Nikki's Reviews > Iron and Gold

Iron and Gold by Hilda Vaughan
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May 28, 11

bookshelves: welsh-writing, fantasy, fairytales, based-on-myth-saga-etc
Read from May 27 to 28, 2011

Iron and Gold is a retelling of a Welsh fairytale, the Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach. Basically, a young man with tendencies toward being a bard falls in love with a fairy woman who lives in the lake. He eventually wins her, but she warns him that if he strikes her three times with iron, she'll leave him. Iron and Gold adds the idea that he shapes her utterly to his will: whatever he wants her to be, she becomes, except that she retains the freedom of being able to leave if he strikes her three times with iron.

Hilda Vaughan's writing is beautiful and really evokes the landscape she's writing about, and the fairy nature of Glythin (which is the name Owain, the bard, gives her). She does a lovely job of making their feelings believable and of making the ending so horribly sad -- making the fairy tale really hit home.

Like most Honno books, it has a very good introduction, this one by Jane Aaron, pointing out feminist aspects of the text and discussing the source text as well.
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