This week I received all the books that I had ordered using gift cards that I received from my family at Christmas, so I figured I'd do part one today with a few and finish up tomorrow to avoid an incredibly long post.
The Book of Three - The Chronicles of Prydain Book 1 by Lloyd Alexander
From the back of the book: Taran is bored with his Assistant Pig-Keeper duties, even though his charge is none other than Hen Wen, Prydain's only oracular pig. He'd rather be doing something more heroic, like making swords and learning to use them.
When Hen Wen escapes and Taran goes after her, he finds himself rather farther from home than he's ever been. Soon he begins to realize that heroism is no eas task. With the dreaded Horned King on the loose and King Arawn gathering the forces of evil, Taran must look past his own dreams to warn the population of Prydain - before it's too late.
From the back of the book: In the land of Prydain, evil is never far away. Arawn, the Lord of the Land of the Dead, has been building an army of dark warriors to take over Prydain, and the only way to stop him is to destroy the Black Cauldron he uses to create his dreaded soldiers.
Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, and his loyal companions must journey deep into Arawn's domainn to detroy the Black Cauldron. For each of them, the quest has special meaning. For Taran, it is a glorious opportunity to use his first sword in battle. But war requires a sacrifice greater than he'd ever imagined...
From the back of the book: Princess Eilonwy hates to leave her friend Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, and her beloved home, Caer Dallben. Why does she have to go to the Isle of the Mona to train as a proper lady when she's already a princess? But Eilonwy soon faces much more than the ordeal of becoming a dignified young maiden, for she possesses magical powers sought by the evil enchantress Queen Achren.
When Eilonwy is put under a deep spell, Taran and his companions set out on a dangerous uest to rescue her. Yet how can a lowly Assistant Pig-Keeper hope to stand against the most evil enchantress in all of Prydain.
From the back of the book: Taran is an Assistant Pig-Keeper no longer - he has become a hero. Now he dreams of winning the hand of Princess Eilonwy, but how can someone who has spent his whole life caring for a pig hope to marry royalty? Taran must find out who he really is. Eager to learn his origins and hoping to discover noble roots, Taran sets off with the faithful Gurgi.
The journey takes the companions to the three witches in the Marshes of Morva and through the many realms of Prydain. At last they reach they mystical Mirror of Llunet, which reveals a person's true identity. Yet Taran may not be ready to face the truth...
From the back of the book: When the most powerful weapon in the land of Prydain falls into the hands of Arawn, Lord of the Land of the Dead, Taran and Prince Gwydion rally an army to stand up to the dark forces.
The companions' last and greatest quest is also their most perilous. The biting cold of winter is upon them, adding to the danger they already face. Their journey, fraught with battle and bloodshed, ends at the very portal of Arawn's stronghold. There, Taran is faced with the most difficult decision of his life.
In the breathtaking Newbery Medal-winning conclustion to The Chronicles Prydain, the faithful friends face the ultimate war between good and evil.