Lloyd Alexander, 83, a critically acclaimed fantasy and adventure writer whose coming-of-age novels use vivid action and elements of mythology to depict contemporary struggles between good and evil, died May 17 at his home in Drexel Hill, Pa. He had cancer.

Mr. Alexander wrote more than 40 books and is regarded as one of the best-known writers of juvenile fiction of the past several decades. He won over adult reviewers with cliff-hanging plots, stylish prose and believable characters that make his fanciful, long-ago settings seem plausible and relevant.

Crunchings and munchings. =(


  1. I loved “The Chronicles of Prydain” series when I read them as a teen, and still think they would make a great adaptation to the big screen. I don’t know who has the film rights but Disney’s “Black Cauldron” was horrid.

  2. I reread both the Prydain books and The Iron Ring regularly. I know this brands me as irredeemably lowbrow, but I always enjoyed these books more than Tolkien. A lot more. Alexander’s characters were always more recognizably human to me.

    Lloyd and Vonnegut in the same year. Not so good for the 13 year old me!

  3. Like Phil, while I enjoy The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Prydain books are the fantasy books I wholly, unreservedly love.

    They’re the one harp string that will never break.


  4. >> I reread both the Prydain books and The Iron Ring regularly. I know this brands me as irredeemably lowbrow, but I always enjoyed these books more than Tolkien. >>

    If that’s lowbrow, then hooray for us lowbrows!

    In addition to those books, the “Westmark” trilogy is great — the first one is sorta fully, insubstantial Alexander, but the next two are really good. Especially THE KESTREL, which stands up well next to the best of the Prydain books.


  5. I’ll have to try The Kestrel. I know this is certifiably nuts, but I always felt like I was “cheating” on the Prydain books when I read Lloyd’s other stuff.

  6. Man, I remember devouring the Chronicles of Prydain when I was younger. Along with John Christopher (Tripods Triology) and Madeline L’Engle, Alexander was my favorite speculative writer as a young reader.

    It’s just a shame that his death was required to remind me of the thrill of reading his books.

  7. I have read all of the Prydain Chronicles(The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, The High King, and The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain-wow, that’s a mouth full!), Time Cat, The Arkadians, The Iron Ring, The First Tow Lives of Lukas-Kasha, The Four Donkeys, The Man Who Wished to Be a Cat, and am reading The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian, in that order. I started reading his books three 3 ago, and i’m 13 now. In my opinion, he is the best author who has ever lived. His books are a lot better than J.R.R. Tolkien’s, and the characters are so life-like, you think theyr’e actually real. I wrote to him once, and got a letter, his signature, and a booklet from him! I was really sad when I found out that he died, and I didn’t even see anything about it in the news! I hate that not many people know who he was. I also admit Disney’s The Black Cauldron movie was really horrible. They got rid of Gwydion, made the Horned King the Dark-lord of Annuvin, crunched together ideas from The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, and The High King, and the drawing was pitiful! Anyways, it would be awesome if they made the Prydain Chronicles into 5 seperate movies, with real-life people. His books are an insperation to me, as I wish to write books myself when I get older, and I plan to read all 47 of his books. I will always remember Lloyd Alexander.