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4/8 c17 Skyboy91
Ah! The missing chapter… this rings a bell now. I remember being a little startled with how abruptly this cut to Medwyn’s valley before. In addition to a few changes at the end of the previous chapter, did you need to change the following chapter to take out some recap that explains how they got there? Sorry I don’t remember how that was handled, maybe you just moved right on.

In struggling to try to make something good of my own writing, I’m always struck by how you are able to describe the mood and feel of scene as fully in prose as you do in art. The first several paragraphs here do that so clearly, leaving the reader such a vivid picture of the scene in their mind. I know from experience how difficult that is! You both describe the scene, and also give a great picture of Eilonwy’s magically enhanced perception of what is going on around her…almost the way Adaon’s brooch worked for the non-inherently magically gifted. I loved her senses of the wolves, curious and aware, but not in a dangerous mood at the moment. Also, all of it perfectly in tune with LA’s world and his prose. No mean feat to pull all of that off.

It stuck me here (and I went back and checked canon, and it is the same) that Medwyn sort of completely overlooked Gwydion’s apparent death, when Taran mentioned it. Perhaps as a Gwydion fan that bothers me a bit…he would certainly be someone who is a kindred spirit to Medwyn in some ways, like Taran himself is. Perhaps Medwyn already knew something of his fate, and just instinctively knew it wasn’t the right time or place to bring it up - or he had no idea what the outcome would be (would Gwydion survive Oeth-Anoeth, if he hadn’t already escaped there by now)? Or maybe it’s just that Medwyn is so attuned to animals, the fates of humans (or demi-humans) just doesn’t register on him as much…although he seems very familiar with Coll and Dallben.

Hiraeth is the perfect name for this chapter…longing for a place you’ve never been, as Eilonwy longs for a home. She hasn’t experienced Caer Dallben yet, so besides some comforting memories of her parents, she’s never had a home. So poignant and touching, her feeling of emptiness at the end.

I also noted the additional interplay between Taran and Eilonwy at the end of the last chapter – very sweet, maybe the first time he held her hand? At least for comfort vs. physical guidance and support.

Great addition to a great story!
3/15 c34 Joshua
Nicely done! I thoroughly enjoyed rereading The Book of Three from the new perspective you brought it. The original series is precious to me, and easily the most formative literature of my adolescence. I commend your undertaking, and applaud the results: a story that fits the tone of the original. I found your take to be true to both the story, and perhaps more importantly for me personally true to the characters. I really appreciate the nuance with which you added depth and perspective to these cherished characters, without changing them. In short, I feel like your undertaking here fits the original story like a velvet glove. Thank you for the privilege of reading it.
8/19/2020 c6 Irregardlessly
Beautiful, professional quality writing as always from Companion Wanderer. I don't know if the dialogue follows the original - I haven't read that since Gerald Ford was President - but it certainly follows the spirit, while adding a new perspective.

Any fan of high fantasy will enjoy this, whether or not they like children's literature or are familiar with Alexander Lloyd. I'm looking forward to reading the remaining chapters.

This will be my last review on FanFiction. Sadly, they have made it so difficult to log in that it now takes longer to login than to write a review. I will, however, continue to read Companion Wanderer's material, if nothing else.
8/8/2020 c34 5E Blythe
This is amazing! I really loved seeing the events of "The Book of Three" through the eyes of my favorite Prydain character. You've captured Eilonwy's personality and character pretty much perfectly in this story, giving us a better insight into this awesome girl. It might not be the same for everyone, but this is basically how I imagined Eilonwy in my own mind. Great job!
7/23/2020 c34 2Skyboy91
I can’t believe this journey is ending - seems like I just started!

As usual, I enjoyed your stretching out of the events of the homeward journey…I could have stood for it to be even longer, LOL. “Somehow it seemed a shame that you could miss such happy hours by sleeping through them.” How true! I’m glad you develop Fflewddur and Doli’s unlikely friendship further here, it’s it interesting here, as in real life, how such disparate personalities can become fast friends.

