The High King

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No one ever accomplishes anything alone.

Sure, Taran is the hero of “The High King.” His transformation from young boy desperate for glory to a sober and strong leader of men is completed. But in these books, “ Of wisdom there are as many patterns as a  loom can weave,” and victory would have been impossible without the full complement of characters–without Eilonwy and her stubbornness, Gurgi and his loyalty, and all the rest with their unpronounceable Welsh names.

This book cuts deep, fearlessly killing old characters and bravely hurtling to the end of the journey. There is a sense that a great epic is coming to a close, that the world is changing and will never be the same. But at the same time, a boy and a girl are in love, a former giant is whining, a bard-king is wandering and embroidering the facts. Destiny is only visible in hindsight (but if that is so, can it properly be called destiny at all?).

At the center of this book is choice. Who we are is who we choose to be. Who we become is, ultimately, in our own hands. That is the terrible and beautiful truth whose knowing, perhaps, is itself the door between childhood and real adulthood.

The pattern is of your choosing and always  was.”  “My choosing?” Taran questioned. “Not yours? Yet I believed…” He  stopped and raised his eyes to Orddu. “Yes,” he said slowly, “once I did believe the world went at your bidding. I see now it is not so. The strands of  life are not woven by three hags or even by three beautiful damsels. The pattern indeed was mine. But here,” he added, frowning as he scanned the final  portion of the fabric where the weaving broke off and the threads fell unravelled, “here it is unfinished.” 
“Naturally,” said Orddu. “You must still choose the pattern, and so must  each of you poor, perplexed fledglings, as long as thread remains to be  woven.”
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