωσης των πέντε βιβλίων που όσο μικρά είναι τόσο μεγάλο είναι το συναισθηματικό τους βάθος. Για αυτό συμβαίνει το πολύ σπάνιο πράγμα να φτάνω στο τέλος μιας σειράς και να νιώθω μία θλίψη που δεν υπάρχει συνέχεια. Δεν πειράζει, όμως, αυτό που μένει είναι ότι αυτή η πληρότητα που μου πρόσφερε τόσο απλόχερα ο συγγραφέας θα υπάρχει πάντα κάπου μέσα μου και οι ήρωες αυτών των βιβλίων θα είναι για πάντα λογοτεχνικοί μου φίλοι. Και κάπως έτσι, με αυτόν τον υπερβολικό συναισθηματισμό που με έχει πλημμυρίσει - και δεν περίμενα πρώτα να περάσει για να γράψω μία πιο αντικειμενική κριτική - δηλώνω στα σοβαρά ότι πρόκειται για μία από τις καλύτερες σειρές υψηλής φαντασίας που έχουν ποτέ γραφτεί και θα προτείνω όλοι να τη διαβάσυν, ή, καλύτερα, θα εκφράσω τη θλίψη μου για όλους αυτούς που ακόμα δεν το έχουν κάνει. Τους φανταστικούς μου χαιρετισμούς σε όλους και μια από πού είναι η τελευταία κριτική που γράφω για το 2017 εύχομαι να έρθει μία φανταστική χρονιά.

  • Ashley
    2019-03-06 15:00

    Because I listen to my audiobooks in the car, I went for a drive Saturday evening just to finish this book. Time and gas well spent. Really enjoyed making my way through this series over the last month and a half. Some of the best children's fantasy I've read. Wish I would've read it as an actual child. Aside from a couple of minor complaints, The High King was a really good ending to this series.Arawn and his minions have stolen the magical sword Dyrnwyn from Prince Gwydion, tipping the balance of power in his own favor. Gwydion, Dallben and the kings of the realm all gather to form a plan to defeat Arawn before his huntsmen and Cauldron Born can take over the realm, but they are soon betrayed by one of their own, and Taran his companions are drawn into the fight. At this point, it's pretty much a slaughter. Seriously, characters dropping right and left. Alexander doesn't shy away from showing the consequences of war, but it's very much not what I was expecting.All of the companions, even Gurgi and Rhun, get their chance to be badasses. And even though I thought that ultimately the actual showdown between Taran and Arawn (because of course that was always going to happen) is kind of anti-climactic, it almost doesn't matter because the focus isn't so much on beating Arawn as it is in Taran growing into his own destiny (a destiny, I note, of his own choosing, which is the best kind of destiny in fantasy stories, as far as I'm concerned).I was kind of soured on the ending--as fitting as it was, especially since it completes Taran's arc so nicely, and also because the parts with Eilonwy are freaking adorable--because of the way it unnecessarily and beyond my powers of suspending my disbelief echoes the ending of Lord of the Rings, without any of the buildup that would have made it okay. To spoil the whole thing, because Arawn has been defeated, basically all magic and magical creatures and people (including Gwydion and the Sons of Don and Dallben) retreat to "the summer kingdom" where they will all live forever with no sickness and disease and peace, but Taran refuses the gift of coming along with them as one of the heroes who saved Prydain. He chooses to stay in memory of those who lost their lives and were never given the chance to go to the summer kingdom. He chooses to stay and rebuild Prydain, shepherding mankind into a new magic-less era. For this sacrifice, Dallben anoints him High King.Like I said, that Taran stuff was good, but seriously, Alexander? The magical people had to go into the West into the summer kingdom? It was just too much copy copy, and felt extra weird coming on the heels of four stories that went out of their ways to make sure Taran and his companions spent as much time as possible together. If you haven't read LOTR and aren't familiar with how it ends, this story might play better for you than it did for me, but it was just too similar for me to enjoy myself here. But again, this was just the ending, a small part of a story that I overall very much enjoyed. Oh, except for Gurgi. So annoying.

