Lloyd Alexander's five-volume masterpiece draws you in straightaway with likable people and an interesting plot. Frustrated Assistant Pig-Keeper, Taran, longs to learn sword-fighting, but at this point in his life, one of his tutors, Coll, wants him to make horseshoes instead. Luckily, there are no horses who need them at the moment, for he is no expert at fashioning them. Impulsively, he grabs a piece of metal to wield into a sword, which promptly breaks for he has no idea how to make one. He burns his fingers as he touches a forbidden book of magic. None of this gives any hint of the hero he becomes in Prydain's battle against the Horned King.
I really liked this heroic quest of Taran and his friends, including the bard who loves to enhance the truth, the wise and noble Gwydion, and the loyal Gurgi, who is in some ways Sméagol's twin, though fortunately not Gollum's. Taran is a delight to be with. He learns much on his perilous journey with Gwydion and his other companions who destiny calls to him. Not the least is how to exercise pity and compassion, even to one who would be a great enemy, and the rewards that come from this. There are many other parallels to Middle-earth and to Celtic/Welsh mythology in the series, but it is also its own wonderful story. Recommended to all who enjoy a great yarn!