The High King

Author Alexander, Lloyd
Language English
Publisher
London: Usborne, 2010




Annotation:

Presents a fantasy story about the struggle between Taran and his army and the forces of evil led by Arawn Death-Lord in the legendary kingdom of Prydain.



Subjects :

  • Prydain (Imaginary place)
  • Juvenile fiction
  • Newbery medal books
  • Children's stories
  • Fairy tales
  • Fantasy
  • Taran (Fictitious character : Alexander)

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Author Illustrator(s) :

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Best Books :

  • Notable Children's Books, 1968 ALSC American Library Association
  • Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 H.W. Wilson
  • Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 H.W. Wilson
  • Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition, 2000 H.W. Wilson
  • Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition, 2005 H.W. Wilson

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Awards, Honors & Prizes :

  • John Newbery Medal, 1969 Winner United States

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Reading Measurement Programs:


0440435749, 9780440435747
Dell (New York NY:) 1968.

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 6.1
Accelerated Reader Points 11

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.

Lexile Measure 900
Accelerated Reader Points

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 6-8
Reading Level 6
Accelerated Reader Points 14


0805061355
H. Holt (New York:) 1999.

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 6.1
Accelerated Reader Points 11

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.

Lexile Measure 900
Accelerated Reader Points

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 6-8
Reading Level 6
Accelerated Reader Points 14

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Reviews :

Midwest Book Review (Children's Bookwatch, September 2005)
James Langton's spirited reading of Alexander's The High King, the fifth and final book in his Prydain Chronicles fantasy series is a recommended listen for teens on up who have prior familiarity with the Prydain setting from previous novels in the series. The unabridged reading makes for a powerful production as actor James brings drama to the concluding story of Taran, who helps lead an army against a powerful lord. His final confrontation is filled with danger and a decision which will affect the rest of his life in this vivid dramatization. The Audiobook Shelf ...., Listening Library, $28.00 . ages 12-adult
(PUBLISHER: $28.00 ., PUBLISHED: Listening Library)

Sonya Goldman (Children's Literature)
Five enchanting books comprise the "Chronicles of Prydain" by Lloyd Alexander. Prydain is a land with heroes and legends drawn from Welsh mythology. The High King, the final book of the Chronicles is weighty and serious--even oppressive at times. There is a sense of despair in this story. The humor and romance that wove charm into the earlier books are starkly absent from this tale where the end of the world is threatened. Taran rises fully to manhood and all its burdens. Fortunately, the dark curtain in this book lifts at the end to reveal a beautiful and fanciful conclusion. Other books in the Chronicles include The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, and Taran Wanderer. 1969 (orig. 1968), Henry Holt and Bantam Doubleday Dell, $16.95 and $4.99. Ages 10 up.
(PUBLISHER: Dell (New York NY:), PUBLISHED: c1968.)

Sonya Goldman (Children's Literature)
Five enchanting books comprise the "Chronicles of Prydain" by Lloyd Alexander. Prydain is a land with heroes and legends drawn from Welsh mythology. The High King, the final book of the Chronicles is weighty and serious--even oppressive at times. There is a sense of despair in this story. The humor and romance that wove charm into the earlier books are starkly absent from this tale where the end of the world is threatened. Taran rises fully to manhood and all its burdens. Fortunately, the dark curtain in this book lifts at the end to reveal a beautiful and fanciful conclusion. Other books in the Chronicles include The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, and Taran Wanderer. 1969 (orig. 1968), Henry Holt and Bantam Doubleday Dell, $16.95 and $4.99. Ages 10 up.
(PUBLISHER: Henry Holt and Bantam Doubleday Dell $16.95 and $4.99., PUBLISHED: 1969 (orig. 1968))

Cassidy Burleson (The Lorgnette - Heart of Texas Reviews (Vol. 12, No. 4))
Alexander wraps up his beautifully woven Chronicles of Prydain in this final book of five. THE HIGH KING is yet another tale of love, friendship, and adventure. The same characters which Alexander introduced in the previous novels are prevalent throughout this one as well. Alexander also sprinkles in a smattering of new characters, which help propel the story to its final climax. As the final battle between good and evil comes to a head, Taran discovers what true loyalty is, who he really is, and that he finally must make the ultimate choice. The book is certainly comprehensive enough to be read independently but is best read as the final chapter in an incredible tale of one boy's quest for love, adventure, manhood, and finally, self knowledge. This series of books is recommended to all readers of every age. (Chronicles of Prydain. Rev. and expanded ed.) Fiction, Highly Recommended. Grades 5-12. 1999, Holt, 253p, $17.95. Ages 10 to 18.
(PUBLISHER: H. Holt (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1999.)