  • Camille
    2019-03-07 15:45

    This is to date one of the best children's novels I've read in one of the best children's series out there. Alexander draws on a wealth of Welsh mythology to put together a rags to riches story of a pig-keeper, his growth from child to youth to man, and the decisions we are all forced to make in adulthood. There were many different types of closure in the final book -- the first time I read it I cried, which is really rare for me. I found the portrayals of key characters moving as well as the stories surrounding the protagonist (Taran) and his essential core of friends and supporters.

  • Aj the Ravenous Reader
    2019-02-26 18:53

    A great finale to the series. It was a hundred percent worth reading. :)

  • Andy
    2019-02-16 20:08

    Single review for the Chronicles of Prydain, as they are similar in style and quality and could have been produced as a single large volume of five sub-books. The Chronicles of Prydain are children's books. Some children's books hold up well when read by an adult, but these are definitely for kids and do not carry any added depth. The adventures are amusing but flat. You might smile at Eilonwy's sass and moxie and Fflewdur Fflam's tall tales. But you're probably also going to cringe at Taran's extreme earnestness and do-goodery, or Gwydion's noblest-of-all-nobles nobility, and maybe you'll tire a bit of Gurgi, who is Prydain's very own Jar Jar Binks. If you're reading this and you're already grown up, it might be too late to get full enjoyment out of these books. The Welsh mythology Alexander spins into the stories adds some nice color, and in fact now having read these books (I read the first two when I was much younger, and the last three for the first time recently) I am interested in reading the Mabinogion, the Welsh medieval folk stories from which Alexander drew much inspiration. I suspect a grown-up audience might find these richer and rawer, just as a grown-up audience might prefer reading the Bible over one of those bowdlerized "children's Bible stories" collections. Try these if you haven't hit your growth spurts yet, but for my time and money I'd rather have simply re-read the Lord of the Rings.

  • Nico
    2019-02-16 17:46

    This one felt more rushed than the others. some of the big reveals were really disappointing. like other books in the series, more time is spent on their daily trivialities than the big picture. the death of the main antagonist of the entire series was addressed in a fight lasting no more than a page. it felt anticlimactic. arawn was killed too easily. lesser villains were given better fights and deaths. I hated glew, better characters than him died whilst we had to endure his whining for an entire book. the ending was somewhat similar to lord of the rings, but not as impacting or meaningful. overall I would've been happier if I had skipped this one and dreamt up my own ending for the companions, which is really a shame. the characters were crafted with love and personality, but by the end, it just falls flat.

  • Ghost Ryter
    2019-03-14 16:02

    Can...can I give this 100 stars?

  • Paul Christensen
    2019-03-15 21:13

    The High KingA page-turning thriller With a deeply moving ending,That draws the threads of the first four booksAnd strengthens them in the blending.

  • Kris
    2019-02-21 19:55

    Quite an action-packed ending to the series. It always takes me a while to get into each of these books, but by the end I'm not usually disappointed. This one was probably one of my favorite of the five.So many, many parallels with Lord of the Rings. Seeing so many similar details got distracting toward the end. But somehow, on another level, this universe still contains its own unique story.Some thoughts on the characters with spoilers -- It was great to see Taran absorb so much from his surroundings and charge forward with wisdom when he needed to. Glew was a pointless character; why didn't he get killed off in the beginning like Rhun? I still think Eilonwy is an annoying twat and a blabbermouthed idiot. Can I please take Llyan home with me?