I can understand Eilonwy chafing a bit over Taran’s confused attitude about her coming to stay (for more than a quick visit) at Caer Dallben, but of course it really isn’t his final decision, so he is just as confused as she is. And it’s amusing to watch her inwardly deny that she doesn’t care who Taran rides beside. Of course she doesn’t.

One thing I missed was the crossing of the Great Avren on the homeward journey… I guess I am used to that fording being mentioned normally for any trek to and from Caer Dallben. In my mind it’s almost like Caer Dallben is outside of Prydain proper, like a guard station before you cross the actual Prydain border (the river).

It touches your heart to see how inwardly anxious Eilonwy is, approaching a place she has never seen, hoping it will become her home…sort of like a foster child. She is a young woman now, but still a child in many ways, looking for some parent figures she can actually respect. And it’s also heartwarming to see Coll (and Dallben, in his own way) so happily oblige.

It’s funny, how the ending plays out here vs. the ending in the original. Coll clearly already knows that she is to stay, both in the original and here. So Dallben has already told him….but then Dallben plays poor Taran, saying that by all rights, she should be returned to her kinsmen…but there is no hurry about that. Perhaps if he spoke to her… Interesting how Dallben’s mind works here.

And again as I come to the end of this journey, I just want to say how happy I am that I took the time to make it. I wasn’t convinced at the beginning about the concept of this book, but it only took me a chapter or two to realize the riches you have to offer in additional perspective, in perfect alignment with the original material, but offering such a wide and more mature range. It is truly an amazing piece of writing, and your prose is a joy to read, always so clear and humorous. So much like LA himself. So thank you, both for your wonderful, intelligent and insightful writing, but also for becoming such a special friend. I am very honored, on both counts. ️
7/21/2020 c33 Skyboy91
So, was “forced seclusion” the general answer before female products were available? Poor Eilonwy. I guess I may have read something similar elsewhere, but how sad to have three days go to complete waste. I guess I will have to wait and see what happened to the sprig of ninehooks. I really enjoyed the imagery here, the pleasantness and genteelness of Caer Dathyl…I guess Camelot was really the model. And I love some of the ideas you come up with…”she held a general map of the area in her head, which was helpful when you were trying hard to look like you knew where you were going and had business going there,” Haha! I have used a similar tactic, in more than one situation… I guess Gwydion has more or less given her carte blanche, but most of the gentry and servants haven’t quite gotten the idea yet.

The picnic was lovely, sunny and joyous. Taran struggling to tell her how nice she looks is charming, especially with Fflewddur snickering in the background. And the description of the happiness of the group – the radiance, the columns of light – is such wonderful insight. Like a military detachment, decompressing right after a mission, while the camaraderie intoxication is still in the blood, and before the next assignment comes. And I would have loved to have heard Doli’s Fair Folk legends, Lord knows what he has seen. Yes, a day on the lawn of Caer Dathyl sounds like a lovely way to spend a day.

I loved Fflewddur’s explanation on why the companions were so important to the outcome…and I wonder how the three O’s felt, hearing him quote them….”a tangle of threads on a tapestry, that somehow all turn into a picture when you step back.”

I appreciated the refresher on Eilonwy’s family history, even after my reading of DoTS, it is hard to all keep it all straight. And the dress Eilonwy ended up being poured into sounds lovely – I would love to see a certain artist do an illustration of that one, and maybe I will see it soon! And I’m glad she actually took to heart Fflewddur’s words, and learned an important lesson.

You again made such a beautiful entrance description of the Great Hall, I can see it my mind, with the evening light from the western windows. But what I really liked was the description of King Math with Eilonwy’s eyes closed…”glowing in pale flame, a fire in its final heat,” and beside him Gwydion, “blazing like a furnace.”

I noticed how consistent you are in your descriptions – the description of the Fair Folk ring, matching exactly what you recently drew in “While we are Waiting.” And I always wonder at Taran – he could have asked for anything…but only asked to go home. If this doesn’t foreshadow the ending of the Chronicles, nothing does.

The evening’s gaiety sounded lovely, and how lovely that Eilonwy, with all her gifts, considered the beautiful swirl and rush to all the senses to be the most heady magic she had ever known.

