The Black Cauldron is book 2 in Lloyd Alexander’s children’s fantasy, The Chronicles of Prydain. In book 1, Book of Three, we see Assistant Pig Keeper Taran venturing the world, defeating monsters and villains on his way to manhood. Book 2 is much the same.
In The Black Cauldron, we are introduced to a few more warriors and warlords, but I get the feeling they have made their cameo appearance on the series and won’t be seen again until a big reunion at the end of the series. So no point in introducing the near characters. We do have our main characters and main side characters who will from here on out be known as The Companions.
The Companions and the aforementioned war lords and leaders set off on a journey to find the black cauldron. The black cauldron is a cauldron that turns dead people into mindless, immortal Cauldron-Born. The cauldron is currently in the hands of Arawn, ruler of Annuvin. The heroes can’t possibly think to defeat Arawn at this time so they hope to steal the cauldron and lessen his power.
So another journey begins. And then ends. Besides the characters being the same and certain magical items being carried over, I’m not too sure there is continuity between the books. Alexander himself said that this book can be read as a stand-alone. It certainly, in my opinion, wasn’t as good as book 1. Still, you must read it and the whole series.