The Broken Sword is the fifth chapter of The Book of Three. Here one of the two major antagonists of the series is introduced, whose histrionics and visage dominate the events. Evil, supernatural powers -- rarely glimpsed in this series -- are a major theme here. The offering of power to save oneself is a minor theme, repeated in later books.
Taran and Gwydion were viciously attacked by the Cauldron-Born and taken in bonds to Spiral Castle, home of the enchantress Achren. The former Queen of Prydain tried to trap Taran, soothing his wounds and cooing sorrowfully. Gwydion warned Taran of Achren's treachery, and refused to join the enchantress as an ally.
In a fit of rage Achren broke Gwydion's gold-pommeled sword with her own bare, bleeding hands. She barked a harsh, unintelligible order at her Cauldron warriors, and a whip handle knocked Taran out.
|The Book of Three|
|1. The Assistant Pig-Keeper | 2. The Mask of the King | 3. Gurgi | 4. The Gwythaints | 5. The Broken Sword | 6. Eilonwy | 7. The Trap | 8. The Barrow | 9. Fflewddur Fflam | 10. The Sword Dyrnwyn | 11. Flight Through the Hills | 12. The Wolves | 13. The Hidden Valley | 14. The Black Lake | 15. King Eiddileg | 16. Doli | 17. The Fledgling | 18. The Flame of Dyrnwyn | 19. The Secret | 20. Welcomes|