If this is a rusty chapter for you, then you are truly gifted.
7/19/2020 c32 Skyboy91
Wow!

Of course I understand what happens at the end, and I assume that was the trigger for the dream, but the dream itself is simply spectacular, vivid, and very, very memorable. I had no idea where I was going when I started the journey, but the incredible detail, visualization and imagery of the writing brought to life this dark, soft, liquid and silvery scene, which very much felt like a dream. Eilonwy must have known at some level it was a dream, otherwise she would have/should have been terrified. And in the end it made sense, in the crazy way dreams sometimes do.

You must give me more details on what you were thinking when you wrote this, and let me know if I am off base, but my sense is this: The bauble wants to lead Eilonwy home, at least lead her spirit to a place that it knows – her ancestral home, and her blood. Of course the moon, the foam and the sea are her friends, her heritage, she has no need to fear them. But the woman in this case (although of course I first thought of her mother Angharad) was not her, a least not completely, but instead the “Triple Goddess,” – Girl, Woman, Crone – and in a way she was provind a journey for Eilonwy to her womanhood, and welcoming her to adulthood.

It is sad how innately homesick Eilonwy sometimes is, and I felt for her as she wept at the dream’s passing, and the knowledge that she was no longer home. I am glad though, when she awoke she was with a sympathetic nurse at Caer Dathyl – having an understanding ear I’m sure helps, - and yes it would have been quite interesting seeing Dallben or Call try to explain this to Taran back on the farm.

I don’t know why you felt the need to apologize at the end. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen enough of such things, but I found the “tropey symbolism” to be very beautiful. I have taken this journey so far to see what goes on inside Eilonwy’s mind - and through that, yours also. Your mind is quite a lovely place to visit, I never leave without taking away some new insight.
️️️
7/19/2020 c31 Skyboy91
I love the beginning of this chapter. So sunny, peaceful, quiet and romantic, as Eilonwy watches over a sleeping Taran, with a tenderness he has no idea she had. And how, still unbeknownst to him, she helps bring him out of his sleep, but is totally embarrassed that he might awake and find her caressing his hair. And the joy and relief she felt when he awakens…does she feel him looking at her in a different light, knowing she had chosen to stay there, watching him sleep and watching over him?

I would love to see a dramatization of the companion’s fight with the war band, as they held them off for Taran an Eilonwy’s escape, and made for Spiral Castle. How they survived, much less without major injuries, is really a pretty incredible part of the story when you think about it. And how telling that Eilonwy sends them all out, putting herself in charge of Taran’s care.

I never thought about Eilonwy feeling guilty for not mentioning Gwydion sooner, and I appreciated her tears for Taran after. And enjoyed even more her pride, knowing she had struck her own major blow against Arawn. Just think, he would never have been brought down at all in the end, if she had not taken the sword from that barrow. And how exhilarating, her seeing Gwydion and the blade now as one, with a single purpose.

This is such a key element of the book that goes by so quickly….I enjoyed how you expanded on Gwydion’s story. In a way I’m glad that Eilonwy felt a fragment of what Gwydion had to suffer at Oeth-Anoeth, and what price had to be paid for the knowledge, however temporary it might have been, that brought down the Horned King. But what fear she must feel, knowing Achren is still out there, biding her time, plotting, and waiting for another chance.

I appreciated their shared joy at the revelation that their kindness to the gwythaint turned out to be critical…and that Eilonwy took Taran’s outstretched hand. So heartwarming….but even more so, was Taran’s stammered out invitation to Caer Dallben…and her own little secret kiss at the end. Just wonderful! I felt as elated as she did. ️️️
7/18/2020 c30 Skyboy91
I’m really enjoying your “world building” chapters, they add so much richness and color, you really make Prydain come alive. And thank you for a proper description of the Great Hall, something that LA unfortunately did not give us. And so nice to see most of the companions together again! It is a joyous meeting, and so heartwarming. Eilonwy’s reaction to the men-at-arms was a bit sad and telling, but leave it to Fflewddur to help put her at ease. Nice to see Fflewddur back in his role as surrogate uncle/father, and nice to see a little more of Eilonwy’s damage repaired by seeing that not all men are the monsters employed by Achren. The walk through the caste was again very descriptive, and it was interesting what Eilonwy thought of the habits between Gwydion and the servants and common folk. I don’t think Gwydion is particularly imperious – at least I hope not – but as in the military, such hierarchical behavior just becomes ingrained over time.