  • Metaphorosis
    2019-03-11 16:54

    3.5 stars - Metaphorosis ReviewsArawn Death-Lord has Gwydion's magic sword, and he has sent out his dread armies to conquer Prydain. With only the slimmest of hopes, Taran and Gwydion must raise an army and strike at Arawn's stronghold to try to end his evil once and for all.The High King is not the strongest of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain quintet. He's building here on an established foundation, and much of the outcome in a YA adventure is foreordained. Still, for all that there's little suspense, familiar, well-loved characters are here to follow the path marked, and they've grown up a little as they've gone. Taran is wiser, Eilonwy (slightly) less flighty. Gurgi, Fflewddur, Doli, Kaw, and all the crew make their appearances, including some characters readers may have forgotten.There are a few surprises in the book, which is more somber than its predecessors. And, if much goes as it must, at least it's well done. The ending, however, is disappointing. We all know what will happen, and why - in part because the story echoes so many other familiar tales. I wish that Alexander had worked just a little more magic here, and reached for closure in a somewhat more original way. That may be asking too much from a series that unabashedly drew from many sources, including Welsh mythology in particular.Aside from a weak ending, the book is a fitting conclusion to the series. And, if you've read the first four books, you're going to read this one. It's not the best of the batch, but it's still good, and it'll do your heart good to know where Taran, Eilonwy, and even Hen-Wen the oracular pig have ended up.

  • Courtney H.
    2019-03-16 13:58

    This was my favorite of the five novels, though obviously one reason it was brilliant was because it could rest on, and grow out of, the foundational first four books. Still, I thought this book, better than the others, balanced the fun of YA writing (clear, solid writing, interesting characters, well paced plot) with more challenging plot points and characters.This books is about war, though, and Alexander does not pull punches: many characters die, characters you did not think he would kill off, and he does so brutally. There is a scene in the beginning that reminded me of [SPOILER REGARDING A TOTALLY UNRELATED MOVIE] Book's death in Serenity; I mean, was that really necessary? And entirely awful. Which is what I find fascinating, if a bit frustrating, about Alexander. Clearly he does not like war, and from the get-go he has reiterated that battle and war is hard, that heroism is a terrible burden, that no one likes war. Yet it has also been clear that Taran's rise from Assistant Pig Keeper to a warrior leading troops beside Gwydion was premised SOLELY on the fact that he stupidly ran into battle and kept managing to accomplish things while not getting killed. There is a bit of a mixed message here that I struggled to make peace with as I read the Chronicles. If war is, as Alexander says, so brutal, shouldn't there be ways to become great without taking up a sword? And for that matter, for all that Taran learned (and Alexander taught) regarding the fact that being 'great' isn't as good as being good and effective, still the moral doesn't always line up with the story. In the end, Taran did take charge; and he did so not only by growing as a person, but also by proving his valor in the exact way that Alexander is telling us shouldn't be necessary. There is a lot to grapple with here, and I wish I had read this when I was younger--I wonder which of these lessons, the intended or the unintended, would have had the bigger affect on me.Anyway, this is all an aside, really. As for the story itself, it was a really good one. Everything that has been set up in the previous books came into play again, which I really liked. Also, the way that people get involved, and the roles they play, make sense. Everything belongs; you didn't get the sense that Alexander was manipulating his characters to act in ways they wouldn't have acted. My only quibble might be with the role that Grew played; he was a less screwed up Gollum, but totally bland. I think those necessary plot changes could have come about without subjecting us to that much Grew. Otherwise, it was all pretty masterful. Achren ended up being one of my favorite characters, though I really wish we had more of her backstory; she was a really fascinating villain, and I liked that she never really did turn good. There were a few plot points that seemed a bit forced; the whole bit with the flaming sword and what it could do seemed a bit simple-- [SPOILER!!] I mean, what on earth were they planning on doing if the sword didn't have these wholly unknown powers? But these really are just quibbles in a book that I really enjoyed, and which made me think quite a bit.The ending is highly reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, of course, but really the connection probably is that both chronicles drew upon mythology (Welsh for Alexander, Norse and a mix of other things, including Celtic, for Tolkien). These mythologies, and Alexander and Tolkien, had to explain good and evil; had to explain why humans had both; had to explain the advent of earth and why, if magic and magical creatures were part of the earth's early days, they aren't around anymore. So the links between the two endings I think are due more to what the books owe to mythology than what Alexander owed to Tolkien (though he clearly owed Tolkien quite a lot). Ultimately, a really satisfying conclusion to a good series, one worth the Newbery Medal. Personally, I liked the Chronicles and definitely understand why Alexander deserves a place in the pantheon of great YA fantasy writers. That being said, I think he's probably my least favorite of the other authors up there with him. Though perhaps I just missed the boat; maybe I needed to have read it when I was younger in order to retain its magic. Anyway, well worth a read, child or adult.

