The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain, Lloyd Alexander, 1973, Book Review

MMGM is a weekly meme hosted by middle grade author, Shannon Messenger. (Finally! A meme that fits perfectly with my content!)

tales of prydain

Most of you know how much I LOVE the Chronicles of Prydain. They’re an older MG fantasy series (1960’s) that won plenty of awards in their day, yet they have a lingering worth for today’s readers. The wisdom and nobility portrayed in them and the incredible craftsmanship of the story reminded me greatly of the Chronicles of Narnia. If you like one, I bet you’d like the other.

Anyway, I was aware of this companion volume to the series but hadn’t taken the time to check it out until one of my blog commentators who loves this series as much as I do highly recommended that I read it. I’m glad I did. It contains six short stories that give background information to the world of Prydain and its beloved characters.

The Foundling tells the story of Dallben’s youth and how he came to possess the Book of Three and his steady wisdom.

The Stone features one of my favorite characters, Doli of the Fair Folk. In this one, a human who comes into contact with Doli learns some valuable lessons about the balance of pain and beauty that is mortality.

The True Enchanter is the story of Eilonwy’s mother, Angharad. Eilonwy comes by her fiery and noble disposition honestly!

The Rascal Crow features Medwyn, caretaker of Prydain’s animals, and his love for one rapscallion of a bird (who happens to be very reminiscent of Kaw) and the lessons he learns in humility.

The Sword reveals the mystery of the powerful sword, Dyrnwyn, and how it came to rest under Spiral Castle.

And The Smith, the Weaver, and the Harper explains how Arawn Deathlord stole the most valuable possessions of the Prydain folk, and also reveals his great weakness.

These were simple tales, written almost in the style of a fable, that shine a bit more light on the world I came to love. But they continue in Lloyd’s voice of beauty and nobility and wisdom. If you’ve read  the novels, be sure you pick up this little gem. If you’ve never visited Prydain, you’re missing out on a wonderful world.

9 thoughts on “The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain, Lloyd Alexander, 1973, Book Review

  1. I feel like I read this series when I was in middle school. I can’t remember clearly and it pains me. I have just added this series to my list to reread or read for the first time! I guess I will know when I start reading. Thanks for sharing!

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