The High King by Lloyd Alexander
Winner, 1969 Newbery Award
In the fifth and last of The Chronicles of Prydain series, Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper fights evil alongside his friends and learns the truth about his destiny.
The lard-lipped, squirming lackey has snared us all!
About the Author
Lloyd Alexander was the author of more than 40 books, primarily fantasy books for children and young adults. He was also one of the creators of Cricket, the children's literary magazine. He died in 2007.
For my project, I was inspired by the unfinished pig banner made by Eilonwy. ("The somewhat straggle-threaded embroidery showed a white, blue-eyed pig against a field of green.") I created the pig with white interfacing and embroidered the details on it. I placed it on a scrap of green printed cotton and cut the edges for a ragged look. I added two embossed snowflake sequins against a blue and white painted background to symbolize the snowy setting. The date is stamped into the metal, giving it the look of faint footprints in the snow.
If you've been reading my blog this year, you know that I'm always nervous about reading a book in the middle or end of a series. It's true that this book, the fifth and last in the series, may be read as a standalone. I read it that way, but there were enough asides and remarks about the past that someone who has read from the beginning probably found it much more enjoyable. The book contained a good amount of witty or clever dialogue. I particularly liked the insults (see my favorite quote above) and some of the remarks by Eilonwy, who turned out to be my favorite character because she was so unprincess like. ("I'm leaving that uncomfortable crown behind ... There's no use for it at all, except to hold down your hair, and that's hardly worth the blisters.") I did feel that this book was difficult to finish in a week, not because of its length, but because it was so densely packed with many characters and lots of action. I would have preferred to read it at a slower pace.
If you read this book, I'd love to hear what you think in the comments.