  • Gwyn
    2019-02-25 15:02

    So, I've finished the Chronicles of Prydain, after a year and a half of reading them off and on, and am still as unsure what I think of them as when I read the first of five. The only way I can sort this out is if I do this review in bulletin form :PThings I Love or Like about this Book1. Eilonwy. Same as all others in this series. My goodness, the Princess of Lyr is one of my favourite literary maidens of noble birth out there. I love Eilonwy not caring about her dirty hair and loving to have it braided up on her head and boyish, I love Eilonwy thinking all her ladyship training was nonsense, I love Eilonwy yelling at Taran {because that's what I wanted to do most of the time}, I love Eilonwy and her signature glowing ball, golden ring, and crescent moon necklace, I love her whimsical metaphors, I love her titles {"Princess of Lyr" "Eilonwy of the red-gold hair"}, and I love her enchantress descent. JUST. EILONWY. (view spoiler)[she deserves so much better than Taran. And I almost cried when her golden ball blinked out for the last time at the end when she gave up her enchantress blood! *Taranwassonotworthit* (hide spoiler)]2. Flewdurr the Pflam! OF COURSE. (view spoiler)[ALSO almost cried when he burnt his dear harp (hide spoiler)]3. Sometimes the writing is very pretty and Alexender says some profound, lovely things here and there.4. The fact that the books are inspired by Welsh mythology, which I think is really cool and different.Things I did not like about this book and the Series in General1. Gurgi. I'm sorry, but never did Gurgi grow on me in the least. Just aggravated me.2. GLEW. Urrrrggh, I don't know HOW they put up with him for as long as they did and HOW they let him (view spoiler)[enter the Summer Kingdom! (hide spoiler)] *I* could not put up with him just reading it.3. The repetitive nature of certain aspects of the books. The characters mannerisms and habits, some charming and some annoying, could get a bit over written, I found. Fllewdur and his harp {almost lying, looking over his shoulder, and "er... well, what I meant to say...".... Gurgi and his crunchings and munchings, smitings and bitings, shimmerings and glimmerings.... Glew and his "When I was a giant"... I got SO over it all by the end of the 5 books.... and if we're believing this to be so many years past, why is there so little character development?4. Bringing me to my next point. We're never told exactly how much time passes, how old they are, etc. I don't know how old Taran and Eilonwy were to begin with or to end with! And yes, as their characters seemed to change so little, I found it hard to not just imagine them as the twelve year olds I started with when they were (view spoiler)[talking about marriage! (hide spoiler)]5. Taran. I guess he grew on me a little bit, but not much. It drove me CRAZY how, even early on in the series, he would talk so grown up and wise and bookish - rather out of character, I thought - and when Eilonwy would fire up and put him in his place it was always like a breath of fresh air ;) Also, (view spoiler)[ considering he was supposed to be deeply in love with her (hide spoiler)], I always thought he was a wee bit not nice and patronising to Eilonwy, but maybe that's just me.6. (view spoiler)[ the proposal. BECAUSE THERE WAS NO PROPOSAL. There was just "Yeah and we'll marry!.... oh, if that would be all right with you, Eilonwy??" Ah dear, you're a disappointment to me sometimes, Taran, m'lad. (hide spoiler)]7. The end. All the magical people sadly and joyfully going off to the Summerland was WAY to Lord of the Rings-esque for me, it just felt like a copy of the end of The Return of the King, except not half as good, that sprung up from nowhere.Wow, that's a HUGE review..... sorry for rambling so much! Someday I must reread these books, because I still don't know WHAT I think of them :/ ;)

