The Book of Three

Book review by
Mark Nichol, Common Sense Media
The Book of Three Book Poster Image
Parents recommend
Adolescents take to this swashbuckling adventure.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The male and female heroes stereotype each other in gender-specific roles, but develop mutual respect.


Battles large and small; understated torture by fire. Enemy forces include zombies that cannot easily be destroyed. Imprisonment, fear of capture and death.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that adolescents take to this swashbuckling adventure, the first in a series of well-crafted stories featuring teenage heroes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byjustaposition April 23, 2009

I have never forgotten my joy at reading this series

i read The Book of Three when i was 11 or 12, not knowing it was the first in a series. i have never forgotten the sense of total enjoyment and amazement at re... Continue reading
Parent of a 4 and 9-year-old Written byWilliam D. April 16, 2018

Plenty positive

I read this book (and this series) when I was a kid, and recently read it to my nine-year-old. It was one of the first books I read where I truly felt for the c... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byA.M. September 18, 2010

One of my favorites!

This used to be my favorite book! Every time we had to write a book report in school I would choose to read this, even though I've read it a million times.... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDragonfly200 January 12, 2019

Amazing, Beautifully Written Book!

I first read this book when I was probably about 10. I loved it! The characters were great, and the story was good. There's never any swearing or sex in... Continue reading

What's the story?

A youth impatient to escape his sheltered, uneventful life becomes embroiled in a conflict between the forces of good and evil. Taran, jokingly called an assistant pig-keeper for his role in caring for a magical sow at the farm of the enchanter Dallben, is one of the most appealing of heroes, and all too human in his shortcomings.


Is it any good?

Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, is one of the great heroes of literature for older children. Impatient, hot-tempered, and clumsy, he is much more accessible than mighty warriors such as his idol, Gwydion, although that character also appeals because of his kindness and humility. Taran possesses another quality common to the best young characters: He may fall far short of his aspirations, but in recognizing his flaws he is able in some measure to overcome them.

Once he leaves the comfort of home, Taran suspects everyone he meets. But he comes to recognize that each one of his companions would give his or her own life for the others, and that he would do the same for any of them. The other characters, too, are engaging: the charmingly exasperating Eilonwy ("I hate crying; it makes my nose feel like a melted icicle!"), the truth-stretching Flfewddur Fflam, and the hairball-like but devoted Gurgi.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about aspirations, glory, and honor. Do you ever feel like impatient Taran, eager to achieve glory? What are his strengths? What are his flaws? How does he challenge himself to overcome some of his flaws?

Book details

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