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The Song of Rhiannon (Mabinogion Tetralogy #3)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  267 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The Seven-Year Curse

Pryderi, son of Rhiannon, is the rightful heir of the kindgom, and as such should be able to enjoy some measure of happiness in his rule. But this son of Manawyddan must pay a heavy price for the secret of his birth, a price extracted by the immortal ones against the entire kingdom.

When Manawyddan and Pryderi try to challenge the curse set against their
Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 1975 by Ballantine Books (first published August 1972)
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Sean You can read it apart from the others and it will be beautiful, but I would not advise that. The books do form an ongoing story, especially numbers…moreYou can read it apart from the others and it will be beautiful, but I would not advise that. The books do form an ongoing story, especially numbers two and three, so they should be read in order if possible. But if you could not do it right, then by all means read this book alone as a thing of wonder and delight. (less)
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Community Reviews

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The Song of Rhiannon, a retelling of the Third Branch of the Mabinogion, isn't as powerful as The Children of Llyr, which is a relief, in a way. There's a time of healing for the characters, as well as what they suffer during the action of the story, and there's a happy end for them as well. It continues to follow the characters of Manawydan, Rhiannon, Pryderi and Kigva. There are actually few other characters in the story, fleshed-out or not, but the character of the Bogey made me smile quite a ...more
May 31, 2016 Sean rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of high fantasy and myth.
Excellent. Although she continues to romanticize the pagan past--which is, by definition, unrealistic--I love these books. Walton retells the stories of the Mabinogion with grace, respect, and great beauty. Although she is definitely a modern writer, with a modern writer's concern for psychology and detail, her books never make me feel like I am reading a modern attempt at retelling an older story. Rather, they have such integrity that they read seamlessly with the air of authenticity. The only ...more
Oct 06, 2016 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the title, Rhiannon is a secondary character in this story. Ultimately, it is her life that shaped the plot, and her power that changed it at the end, but the point of view throughout belongs largely to Manawyddan, last son of Llyr and rightful High King. His adventures in this branch of the Mabinogion are varied, and prove both his skills and inner nobility.
Jason gordon
The 2 stars missing from my rating represent whatever is lost in the translation from the original script, coupled with my lack of heredity, not having the depth of experience growing up with these tales in my youth. I feel certain that these elements are essential in understanding how this seemingly mundane story could survive through the years the way it has, the passing down from generation to generation giving it it's inherent magical quality. To me it felt clunky and lifeless and mostly uni ...more
Greg Strandberg
Jul 27, 2014 Greg Strandberg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was an English teacher in China when I was reading this book and I remember feeling a little self-conscious about taking it out of my bag to read in class while I showed the students American movies.

See, the cover is a bit suggestive. The story is flat and not at all interesting - in my opinion - but students couldn't see that.

Maybe some of those students thought of this picture later and are now reading this book. I feel sorry for them, for this old English/Celtic storyline, and the language
Fraser Sherman
Oct 09, 2016 Fraser Sherman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Even better than I remember it. Less epic than Children of Llyr, but the magic, as in the chapter where all of Dyved vanishes overnight, is unutterably eerie. And her descriptions of the land make me feel it would be wonderful to live in a pre-industrial agragrian society, and I know perfectly well I'd hate it. The story comes from the Third Branch of the Welsh Mabinogion, and it's beautifully written on top of everything.
I couldn't get into this one as much as The Children of Llyr. The characters just kind of mope around for most of the book. Also, I wasn't sure if I were reading The Song of Rhiannon or The Song of the Rhiannon--the "editor" (I use that term loosely) didn't seem to know either. Still marveling at the sheer number of mistakes in this omnibus edition.
Dec 10, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this retelling of the third branch of the Mabinogion, there is less battling and more domesticity, but this does not detract from the story. I first read these books when published under the Adult Fantasy imprint: I am enjoying them from a different perspective this time around.
Apr 17, 2015 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another captivating adaptation by Walton. She's bolder in this, the final branch. She adds her own take on Stonehenge and mixes some Irish folklore into the tale, creating a believable world out of the ancient Welsh mythology.
Feb 16, 2011 Jenine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My soft cover copy was printed in the 70s and has the most porntastic vibe to it. Continued good fantasy legend stuff from Evangeline Walton. I like her mind.
Nov 20, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please to ignore the cheesy cover art. Engrossing retelling of stories from the Mabinogion (Welsh mythology).
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Shelves: fantasy
These just keep getting better - one to go, but I can't give more than five stars. hmm.
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Evangeline Walton was the pen name of Evangeline Wilna Ensley, an American author of fantasy fiction. She remains popular in North America and Europe because of her “ability to humanize historical and mythological subjects with eloquence, humor and compassion”.
More about Evangeline Walton...

Other Books in the Series

Mabinogion Tetralogy (4 books)
  • Prince of Annwn (Mabinogion Tetralogy #1)
  • The Children of Llyr
  • Island of the Mighty

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