  • Samantha
    2019-02-21 12:48

    Okay, I am going to do a review for the entire series here, because it’s the last book in the series. I own these books, and they were some of my favorites growing up so I thought it was time for a reread. Did they stand up to my nostalgia, as some other books (notably Sabriel by Garth Nix and the His Dark Materials trilogy) have? The answer is partially, but not entirely. Here’s why:The characterization of Eilonwy bothered me a bit. In the first few books she is quite independent and free-minded but as the books go on the male characters insist on making her into the princess she doesn’t want to be, and they often don’t listen to her. And –although I really hate to admit it—I found her a bit annoying. Frustrated by these things, I found a great article about this very question in the journal Mythlore, called “Isn’t it Romantic? Sacrificing Agency for Romance in Prydain” by Rodney M.D. Fierce. He basically makes the point that Eilonwy is a halfway point between science fiction and fantasy writing where women have no agency at all (see: Arwen) and writing where they are able to make their own choices, even in a patriarchal society (see: Katniss, Sabriel, Lyra). So I can respect Lloyd Alexander for that in 1968, even if it seems a bit dated now. I have also heard folks complain about the writing style, which I actually don’t have that much of a problem with. It’s not that flowery and is also a bit old-fashioned, both because Alexander was writing about a mythical medieval Wales and also, I think, because he was writing in the 60’s and I have memories of Nancy Drew books seeming similarly stilted to me. I think it lends the books an elevated tone, which makes sense for an epic fantasy adventure, and is also just slightly more readable for a YA audience. It really doesn’t bother me at all (although Alexander does seem to overuse the word “fling” just a tad…). But honestly, I’m just a sucker for a well-done hero story, which is what this series is at its heart. But the thing that sets it apart for me is the humor and heart. Alexander clearly loves these characters, and it really comes through. The books are also quite humorous and manage to be poignant and have the hero learn his lessons without seeming preachy, which is quite a feat. Alexander clearly loves his source material and wanted to create something unique out of it, which I believe that he has done. So do these books have their flaws and occasionally seem a bit dated? Yes, of course, but they are also a great fantasy epic which remain enjoyable even fifty years after they were written. I really don’t think they’ll be going away anytime soon.

  • Aelvana
    2019-03-02 17:08

    Taran is done wandering, but he returns to news of a horrible loss: Arawn has stolen Gwydion's sword Dyrnwyn. Confident he has removed the only real threat to his rule, the death lord is preparing for invasion. But Taran and his friends are not going to surrender without a fight. From the island of Mona to the Free Commots, all friends of good gather for the last great battle for the fate of Prydain.The war wages fiercely in this book as Gwydion's ever-dwindling army opposes traitors, Huntsman, and Cauldron-Born. Although victory after victory rises from the flames, each triumph is bought with blood and loss. Each death leaves those who remain weaker against the growing threat. Taran has dedicated his all to this fight, as have those who stand with him, but each of them is fully aware all of their efforts may not be enough. The battles rage, and even outside them a sense of desperation builds; the action never lets up, and at the end all that was accomplished must be balanced against all that was lost.Old friends return indeed: pretty much every character who hasn't died from the previous books shows up again here. Quite a few of them die. The reappearance of so many familiar faces did get a bit annoying; soon it was like a checklist of who hadn't shown up yet. More irritating, however, was the ending. Suddenly there's a prophecy about the Sons of Don needing to leave, random people end up being related to the Sons of Don, there's another prophecy about the High King which hasn't even been mentioned until now, and magic is pretty well purged from the land. All in the space of about twenty pages. It felt like everything was being crammed into the end to make it tie up as well as force a separation between certain of the characters. And why did Dyrnwyn's fire die? As best I can tell, simply because there was a prophecy that it would (or maybe the magic-killing hit a bit early here).Overall it's a good capstone to the series, though a bit of a frustrating one given how it ends. The characters are still pretty straightforward, though Taran has an ever-increasing load of obligation. It would be best to read the other books in the series before this one if only to recognize all the returning characters. I rate this book Neutral.

