Reviews tagged "celtic/irish"

 

The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

It seems like there’s never enough time nowadays — no time to talk with family, enjoy a sunny day, or play music, and the buses are always late. J.J. Liddy and his family are definitely feeling the lack of time, along with the rest of their small town on the west coast of Ireland, so […]

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Prince of Annwn by Evangeline Walton

This book retells the first part of the stories of the Mabinogion, the book of traditional Welsh myths. In it, Pwyll, prince of Dyved, makes a bargain with Arawn, lord of Annwn, the land of the dead. The two princes will exchange places and roles so that Pwyll may conquer Arawn’s enemy Havgan, with whom […]

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Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

In this sequel to Daughter of the Forest, Marillier continues the story of Sorcha’s family with the tale of Liadan, Sorcha’s youngest daughter. Raised in a loving family but surrounded by societal feuds, uncertainty, and danger, the independent-minded Liadan must make her own decisions about the future — even when they go in the face […]

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Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

This novel retells Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale “The Six Swans”, setting it in medieval Ireland (and thereby drawing parallels to the Irish legend of the Children of Lir). The central character, Sorcha, is the only daughter of an Irish chieftain. She runs wild with her six older brothers and loves them devotedly. But when the […]

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Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

This rather engaging book retells the ballad of Tam Lin, setting it in a small liberal arts college during the seventies. It’s a charming idea, and it partially works. The depiction of college life is vivid and affectionate: Dean obviously loves both college and English literature, and that makes the book very enjoyable. The heroine, […]

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I Am Mordred by Nancy Springer

In this short novel, Springer introduces us to young Mordred, future slayer of King Arthur. Mordred was raised in ignorance of his parentage by a fisherman after his father, upon Merlin’s advice, tried to kill him. Later, living with his mother again, he learns of the prophecy of his fate to kill his father the […]

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I Am Morgan le Fay by Nancy Springer

Having just picked this book up on a whim, I was surprised and pleased at its quality. The novel tells the story of the young years of Morgan le Fay, the half-sister of King Arthur and a sorceress. When she is very young, Morgan’s father is killed by King Uther, who then marries her mother […]

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Deirdre by Madeleine Polland

This book tells the story of Deirdre, the Irish princess renowned for her beauty and her tragic fate. Because of a prophecy of doom at Deirdre’s birth, the king of Ulster, King Conor, determines to marry her himself. When she is seven years old, he sets her apart to live alone, that she may not […]

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The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool by Rosemary Suttcliff

This book is a collection of stories about the southern Irish hero, Finn Mac Cool. The stories are very much in the fairy-tale style, with traditional fairy-tale heroes, princesses, giants, and the occasional otherworldly being. The tone is very different from the desperate wildness of Sutcliff’s Hound of Ulster. The book is joined together not […]

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The Song of Albion by Stephen Lawhead

(Nota bene: These were some of the first fantasy books to capture my imagination, and three readings later, they’re still some of my very favorites. Proceed at your own risk. 🙂 ) Stephen Lawhead’s writing is in general quite satisfactory, but these books stand above all his others as a triumph in modern fantasy literature. […]

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