There are dozens of ways in which an author can introduce information into a story. Alexander chooses to come right out with it. He uses a “remember when” method. This is when two characters are speaking with one another and one character says to the other, “Remember when—” The character then proceeds to inform the other character and also the reader about back story that they do now know. Almost the entire history of the land of Prydain is giving in the first chapter of the book in just this manner. The reader learns of all the bad guys, magic, history, and some of the characters we will meet throughout the book. This can feel heavy handed at times, but it is a quick and efficient way to give information and not worry about inserting bits and pieces slowly throughout the story.