Title: The Castle of Llyr
Author: Lloyd Alexander
The Chronicles of Prydain first caught my eye when I was browsing through Barnes and Noble in the West Village. My sister and I love the Disney version of "The Black Cauldron," so I was immediately drawn to the books when I spotted them in the children's section. What I did not realize was that the Chronicles were a richly developed series with many more stories to tell than simply the one shown in the cartoon.
The Castle of Llyr has been my favorite in the series so far. At last, the romantic tension between Taran and Eilonwy is being recognized. This was something I found lacking in the last two volumes. Granted, the characters were younger than, and probably thought that members of the opposite sex had cooties. However, I am excited to see Taran jealous of Eilonwy's possible betrothal or willing to risk his life for her safety.
The plot, too, is much richer. The villain is more than just pure evil. These villains are more calculating and we actually "meet" them. In the other books, the villains are abstract, far away. This villain has interactions with the other characters.
All in all, I found Llyr to be a moving and incredibly well written story. I can't wait to see what comes next in the world of Prydain.
Price: $6.99, paperback