The image of Taran lying in the bed was particularly expressive and touching, as was Eilonwy’s emotional reaction to it. And Hen Wen’s oracular powers must have been channeling a bloodhound, to find Taran in that huge compound! And for some reason I had never considered before what it must be like to sit in such an overflowing dress, HaHa.

I loved Eilonwy’s quiet waiting, and her impressions of the abundant normal life going on all around her, something she has never experienced. And her contemplation of her future, where she might go, how stifling castle life might be, and her remembrance of Medwyn’s wisdom and words. And it was fun imagine her on the road with Fflewddur, barding throughout the countryside. But of course in the end, she decides on the only course that truly feels right. And it makes me appreciate her more, and her feelings for Taran. How many princesses, who could live a life of luxury where they chose, would choose to live in a little backwater, on a tiny farm? I can only think of one.
7/17/2020 c29 Skyboy91
I love this chapter, because you have almost complete freedom to write your own story and embellish however you see fit (given that Taran is conveniently unconcious for a few days).

And we get to see things that obviously must have happened in one form or another…like Gwydion bringing in a half-dead Taran, a dirty Eilonwy and a manure-rooting oracular pig. And Eilonwy’s first encounter with a “squawking flock of hens,” but not the last. I guess the enlightenment of the Sons of Don didn’t extend to all their woman servants. I appreciated the extra touches here, like the beautiful view from Eilonwy’s window, and how the men of Spiral Castle ate their dinner.

I thoroughly enjoyed the slightly mischievous page boy, and thought back to Eilonwy’s earlier inner musing about what the boys of Caer Dathyl might be like, and how they would compare to Taran. And who can blame him for giving her a grin, and maybe a little wink.

Gwydion here is everything he should be - noble, polite and reserved. A hero for all seasons. I know he’s not your favorite character to write about – given his relative lack of interesting flaws – but you do a great job of introducing new facets, such as his innate extrasensory perception – perhaps both from being a Son of Don, and perhaps also from his recent experience at Oeth-Anoeth, whether or not the powers gained from that experience lasted very long. Even his mind is “observant and courteous.” And it is sad that Eilonwy remembers so little of her childhood – so little, that she feels obliged to apologize for it.

You are hinting at things about the fall of Llyr here that I’m sure will become clearer soon in DoTS – whether “Achren had a hand in the fall of Llyr, or only seized the opportunity” and also further description of the disaster, from Gwydion’s point of view. I’m looking forward to finding out more there…but back here, of course the most interesting thing you have done with Gwydion is to have revealed his long time feelings for Angharad. I was very touched by this very wistful and sometimes distant Gwydion, doing his best to hide his deeply submerged feelings from the person simultaneously most able to bring them to the surface, and probably the most able to sense them. His comment about marrying for love being an unpardonable offense…obviously he was joking, but I wonder if he was thinking not only about Angharad and Geraint, but about her and Taran. Maybe the Book of Three doesn’t speak only of someone who might be Taran, but also of someone like her.

Gwydion’s emotion at seeing the peledryn again are striking and sad, probably more than anything, this brings his memories of Angharad back to life. And his answer to Eilonwy’s question about it if could do more than provide light, makes me wonder if he had some thought of the spells of Llyr being used for some good. Or, if he was already anticipating Achren’s plans.

Wonderful chapter! So much revealed, Gwydion’s character enhanced and augmented, and mysteries deepened. Wonderful writing, as always.
7/14/2020 c28 Skyboy91
Oh Wow! You did LA some serious justice here, and really outdid him. This chapter really raises it up a notch, with so much additional color and power over what was in the original text.

