Celtic Tales

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Τitle: Celtic Tales

Writer: Text adaptation by Mirabelle Korn, illustrated by Kate Forrester

Publishing House: Chronicle Books

Date of Publication:  August 30th 2016

Rating: 5 stars

‘’Do not think the fairies are always little.
Everything is capricious about them, even their size…
Their chief occupations are feasting, fighting, and making
love, and playing the most beautiful music.’’
William Butler Yeats, ‘’Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry’’

16 tales from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. Tales of tricksters, witches and dragons. Of impossible quests, brave maidens, clever lads, wise women. Tales of love, wisdom, cunning plans and compassion. Tales of otherworldly creatures and very …worldly humans.

The Clumsy Beauty and Her Aunts (Ireland): A clumsy maiden attracts the attention of a prince and three wise women who knew how to work with fine flax come to her aid.

Μaster and Man (Ireland): The adventure of a brave young man and a member of the Fairy Folk.

The Kildare Pooka (Ireland): A very special pooka takes over the chores of the house.

Little White-Thorn and the Talking Bord (Brittany): A brave girl restores her mother’s position that had been compromised by her greedy brothers.

The Giant’s Stairs (Ireland): A brave blacksmith runs to the rescue of a very inquisitive boy.

The Witch of Fife (Scotland): In my favourite tale, a husband gets more than he had bargained for when he decides to follow his wife in one of her witchy-nightly escapades.

Assipatle and the Master Stoorworm (Scotland): An evil queen, a horrible wizard and a sea- monster threaten every maiden in the kingdom but they are no match for an intelligent young man.

The Seal Catcher and the Selkies (Scotland): You can’t create a Celtic Tales collection without including a story about selkies and this one is dreamy, whimsical and moving. A seal catcher finds himself in the domain of the selkies and understands the pain he inflicts. 

The Soul Cages (Ireland): A story of the Old Folk and imprisoned souls.

The Basin of Gold and the Diamond Lance (Brittany): A tale of trials, riddles and treasures set in the beautiful city of Nantes.

The Brownie of Fern Glen (Scotland): Have we ever thought that the ‘’supernatural’’ creatures who have come to fear are actually afraid of humans and fed up with our silly behaviour? A kind brownie shows his gratitude to the woman who looks after him and exposes the humans for the dim-witted creatures they actually are…

The Red – Etin (Scotland): Three sons set off, seeking their fortune. Only one of them is brave and kind enough to overcome trials and giants and win the hand of the princess.

Teig O’Kane and the Corpse (Ireland): A young man who is all for drinking and merry-making with innocent girls understands that wandering in the night and making small talk with the spirits of the night isn’t really advisable…

The Witch of Lok Island (Brittany): A witch puts a spell on fickle suitors and lures them away from their beloved. A striking way to justify the inherent infidelity of men.

The Black Bull of Norroway (Scotland): Another beautiful, moving tale about a girl who had the immense courage to follow an enchanted bull and the unconditional love that helped her endure seven years of trials. 

Meredydd and the Wyvern (Wales): Sometimes being in love means much more than killing a wyvern…A classic Welsh tale.

Beautifully adapted by Mirabelle Korn and outstandingly illustrated by Kate Forrester, Celtic Tales is an invaluable gem for your bookshelves.

‘’Seven long years I served for thee,

The glassy hill I climbed for thee, 

The mantle white I washed for thee,

And wilt thou not waken and turn to me?’’