  • Aleksandar Janjic
    2019-02-22 15:50

    Иако, као и у осталим књигама серијала, има доста моралисања и поповања (што је ваљда и неопходно у књизи намијењеној млађим узрастима), очигледно је да све то долази од неког коме је срце на правом мјесту. Таран дефинитивно није најспектакуларнији главни лик у историји књижевности, увијек је озбиљан, често патетичан и дефинитивно потпуно лишен хумора, али избор који је направио на крају ове књиге не може а да га не начини симпатичним.Ово што сам горе споменуо око тога да је књига (наравно, као и читав серијал) писана за младе (или ђецу) много је велики терет око њеног врата. Лојд Александер уопште није лош писац и сигурно би могло много више да се измузе из комплетне, прилично мрачне, приче. Нпр. Котлорођени, бесмртна војска Господара смрти, у суштини су заправо зомбији, али нећемо наићи на превише детаљне описе распадајућих тијела, трулог меса и сл., што би свакако обогатило комплетан утисак. Александеру, као и Толкину, помало недостаје способност да створи стварно безнадежну атмосферу, јер његов Араун, баш као и Толкинов Саурон, пречесто добија ћушке од прилично килавих главних јунака који стално кукају како је све изгубљено. Ипак, уз све то, ово је лијепо, занимљиво и на крају ми је ипак помало жао због растанка са овим јунацима. Осим што ћу првом приликом да одлетим на Абандонију и даунлоудујем игру Тхе Блацк Цаулдрон, ехехехе :-) Не знам дал сам већ написао раније, вјероватно да јесам пошто се често понављам, ал ко има ђецу која имају способност читања, од срца му препоручујем да тој ђеци утури ово штиво прије него што почну да их гњаве Тихим Доном и Буденброковима или шта ли већ данас користе за терорисање дјеце.

  • Autumn
    2019-02-20 16:00

    Lloyd Alexander was a kind, simple man with a passion for mythology, especially Welsh lore. These books began with an exploration of ancient stories, and grew into what I believe to be the best children's literature out there. I still read them now and again, just because they move me so. Alexander manages a rather brilliant balance of humour and sorrow--something rarely found in books written for young people. His characters are lovable, entertaining, and real, despite their fantastical setting. Altogether a set of amazing stories--ones that I love dearly.

  • Sam Wescott
    2019-02-26 17:51

    Holy character development, batman. I actually liked Taran in this book. The adventures had higher stakes and the characters seemed rounder than usual, with depths not previously seen.I got weepy at several points in the book (view spoiler)[ mainly when Fflewddur Fflam sacrificed his harp for firewood and when Taran and Eilonwy were almost seperated. Oh, god, and Taran losing Gurgi! Ugh. (hide spoiler)], which makes me respect the character development even more. Well done, Lloyd Alexander. I hated most of these people in the first book and now you have me weeping over them.

  • Bill Tillman
    2019-03-12 19:12

    One of the very best series I have read. It is an interpretation of the Mabinogin welsh myths. Ah once again I come to the end of this tale having listened to the excellent work of the Audible crew.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-16 16:59

    This began a bit slow, but it got good as it went on. It was more serious, more "heavy" than the first books. The characters were all there, but somehow they seemed "older". The ending was just superb, and really satisfactory.Apparently, the author was inspired by Welsh mythology. I myself know zero about Welsh myths, but anything with a basis on old legends and lores I admire. That's one thing about this series."Was it your concern to serve Prydain? You chose an evil means to do it. Good cannot come from evil.""Taran looked more closely at the fabric and saw ... 'these are of my own life.''Of course ... the pattern is of your choosing and always will be.'""There are those more deserving of your gift than I, yet never may it be offered them. My life is bound to theirs."All in all, a very good series. Maybe more exciting for younger readers, but that doesn't mean older kids and adults won't enjoy it.

