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The High King [Paperback]

Lloyd Alexander
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 7.99
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Book Description

May 16 2006 The Chronicles of Prydain (Book 5)
The Newbery-winning fantasy series now available in gorgeous new paperback editions!

Since The Book of Three was first published in 1964, young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his quest to become a hero. Taran is joined by an engaging cast of characters that includes Eilonwy, the strong-willed and sharp-tongued princess; Fflewddur Fflam, the hyperbole-prone bard; the ever-faithful Gurgi; and the curmudgeonly Doli--all of whom have become involved in an epic struggle between good and evil that shapes the fate of the legendary land of Prydain. Released over a period of five years, Lloyd Alexander's beautifully written tales not only captured children's imaginations but also garnered the highest critical praise.

The Black Cauldron was a Newbery Honor Book, and the final volume in the chronicles, The High King, crowned the series by winning the Newbery Medal for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

Henry Holt is proud to present this classic series in a new, redesigned paperback format. The jackets feature stunning art by acclaimed fantasy artist David Wyatt, giving the books a fresh look for today's generation of young fantasy lovers. The companion book of short stories, The Foundling is also available in paperback at this time.

In their more than thirty years in print, the Chronicles of Prydain have become the standard of excellence in fantasy literature for children.

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The High King + Taran Wanderer
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Review

"Greater, more disastrous, and demanding more courage are the battles into which Taran leads his followers against Arawn Death-Lord.... The book has the philosophical depth and overtones of great fantasy." --The Horn Book
 
