This is not the first time I have read The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. The first time was several decades ago when I was twelve. This time I am reading it to my young boys after they get into their beds for the night. Funny how little I remembered, but that is another story.
Publisher: Square Fish
Stars: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
This story centers around an assistant pig keeper named Taren and a kidnapped princess, Eilonwy. Taran’s pig, Hen Wen, who possesses the power of prophecy, is lost and Taran races into the forest to find her. He meets and assists a royal knight and over time finds more allies. He needs them for he is hunted by the followers of Arawn, the lord of the dead.
The Book of Three, and the following novels in the series, is based on Celtic myths and can have a profound effect of the imaginations of young minds. My children at four and eight, might have been a bit young for this, but it was still fun for them and at least I enjoyed it more than reading Baby Shark again. I might try ten and up, though, with this one.
Taran has a series of dangerous adventures, many of which are drawn from the Celtic myths and archetypes. He fights undead warriors and fierce Wyvern like beasts. For many children over the last fifty years, this was their first exposure to true fantasy literature and for some, the legends of their ancestors.
I gave this novel Five Stars for delivering what is sets out to do—create a fantasy novel for a younger audience. Most adults might find it pretty tame by these days standard, but it was not written for us. Sometimes Taran acts a little too naive, but maybe it is okay for children to follow someone so out of the loop on many concepts.
I recommend this book for anyone in or close to their middle school years or for any parents looking for a longer novel to read to their children. On to The Black Cauldron for us.