  • Sharkie
    2019-03-09 16:48

    ** 7 YEARS LATER REREAD **Well jeez. I was not expecting just how much book withdrawl I would be going through after finishing this series. The ending is just so sentimental and emotional that I started tearing up, and I absolutely love this series with my entire heart. This book... it's a good finish to the series. It's got tons of action, it ties up a ton of loose threads, the bad guys lose and the good guys win... You can't go wrong with it.I'm extremely glad I can enjoy this series as an adult. It's not just your run-of-the-mill "coming of age" tale. It's so much more special, and it makes you feel so many feelings.Amazing book. Amazing series. Amazing everything.

  • Anne Marie Gazzolo
    2019-03-08 14:57

    Wow, wow, and wow! I thought the 4th book was the best, but that was before I read this one! What a wonderful book and series, strewn with true heroes and wisdom for them and readers to absorb and live out. Loved it.

  • Mi
    2019-03-15 17:00

    “For the deeds of a man, not the words of a prophecy, are what shape his destiny.”Returning home from his wanderings, Taran finds that he cannot continue his former peaceful life; The Death Lord Arawn has finally made a move to conquer all of Prydain. Taran is summoned to be a war leader alongside his friend, Prince Gwydion of Don. The Chronicles of Prydain kept getting better with each volume - that is until I read this final instalment. I did like it, but not as much as the middle instalments. Both the beginning and ending felt rather rushed - the book could have done well with an extra 100 pages!Unlike all previous volumes, this one picks up right at the end of the 4th instalment. Taran just arrives home when war is upon them almost immediately. What this book did really well was to tie all the books together. I loved how Taran's role as a war leader would not have worked without all the friendships he made during his wanderings of the 4th volume.In addition, several bits and pieces from all previous books were picked up again. Almost all characters, who hadn't died in previous volumes, made a comeback in this one! And yet, not all of them live to see the end of it.Putting Harry Potter aside, I have rarely read a final volume in which so many characters died. There was a death in nearly every chapter. And those who did not have to say farewell through death had to say farewell at the end of the story nonetheless; the majority of the cast is to leave Prydain and journey to a different country. I shall not spoil anything by saying who stays and who doesn't - but it was almost more painful than the actual deaths. Even more so because only a few remain in Prydain and... I am very sorry to say that my favourite character is not one of them.While the beginning and ending seemed awfully rushed - the middle was very well written. One could feel the characters' struggles and crumbling hopes as their friends fell one after the other. Although I found this to be a good and deserving conclusion to the chronicles - it did feature the most annoying creature ever: Glew. He was so irritating that it dragged down the quality of the story. It was simply unpleasant to read about him. At least he only has major appearances in the final volume!All in all, I loved The Chronicles of Prydain! It is very much a character-driven story and I love so many of them.

