“The nature of fantasy allows happenings which reveal most clearly our own frailties and our own strengths. The inhabitants of Prydain are fantasy figures; I hope they are also very human.”
– Lloyd Alexander
Indeed, the third book takes on a more romantic tone as both Taran and Eilonwy have come of age wherein both have become more aware of each other’s presence in a different and not-always-annoying way. Here, Princess Eilonwy Daughter of Angharad Daughter of Regat of the Royal House of Llyr is to be sent away to the Isle of Mona to be trained as a lady. Taran, Gurgi, and Kaw the crow were tasked to take her there. On the boat, they meet the young and clumsy Prince Rhun, heir to the kingdom of Dynas Rhydnant.
They have just arrived yet things were not looking so bright beginning with Prince Gwydion disguising himself as a shoemaker and Magg, the Chief Steward, acting mean and suspicious. The princess is in danger but despite Taran doing his best to keep her safe, she was soon kidnapped. The young boy and his friends accompanied by Prince Rhun set off to try to find her. Despite knowing that the prince will be hopefully betrothed to Eilonwy in the future, Taran promised Rhun’s father, the King, to protect him at all costs. Even with all those feelings for the young lady, he still acted honourably and true to his word.
They encounter a giant feline name Llyan who took a fondness over Fflewddur Fflam’s harp-playing and a giant named Glew – both which have turned that way due to Glew’s crazy experiments. These two have hindered the party to reaching Eilonwy in time to save her from reaching the hands of the evil Achren, the powerful enchantress who was deemed to be dead since The Book of Three. Later on, they hatched a plan to take her from Caer Colur where Achren has held her prisoner. Taran did find her yet it was also not Eilonwy whom he had found for she had forgotten everything all due to the spell cast by the evil enchantress.
In the Castle of Llyr, it was not always all about Taran though his adventures to save a damsel in distress had not been short of lessons which he had to learn slowly such as the kindness of Prince Rhun making him a suitable king for his compassion despite his lack in the intellectual aspect. He had also discovered more about his feelings and things that truly mattered to him such as the Princess Eilonwy despite their constant bickering and fighting through all that years. Then again, his task to aid the young lady can only go so far as it is still up to her to make the final decision. Like many of us, what will happen to us is never just dependent on others, it is still up to us in the end, after all.