In the imaginary Land of Prydain, where "evil is never distant," it has become imperative that the Black Cauldron, chief implement of the diabolical Arawn, be destroyed. In this cauldron Arawn has created his terrible army of deathless warriors from the stolen bodies of the slain. For each of those chosen to journey to Arawn's domain, the quest has a special meaning, and to Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, the adventure becomes a glorious opportunity to wear his first sword and prove himself a man among men.
Lloyd Chudley Alexander (1924–2007) was a widely-influential American author of more than forty books, mostly fantasy novels for children and adolescents, as well as several adult books. His most famous contribution to the field of children's literature is the fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain. The concluding book of the series, The High King, was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1969.