May 04, 2004

Taran Wanderer, by Lloyd Alexander

This is the fourth of Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, and if you'd asked me some months ago, before I started reading them to David, I'd have told you it was my favorite. It might still be...but I was surprised to discover that it's not the book I thought it was.

Or, rather, it is...but the events that I remember and that made the book special for me and that I thought filled the whole book are actually all jammed into the last thirty or forty pages.

Anyway, this is the book where Taran, through self-sacrifice and hard work, finally becomes a man. This is the book where he discovers his limits--which are wider than he thinks in some places and which pinch unexpectedly in others--and makes his peace with himself. He becomes a man who can see what needs doing, and will do it, as best he can; who does not make excuses; who is brave, honest, and skilled, all three. Not a bad package, I think.

Posted by Will Duquette at May 4, 2004 08:51 PM