  • Kathi
    2019-03-03 17:49

    A couple of months ago while reading Newberys, I wrote about not really liking high fantasy, but believing that The Hero and the Crown was the best I had read. Not anymore.Although I only read the last in Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, The High King has improved the genre for me. Listening to the audio CD, I did need to start over twice to understand who—and what—the characters were and the events that were happening. Even then, I went to Wikipedia’s plot summary of the first few chapters to read the names and descriptions of the creatures I was hearing; seeing the Welsh (-sounding?) names of Taran, Gurgi, Princess Eilonwy, Fflewdur Fflam, Doli, and more helped me follow their story.That said, Alexander made many of these characters so memorable that they and their strange names will stay with me. “The companions” (I love this collective noun!), as Taran’s group of unusual friends is called, must find and retake the sword Dyrnwyn because it has been stolen by Arawn the Death Lord to destroy Prydain. They must strategize and conquer this enemy and his terrible minions--among them, the truly frightening Cauldron-Born--to do so. War is indeed necessary, and it is as awful as the pain and sadness of war must be. There is real fear among the companions; many of them are killed to save their country. Good ultimately prevails because of companions’ unselfishness and courage, but only after great and realistic difficulties. Taran earns a classic definition of a hero, and it does not come easily. The violence is not gratuitous, but middle school and older is the appropriate grade level both to read and to be inspired by this book.Before beginning High King, I read that Alexander wept as he wrote its ending. I was attached enough to his characters after reading just one of his series to easily believe this to be true.If all of my grandchildren could only read one book of high fantasy as they mature, I would choose it to be The High King, the climax of Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper’s saga in the mythical land of Prydain. I must also admit that I hope they read many more.

  • Amelmag
    2019-02-24 20:11

    A truly fitting ending to the Chronicles of Prydain -- which is saying quite a lot. This book may have been the most uneven -- the most uncomfortable -- when it came to the mixing of lighthearted fairy-tale and serious-minded romance -- the mixing of cheerfully humorous companions and agonizing deathblows -- but it still succeeded far more than it failed. I am most impressed by the way the Chronicles form, not a series (in the way we've come to understand that term), but a single narrative created from five such narratives. Each book stands alone, and, yet, placed together, they are far more than the sum of their parts. It is the tale of the birth of a hero, of a boy coming of age, of the race of men coming into their own. There are many threads shared with The Lord of the Rings, but the Chronicles of Prydain is also a series that is only ultimately itself. This is not the terrifying expanse of the North, but rather the small, heroic, quiet greatness of Wales. These are tales more concerned, in the end, with homeliness and turnip-growing than with the rise and fall of kingdoms. But what are kingdoms if not a collection of homes, and turnips, and pigs, and craftsmen, and bards who love their tales?

  • Melaniemouse
    2019-03-17 15:57

    A good ending to the series, if, again, it did lean heavily on LOTR (like, bordering on plagiarism at times, in my opinion). I still feel like I don't quite have a handle on how old the characters are, and how much time has passed over the course of the series. I guess my best guess is that when they started, Taran and Eilonwy were like 13 and 12, and at the end they're like 18 and 17? He keeps referencing things that happened in the earlier books as event from his "boyhood," cause apparently he's all grown up now... I feel like Achren's character is not realistic at all - to go from what she once was to what she is in the last couple of books, that's just a little too neat and tidy for me. Also it seems like a lot of the problems are too easily/quickly resolved - they "just happen to find things" a lot in this series. But then, it's JV fiction, not YA. Also, Glew is super annoying, but I think he's supposed to be, so mission accomplished, haha. I don't think he really needed a part in this last book at all. Overall it was a fun series, I'd recommend it if someone doesn't have something amazingly fantastic waiting in their queue.

  • Natalie
    2019-03-03 21:14

    Let me begin by saying that I very seldom give 5s. To me, a book that gets a 5 is a book that changed my life and a book I have to reread over and over again. This book is a true 5 for me. I can't even count how many times I have read it and I have loved it each and every time I have read it. I just love the way Lloyd Alexander writes. He doesn't get bogged down in flowery language and instead uses a minimum of words to somehow convey a perfect description. I love the character development of Taran. He really grows up and matures from the beginning of the series and the end. Elonwy is one of my favorite female characters ever. She's strong and smart and funny and independent. Gurgi is so cute with his crunchings and munchings. Fflewddur Flam is funny and of course I love Gwydion. Arawn is a great villain too. And the story!!! Everything fits together so perfectly and all the loose ends are tied up. I could go on and on about how wonderful this book is, but really you need to experience the whole wonderful series for yourself. Favorite quote: "every man is a hero if he strives more for others than for himself alone." <3 perfection!!!