(Children's Literature.)
When the most powerful weapon in the land of Prydain falls into the hands of Arawn, Lord of the Land of Death, 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 crucial decision of his life. In this breathtaking Newbery Medal-winning conclusion to The Chronicles of Prydain, the faithful friends face the ultimate war between good and evil. Lloyd Alexander served during World War II, an experience that gave him an abiding hatred of war; love of peace shines out of all his work. With a distinct bias toward people living on the fringes of society, the seekers, the disadvantaged, and the dispossessed, Alexander has made a most distinguished and lasting contribution to world literature, not because his words are precise and beautiful-which they are-but because they are drawn from a great and compassionate heart. In 1963, he began writing children's fantasy, which, he believes, is one of the many ways to express attitudes and feelings about real people, human relationships and problems. In the body of his work, readers of any age or nationality meet unforgettable characters in universal dilemmas. He places memorable characters and their conflicts in locations throughout history and around the world. Although his settings are historically and culturally accurate, they remain only the background against which his characters journey and grow. The characters struggle to maintain their integrity against seemingly insurmountable odds. Often they fail miserably, a comfort to equally fallible readers. Lloyd Alexander said in a Scholastic interview just how painful it was to end the Prydain Chronicles, and he definitely does quit while he's ahead. Did I mention I put off reading this book for ages because I didn't want the story to end? "High King" is the most mature of all of the books, a hard story that ends bitter sweetly. The sword Dyrnwyn has been stolen by the shape shifting Arawn Deathlord, and the various cantrevs (kingdoms) of Prydain are launching a military strike against Annuvin, The Land of Death.
(PUBLISHER: New York Holt Rinehart and Winston 277 p Ages 08 to 12., PUBLISHED: 1968)

Geoff Fox (Books for Keeps No. 159, July 2006)
First published between 1964 and 1968, the five books of ‘The Chronicles of Prydain’ chart the adventurous exploits of Taran, an Assistant Pig Keeper. In this, the last in the cycle – winner of America’s Newbery Medal in 1969 – Taran becomes High King. Admiring critics have praised Alexander’s subtlety of characterisation, his wisdom, his humour and his epic prose. Yet this novel’s chief quality is simply the highly competent telling of an adventure story – rapid action, exciting cliff-hangers, poignant deaths, all narrated in an elevated prose. There are ingredients which were already familiar to readers of Lord of the Rings: the gathering of the Companions, the heroic journey, the formal modes of address, the struggle against a Dark Lord with the very future of the World in the balance. Characters in sagas tend to the predictable; drawn through two or three often repeated strokes. Glew will always witter on about when he used to be a giant, Gurgi will indulge his penchant for rhyming (‘munching and crunching’), Prince Rhun will behave like a dashing but dim public school boy. 40 years ago, before the complex uses of fantasy made by, say, Le Guin or Pullman, these deeds of derring-do gave children a kind of Tolkien for younger readers. But where Tolkien’s tale had deep roots in Anglo-Saxon and Norse, the Wales which Alexander claims as his inspiration seems chiefly evident in romantic names and a roughly similar coastline. Some 21st-century readers may feel that Prydain remains rooted in the pre-feminist sixties. Princess Eilonwy, the only major female figure in this novel, would much rather have been a bloke. At the end, when she surrenders her magical powers in order to spend her life with Taran, the all-wise Dallben nods and, ‘“Yes,” he said gently. “Yet you shall always keep the magic and mystery all women share. And I fear that Taran, like all men, shall often be baffled by it.”’ Looking back, it’s been quite a journey. GF Category: 10-14 Middle/Secondary. Rating: 4 (Very Good). ...., Usborne, 320pp, £5.99 pbk. Ages 10 to 14.
(PUBLISHER: Usborne (London:), PUBLISHED: 2006.)

