The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander (2 stars)
Kel Thursday, January 09, 2014 reviewI am still working my way through children's classics I strangely didn't read as a child, and I'm now 3/5 of the way through the Chronicles of Prydain! This wasn't the strongest entry in the series, especially coming off The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron, but it wasn't boring and featured more character development for our adventurous Assistant Pig-Keeper. :)
Series: Chronicles of Prydain #3
Genres: Children, MG, Fantasy
Published on May 16, 2006 (first published January 1, 1966)
Published by Square Fish
Final Rating: 2 stars
Princess Eilonwy has accompanied Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, on all his adventures. But a princess needs special skills that can only be learned in a royal household, so she travels to the island of Mona to begin her proper education. As it turns out, court life isn't as boring as it seems to the unwilling princess --- friends and enemies appear in many guises, and danger hides in every corner. When Eilonwy disappears and disturbing rumors about the evil enchantress Achren surface, Taran and his companions undertake an exciting and terrifying mission to rescue their princess. But will Taran battle to save Eilonwy's life only to lose her in the end?
What I liked:
The conflict. Lloyd Alexander is brilliant about continuously putting Taran in uncomfortable situations that force growth. Bringing back Achren and giving her story some closure was a good move, too.
What I didn't like:
There's very little of Eilonwy in the story. She's one of my favorite characters in this series and the story had a limited female presence without her. The story also heavily featured the clumsy, somewhat useless Prince Rhun who was sometimes amusing, sometimes exasperating.
The pacing felt slower and the buildup to the climax less effective than in the last two books, but it was still an enjoyable enough fantasy read, and I'm looking forward to finishing this series. :)