"The last may be the best."--Kirkus Reviews

From the Publisher

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 Arawn and the evil enchantress Achren, Taran is forced to make the most crucial decision of his life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
This book is it. The climax. The payoff. The ultimate battle between good and evil, with a conclusion that moves me more than any other I've ever read.
The story starts with Taran and Gurgi reuniting with Eilonwy, Rhun, Fflewddur and Gwydion, only to learn that Gwydion's enchanted sword has been stolen by Arawn Death-Lord himself. They set out to find it, but soon realize that not only the sword, but all of Prydain is at stake.
Armies are rallied by both sides, battles are fought on a scale never seen in the previous books, and all the characters previously introduced return to take sides in the conflict.
Betrayal, greed and defeat are countered with courage, loyalty and sacrifice (watch Fflewddur in particular) time and time again. The price required to destroy the powers of evil is never higher, everyone loses something dear to them, many don't survive, and the land of Prydain will never be the same again.
When I re-read this in college I was surprised to learn that this was considered children's literature; the book's power only grows with the passage of time, and while it can be understood by children, its mark of greatness lies in its ability to resonate with readers of all ages.
This book could conceivably stand on its own, though reading the previous four books first is highly recommended. Doing so only adds to the power of this, the capstone of a beautiful series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Among the best fantasies ever May 16 2004
Format:Paperback
If ever there was a closing volume of a series that never failed to disappoint, and in fact was so good it raised the quality of every book that came before it, it is "The High King," the last book in Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles.
The Prydain Chronicles is a key series in children's fantasy literature, walking the fine line between being accessible to young readers while being appealing and engaging enough for adults to enjoy. Here in "The High King," that shows itself in spades. This is a serious work comparable to anything the fantasy genre has to offer. While appropriate for children, this is hardly "children's fantasy."
The action here is epic, larger in scope than anything seen in the series before. Sprawling armies clash. Wars are fought. People die. Its grim and serious stuff - but amazingly wholly suitable for readers of all ages.
All of our favorite characters come back for their final appears in this last volume. Taran, now grown and brave and confident, is among those to lead the charge in the final clash between ultimate good and ultimate evil. The fate of all of Prydain hangs in the balance as Arawn Death-Lord prepares to lay siege to all. The others return, too, including Eilonwy, the stereotypical spoiled princess, Gurgi, the crazed Gollum-like creature, and Fflewddur Fflam, the hapless bard who is prone to exaggeration.
One of the great joys of the Chronicles is the progress from lighthearted fantasy to adult themes and a grim tone. By the end, you feel as if the characters have taken a lifetime of journeys, learning from them as they went. It all culminates here, with joy, sadness, pain, death, and sacrifice mixing together to form a classic adventure tale.
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By Garret
Format:Paperback
Lloyd Alexander's The High King is a good book. Taran Wanderer gets word from Kaw (his pet crow) that Princess Eilonwy has come back to Caer Dallben. She is accompanied by an old friend Prince Runn. Actually he's King Runn, because of the fact that Runn's father, King Ruddlum, had died. Be prepared reader. In this book people die. For example King Runn dies. Another character close to Taran dies. Parts of the book are very sad but the whole book is very good. Old friend reunite. Doli and Fflewdur Ffam join up with Taran and Eilonwy. Prince Gwydion, Taran, and the Sons of Don are on a journey to recover the sword Dyrnwyn and to destroy Arawn, the lord of death. Why don't you try fighting against vast armies of deathless warriors and you tell me if you think it would be fun to be a war leader. Taran does and he actually wins. Taran uses his brain and not any magic. In the end the overall quest may or may not succeed. To find out if the group succeeds, you will have to read the book yourself.
I liked this book because it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Some parts of the book are really funny, like when Gurgi and Eilonwy are captured by bandits and Gurgi is saying "No crackings and smackings on poor tender head!" And the bandits are just about to kill them when they are rescued by a pack of wolves. The wolves are a pack of Medwyn's. Two of the wolves Gurgi and Eilonwy already knew. Another reason why I like this book is because there are a lot of war scenes. There are some warriors called the cauldron warriors also known as the cauldron born. These warriors are deathless warriors who, when they are far from their master and Annuvin they get weaker and slower. This book is part of a great series of books called The Chronicles of Prydain. If you plan to read this novel you should plan on reading the series. Start with The Book of Three and finish with The High King.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lloyd Alexander's High King June 4 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Have you ever been betrayed by someone who was once your ally? Well, in a fantasy book called The High King, by Lloyd Alexander, the story is about morality and loyalty.
The setting of this wonderful book is during the Middle Ages, in a land called Prydain, a land existing only in the imagination of the reader. From the beginning of the book to the end of the book, about six to twelve months passes by. The setting of the Middle Ages affects the story because there was no form of fast transportation and strong long ranging weapons during the era. If there were forms of fast transportation, and long ranging weapons, Taran and his army wouldn't have had to take a long time and travel to Annuvin.
First, the House of Don is betrayed by Lord Prderi, who was thought to be an ally of The House of Don. Lord Prderi and the army of the House of Dog fight, and Lord Prderi's army wins. Although Lord Prderi takes over Caer Daythyl, the main character Taran stays loyal to the house of Don, and continues the battle for good, which supports the thesis. Later in the book, Taran and his army head toward Annuvin, the land of evil.
The main character Taran is very moral, determined, and loyal. One insight I developed about Taren is, he will never betray others. (Details that led me to my conclusion are, Taren has a chance to join Lord Prderi and betray the house of Don, however he stays loyal until the very end.) Taran also takes big sacrifices to help the army of the House of Don to defeat evil and show loyalty. This action also supports the main idea statement.
This book is very exiting, and I will give it Five Stars. This book is one of the best books I've ever read, and I think everyone will like it. I made this conclusion because, this story is very exiting, and the ending is never given away. I hope my book review was helpful to you.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm waiting for this to become a movie...
Others have summed up how good this book, and indeed, the whole Chronicles of Pyrdain series is -- I heartily agree. What I would like to see is the series translated into film. Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by Tony Toluba
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good ending for a splendid series, but very sad.
The adventures of Taran and friends ends with a war that splits Prydain apart. As the Cauldron-Born invade and conquer, Taran struggles to find a way to stop them. Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2003 by Danni Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars The final battle of good & evil in Prydain
Taran, Eilonwy, Coll, Doli, Fflewdur Flam & the other companions join Prince Gwydion and the Sons of Don to fight one final war against Arawn, the Death Lord. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2003 by Kim F.
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books for young readers
I found my old copy of this book, and decided to thumb through it again. After nearly 20 years since my first encounter, the story and characters still grabbed my attention and I... Read more
Published on June 19 2003 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ok Book
I sort of liked this book. It did have a lot of descrition and a really good story line to it. It also had imagination to it the was really good. Read more
Published on April 25 2003 by a student
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, sorrowful, and epic
This is the last and most complex of the Pydain Chronicles. There are a lot of battles, including 2 major ones, and a lot of inner choices that the characters must make. Read more
Published on April 12 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars The High King
The High King
By: Lloyd Alexander
Lloyd Alexander's The High King is a very good book. It is filled with action and adventure. Read more
Published on March 13 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars The High King
The High King
By: Lloyd Alexander
Reviewed By: JGagnier
Period 1
Lloyd Alexander's The High King is a very good book. It is filled with action and adventure. Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by j...
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book Yet to be found
All I have to saw is, if your going to read this book, good luck trying to stop!
Published on Dec 30 2002
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