Donal Cumiskey (Inis - Children's Books Ireland Magazine, Autumn 2006 (No. 17))
Lloyd Alexander is a master storyteller of the fantasy genre, but is sadly not as recognised in Ireland as Tolkien or Lewis. The High King is the fifth and final book in his outstanding series The Chronicles of Prydain, which includes the better-known The Black Cauldron that was adapted into a Disney animated film. This newest edition of The High King is presented with an attractive new cover, chapter illustrations in black and white (tastefully executed by Alison Read), a map of Prydain, and a pronunciation guide first published in 1999. The writing, however, happily remains the very same that won the Newbery Medal in 1969, despite the makeover the book has received. The High King is the end to an epic journey for Taran, the protagonist, who has grown tremendously in wisdom and strength over the course of the series, from an assistant pig-keeper to a great warrior. Taran comes of age and makes the most important decisions of his life, and the book culminates in a mighty battle between the forces of good and evil. The presence of an excellent heroine in Eilonwy gives female readers a strong character to identify with. Alexander’s writing is graceful in dealing with serious themes of death and destruction, juxtaposed with the inner turmoil in Taran’s mind. The characterisation is rich, allowing for still more development of Taran and Eilonwy, and the descriptive passages are lyrical as always. There is subtle humour in Eilonwy’s delicate observations, and the battle sequences are full of excitement. Readers of 12 and older who enjoy fantasy will lap up this wonderful piece of writing; but while The High King stands alone as a superb book and is capable of being read as such, readers will enjoy the series best in sequence, beginning with The Book of Three. 2006, Usborne, £5.99. Ages 12 up.
(PUBLISHER: Usborne (London:), PUBLISHED: 2006.)

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Publication Details:

  Publisher ISBN Notes
London: Usborne, 2010

Media Type: Language Material
1 v.:
(813.54)
9781409515098
1409515095
Originally published New York Holt Rinehart & Winston 1968; London Fontana 1979.
London: Usborne, 2006

Media Type: Language Material
299 p.:
(813.54)
0746068387
9780746068380
Formerly CIP.
Originally published London Heinemann 1979.
New York: H. Holt, 1999

Media Type: Language Material
ix 253 p.:
PZ7.A3774 ([Fic])
0805061355
9780805061352
New York: Dell, 1990

Media Type: Language Material
304 p. ;
London: Heinemann, 1986

Media Type: Language Material
223p. ;
(813/.54)
0434926531
9780434926534
Originally published New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston 1968 ; London: Fontana 1979.
London: Fontana Lions, 1979

Media Type: Language Material
223p. ;
(813/.54)
0006725651
9780006725657
Originally published New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston 1968.
London: Fontana, 1979

Media Type: Language Material
223p. ;
(823/.9/1)
0006714994
9780006714996
Originally published New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston 1968.
Random, 1974

Media Type: Language Material
4fs. and 4 ct.
F
0844488402
9780844488400
Based on the book of the same title by Lloyd Alexander.
Henry Holt and Bantam Doubleday Dell $16.95 and $4.99., 1969

Media Type:

0805011145
9780805011142
New York: Dell, 1969

Media Type: Language Material
304 p. ;
()
7649165833
9787649165833
New York Holt Rinehart and Winston 277 p Ages 08 to 12., 1968

Media Type:

9780805080520
080508052X
Holt, 1968

Media Type: Language Material
285 p.
F
0005532892
9780005532898
Awarded the Newbery Medal 1969
New York NY: Dell, 1968

Media Type: Language Material
304 p. ;
([Fic])
0440435749
088103097X
9780440435747
9780881030976
"A Yearling book."
"A Dell Yearling book"-cover.
New York Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1968

Media Type: Language Material
285 p.
PZ7.A3774 ([Fic])
New York: Henry Holt & Company, 06

Media Type: Language Material

([Fic])
9781429961981
1429961988
$28.00 .,

Media Type:

1400085608
9781400085606

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