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Island of the Mighty retells the last branch of the Mabinogion, the story of Gwydion, Arianrhod, Llew Llaw Gyffes, Blodeuwedd and Goronwy. It begins with a retelling of stealing the pigs belonging to Lord Pryderi. Gwydion uses this to provoke war, allowing his younger brother to rape the king's footholder. This also leads to the death of Pryderi, which doesn't endear Gwydion to the reader who has also read the retellings of the other three branches -- and also to the disgracing of Arianrhod and ...more
I'm not sure if this is a "retelling" of the Mabinogi, or an "adaptation" or a "novelization" or what. What I am sure of is that it was a lovely, lovely book, full of graceful prose, magic, love and loss. And unpronounceable Welsh names. And maybe just a wee dram of 1930's spiritualism/mysticism courtesy of the author. Highly recommended.
A superb adaptation of the fourth branch of the Mabinogion (a collection of Welsh myths). The magic is powerful (despite Walton's insistence it's just Lost Science), the characters are vivid, though the mysticism is cliched and her handling of gender issues a bit uncomfortable (this was written in the 1930s)--for example, Walton's assertion that before virginity became a concept, rape didn't exist (WTF?). I think it's terrific, even so.
An exciting adaptation of the fourth branch of the Mabinogi. Walton made it a blast to read, and contextualized it for a slightly less misogynistic audience without bowdlerizing or making it feel inauthentic. I'm ordering the other three parts to read soon!
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)