I was a little surprised that Eilonwy seemed to be a little miffed with Taran saying, “WE have failed.” It’s a passing thought that she has, but I’m not sure what she would have expected him to say differently. He could have said, “I have failed,” I suppose, but in my mind, saying that would have belittled the concerted effort all the companions made, and she would not have liked that either. But this is a small thing in a great chapter.

The fight and flight scene is beautifully done! So much more power and really, more excitement and valor, than the original. I often wondered how Taran and Eilonwy got through the vanguard, in reality that seems highly unlikely. And the difficulties of riding behind Taran without a saddle were something I never considered. Maybe her raw, uncontrolled magic here was sufficient to push back the attackers just enough – until Dyrnwyn awakened, and commanded her to cease those efforts, for its own reasons. The description of the Horned King, and Eilonwy’s sense of his dark and empty soul, and the danger and immenent death they faced, is so compelling.

And Eilonwy’s vision here – is it Angharad she sees?

The description of the tempest after Gwydion speaks the name is verging on poetry…”The earth slide sideways and back. The water in the tree veins sizzled. The very air was rent like fabric and knit back together…” Wow. Beautiful and cataclysmic at the same time.

The only laughable part here is Eilonwy’s touching concern for Taran, and then how concerned she is that he might wake up and notice! Funny, but also a little sad at the same time. It will be nice when she doesn’t have to hide her feelings from the world, and especially from him, any longer.

I love your Gwydion, so in character, and a little extra charming, just for her. And of course all the pieces fit together here, his regard and feelings for Angharad so evident. And how incredibly noble of him to almost hand the sword back to her, hers to keep if she so desired. Followed by the girding ceremony…the first of many, in LA’s world and yours! And I loved Eilonwy’s sense that the sword approved of its new owner, after its last owner sullied and lowered himself over and over again, until he was no longer worthy.

This chapter clearly is the climax of the book, and reading your much more powerful version was like reading it for the first time… I really loved it, it brought out powerful emotions. Thank you for your talent, caring and skill in making this story so special.
7/10/2020 c27 Skyboy91
Well we are working toward the climax of the book here! Things happen so quickly in the chronicles, nice to stretch it out and savor it a bit.

Interesting for Eilonwy to pick up fear here as a primary motivator for Doli. I never thought about Doli being particularly frightened at this point in the book, but hey, he is a small fellow with a lot to lose (i.e, more or less eternal life) and he can’t turn invisible like his kin, so it makes sense that he would feel exposed, and also he probably has a better idea of the danger they are all in than any of the rest of the companions. Or maybe his fear really is entirely for the others.

Also nice to see Eilonwy struggling to contain herself in consoling Taran, making sure she keeps her emotional guard up, but compromising into a slightly less overt show of support vs. affection. And she goes through similar emotions, after Hen Wen runs off once again.

I loved your description of Gwyn’s horn on the companions, and especially on Eilonwy and her emotions, draining her spirit and will to live. In a way, lucky that the companions were attacked by the outriders when they were. I liked how you gave Fflewddur’s leadership and authority extra emphasis here, no time for coddling now, only time to take the actions necessary to survive. I enjoyed how you came up with a magical attack from Eilonwy that threw the rider off balance, so that Doli could get a clean shot. And also fascinating to see the toll the magic took on her immediately afterward.

I really appreciate how you are embellishing these scenes. As I mentioned in my last review, the important and climactic scenes as LA wrote them are really so brief, and as Fflewddur might say, “need a little color added.” And your colors are lovely…it also occurs to me that I would like to see you use some of these expanded scenes in the comic series, as you are rolling down the home stretch there now also!
7/9/2020 c26 Skyboy91
“The Gwythaint” was always one of my favorite sections of the book for some reason, and it struck me as I was reading your version that maybe the magic of LA’s writing was evoking a powerful image in your mind with a very small number of words, that even years afterward, you would turn over and over in your head, until the image in your mind fills void vistas, and looks something like what you put here on the page, and less like what was actually written by LA. Not everyone could put that expanded view on the page, of course, but I’m sure a lot of people have remembered scenes like this from the chronicles in their thoughts, and added so much more color and detail than was actually there to begin with. So I’m starting to look at your version of TBo3 as more of the director’s cut, vs. the theatrical release. I always prefer the director’s cut.

