Book Review: The Black Cauldron

The Black Cauldron
The Chronicles of Prydain, Book 2
By Lloyd Alexander

Prince Gwydion calls a council of war at Caer Dallben and Taran is invited. To prevent Arawn, lord of Annuvin, from creating more of his deathless Cauldron-Born, Gwydion proposes an expedition to Annuvin to steal Arawn’s cauldron. While Gwydion, Coll, and Fflewddur Fflam enter Annuvin, Taran finds himself on guard duty near the gate, teamed up with the wise son of the chief bard and an arrogant prince. Fflewddur soon returns, reporting the cauldron has already been stolen, and the companions set out on a quest which will lead them through the treacherous Marshes of Morva.

In the second installment of The Chronicles of Prydain, Taran learns valuable lessons about becoming a man and a great leader. The true measure of his growth is shown when he is forced to choose between a magic brooch of wisdom and the black cauldron.

The Black Cauldron is an excellent addition to Alexander’s Chronicles and I would recommend it to any fan of the fantasy genre. The book is written as a stand-alone novel, but the story gains more depth when read in its proper place in the series.

This review originally appeared 16 March 2013 on

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