Every Monday, I will be recommending a book, TV show, movie, podcast, comic, or video game that are related to sci-fi/fantasy in some way.
After several years of working on a "my book recommendations" blog post, I figured I could probably get more mileage out of the concept not only by spreading it out, but also by including other works of speculative fiction.
Hopefully, this will draw attention to some great works as well as some amazing indie content producers.
For this first week, I will be recommending one of my favorite book series of all time, The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
Perhaps more famously known as The Black Cauldron, the title of the second book in the series and the Disney film that adapted a mashup of the first two books, this is an epic fantasy children's series that draws upon Welsh mythology.
Seriously, it really is the equivalent of Lord of the Rings in children's fantasy literature.
It consists of five books, which are, in order, The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle Of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King. It needs to be read in order as it tells a continuous story. There is also a sixth book consisting of side stories titled The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain.
The Chronicles of Prydain tells the story of assistant pig keeper Taran, who dreams of being a great hero. When the oracular pig Hen Wen, whom he is tasked with keeping, runs away, he gets drawn into an epic battle against the evil that threatens the land along with companions Princess Eilonwy, bard Fflewddur Fflam, Gurgi, and Doli of the Fair Folk.
If you are wondering why the image I chose to represent this series is the fourth book, Taran Wanderer, it's because I believe this book is representative of what truly sets this series apart. It's a deeply meditative coming of age tale about finding yourself told in a way I haven't seen done as amazingly well before or since.
Throughout the series, in spite of how the blurbs on the back covers might make it sound, Taran is not an ordinary hero. He sometimes fails, he often isn't the one to save the day, and his immaturity gets him into trouble more often than not. But he grows and learns and at the end of the day, truly becomes a hero of legend.
This series is absolutely amazing and I recommend it to readers of all ages. It's the kind of story that stands the test of time.