Eilonwy’s view of the gwythaint is interesting, as she was both pragmatic and could see the logic of chopping off its head, but also very sympathetic to its plight. And it is heartwarming that her feelings turn into admiration of Taran’s nobility in standing up for what he believes in, even if it seems foolhardy in this case. And also, it is one of the first scenes where she joins the fray to defend his point of view - and he gratefully accepts her moral support.

Eilonwy’s added scene here with the gwythaint is priceless, as she watches over the bird, tries to touch its consciousness, and becomes aware that the bird is trapped into its life serving Arawn, not out of its own will but forced to, out of conditioning and fear. “Like a key jammed into a lock that doesn’t fit” is such an apt line. It is fascinating and touching as she begins unconsciously talking to it, and apparently soothing it. And of COURSE she can’t let Taran know that she thought what he did was quite marvelous. It just wouldn’t DO. And of course he deserves to be smacked, just for existing.

At the end, I think it is another emotional step forward for Eilonwy as she lets down her guard enough to let Taran know that she admires his skill with herbs, and with animals. And Taran shows himself to be growing in maturity as well, as he owns up to the fact that she has now saved their lives on a couple of occasions, thanks to her wit and skill.
7/8/2020 c25 Skyboy91
There is some lovely descriptive language at the beginning of this chapter, “the backs of surfacing whales,” and “a jagged black ruin of some giant’s tower.” Just wondering, have you ever tried your hand at a poem?

Eilonwy is still doing her best to poo-poo most of what Taran says, but of course she is secretly fascinated. I guess most relationships are like this. You can never truly know what someone is thinking, until they are ready to blast through an emotional wall and actually trust you enough to tell you.

Eilonwy’s attempt to communicate with Hen Wen was beautifully described…”words intended to slide gently into the spaces between human thought and animal will…,” an intelligence…always at the very edge of sight…of an indefinable color and shape…”, leaving “an ephemeral trail.” Such lovely and vivid language, and how fascinating to think about what it must be like to be in the presence of an oracle. And nice to think that Hen Wen’s impatient run to Taran was also an attempt to save Eilonwy from herself.

I loved the description of the different effects a smile can have, depending on who is giving it. And at the end, you reminded that Eilonwy is a bit damaged…she learned to feign disdain for things she enjoyed…or cared for? That explains a lot of her actions I think…but she’s healing rapidly. You and your Eagle mountain and your great quests and your magic pig…
7/7/2020 c24 Skyboy91
This is another lovingly expanded section of the book (and I wonder, have you ever measured the length of Sunrise to the length of the original book? I feel like it must be longer, at least counting the sections it covers).

The description of Eilonwy’s buoyant emotions lifting her as she observes Taran’s pure joy are wonderful. And it appears you may have actually had your hands on a pig, it sounds like an accurate description of what one feels like. And I wondered what your thoughts were on “what Eiddileg was thinking.” All I can think is that the Fair Folk figured out she was important, either from the fact that the Horned King’s men were chasing her, or they sensed her power directly.

The expanded description of Doli and his “invisibility issues” is hilarious. And I really like what you did with the exit from the Fair Folk realm. The sense of danger that should be there is not there in the chronicles, and I especially admired Fflewddur’s gallant insistence on leading Melyngar around the dangerous turns himself to spare the others the danger, in spite of his own fear.

I enjoyed Eilonwy’s new outburst, I would have really expected something like that from her in the original, after Doli’s nasty statement! And I enjoyed imagining Taran and Fflewddur’s “nervous, jerky moves toward her,” as they attempt to head her off from braining Doli with a rock…. …and Gurgi’s comment - while sharing out the provisions equally - is a nice addition. I laughed to think about Taran’s arms flopping helplessly as Hen Wen sits on him, and it was nice for Eilonwy and Gurgi to have their own tender moment at the end.

Again a lovely chapter, and an improvement on the original in my opinion. You must have added some additional chapters, since your notes mention only a couple of chapters until the end?

Dwarfs? Dwarves? The debate continues….
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