Melindeeloo's Reviews > The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance

The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance by Trisha Telep
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 02, 2010

really liked it

Not everyone likes these BIG short Story collections but I love anthologies and when I think of Ireland I think of Fae legend and magical romance, so I was eagerly awaiting the release of the Mammoth Book of Irish romance and its twenty magical short stories. And it couldn't have arrived at a more perfect week in my time challenged life - these shorts were just the thing to allow me to sneak in a few short reads when I really 'should' have been doing something else.

While I am more of a paranormal romance reader, many of these romances had paranormal elements and I recognized a fair number of authors. I didn't sit down and read the book end to end - I jumped around and read the stories by the authors I knew first - so I am not sure if that would have changed my perceptions of the stories. My favorites were by Cat Adams, Jenna Maclaine, Nadia Williams, Sue Ellen-Wolfender and Penelope Neri, and I found a few new favorite authors I'll have to explore more.

Overall most of the stories fell between a 4 (I liked it) 3.5 (it was pretty good) and 4.5 (I really liked it) but there were a couple of 3's (just ok). There is a good mix of historical and fantasy stories, most with a touch of myth magical and love.

1. "The Blue Pebble" - Shirley Kennedy - When Evleen leaves Ireland for magicless England she vows to cast no spells, even when honor trumps love and there looks to be no happily ever after for Evleen - This was a nice little lead off for the anthology, both leads are appealing and I was rooting for a way for love to prevail over the strictures of regency England (4 stars)

2 "The Ballad of Rosamunde" - Claire Delacroix - Woven around a bard's poem, is the story of pirate Rosamunde. Padraig laments the loss of the woman he had secretly loved. But when Padraig discovers that Rosamunde is not dead, he will brave the faerie realm to rescue her and maybe win another chance to share his heart - This story had a very classic feel, alternating a stanza of the ballad with the real story of Padraig and Rosamunde, but I really just do not care for this style and the back and forth (and hated italics) broke up the flow of the story too much for me to enjoy the tale (2.5 stars - I didn't care for it)

3. "The Oracle" - Margo Maguire - Ana is on the brink of taking her vow of chastity and becoming Oracle to her magical race, when she sees a vision of dark forces stirring up strife on earth. Ana will choose to leave her magical dimension to stop the impending war on the earthly plane because she has 'seen' that she has a part to play. - This is apparently a story connected to Maguires' Druzai Warriors series and I liked it well enough that I would check out the stories of Ana's cousins. (4 stars - I liked it )

4. "The Trials of Brian Murphy" - Cat Adams (Aka CT Adams and Cathy Clamp) - When Brian's half Fae wife is stolen from the human world by Fae raiders, Brian will risk death to follow her to the Faerie realm rather than live without the woman he loves - I really liked this one, even in the quick setup of the story Adams' conveyed the depth of Brian's relationship with his wife, and the trial he faces to win her freedom was well done. (5 stars)

5. "Nia and the Beast of Killarney Wood" - Fleeing her father's men who are delivering her to a convent, Nia falls into an inescapable pit with an unknown companion. In the dark they discover that neither is the 'ugly beast' that think themselves to be - Short but sweet, this is a nice twist on the beauty and the beast romance theme and I liked that the pair offer each other a new beginning and an end to loneliness. (4.5 stars)

6. "Beyond the Veil" - Patricia Rice - Mortally wounded and finding his wife dead on her birthing bed, Finn makes a plea to a goddess to spare his newborn son. - There are many wonderful elements in this story, but this really needed to be a much longer story to take advantage of them and to be truly satisfying (3.5 stars - it was pretty good)

7. "Shifter Made" - Jennifer Ashley" - This is a prequel to Ashley's Shifters Unbound series - Shifter Niall, is forced to forge a magical sword for the hated Fae as ransom for his kidnapped children. - This is the story of the forging of the Guardian's sword which plays a part in the Pride Mates, but the story stands well apart from the series and vice versa. It has a good set up and a good end but it is too short to have a satisfying middle - the starring pair just jump from being enemies to being more. (3.5 stars )

8. "Daughter of the Sea" - Kathleen Givens - From childhood Murin and Conlan had been inseparable, despite the fact that he was a woodcutter's son and she a princess, and they have vowed to be together always. When Murin's evil stepmother casts a spell to keep Conlan from her forever, Murin must travel to the Kingdom Beneath the Sea and face three trials to set her lover free - This one was a classic faery tale type story (4 stars)

9. "The Warrior" - Jenna Maclaine - After centuries together, hate, love and betrayal lie between the goddess of war and her finest warrior - I am not familiar enough with the legends of Morrigan and Cuchulainn to know how much of a spin Maclaine put on this, but I really liked the story of the history between the pair. (4.5 stars - this was one of my favorites)

10. "Eternal Strife" - Dara England - Trespassing in magical territories, a young woman bargains her life away to gather the ingredients for a magical cure, but how will she be able to pay the price? - The pieces of legend, the enchanted forest, fairy ring and merrow(fae waterfolk) lake elements,along with the final fate of the heroine, give this story the feel of a real Irish fairy tale . (2.5 stars - the story just didn't appeal to me)

11. "Quicksilver" - Cindy Holby (aka Colby Hodge) - A warrior pulls a half drowned Fae woman from the sea, but when her former jailor arrives to retrieve his prisoner, the warrior's skills alone won't be enough to defeat her legendary captor - fitting in some steamy stuff seemed a bit forced, but the premise and the warrior were appealing (3.5 stars)

12. "The Feast of Beauty" - Helen Scott Taylor - Kate finds magic and love in a trip to her grandmother's homeland - I was hoping for a story a bit more connected to Taylor's Magic Ring series, perhaps the third brother from Phoenix Charm, but this story offers a similar feel in a speed dating format. (4 stars)

13. "Compeer" - Roberta Gellis - Warrior Ailill who is besotted with Maeb's strength, brains and beauty aids the Fae and wins a boon to help him court her - I liked both of the leads, Maeb who doesn't meekly accept the fate foisted upon her by duty and Ailill who's knowledge of how one must deal with the Fae helps to win him his heart's desire (4 stars)

14. "On Inishmore" - Ciar Cullen - Cursed to spend equal time as maid and crone, Maeve falls for the new master of the house even though she knows that only heartache lies ahead - I liked the hero Brian who is kind to Maeve's crotchety alter ego and whose heart is big enough to break the curse (4 stars)

15. "Morrigan's Daughter" - Susan Krinard - With uncharacteristic mercy, a warrior maiden pleads to a goddess to save an enemy's life. - This is another story with great elements, that just needed to be a bit longer to work as a romance (3 stars)

16. "Tara's Find" - Nadia Williams - An archaelogist on a dig makes a surprising discovery - In the end this story was too short and to move the romance along it makes some leaps, so it would have been nice if it were longer. But the initial part of the story with Tara and her 'find' grabbed me to an extent that still I really liked the story, even though I would to have liked for Williams to have been able it to finish Tara's story as strongly as it started out (4.5 stars)

17. "The Skrying Glass" - Penelope Neri - Seeing a vision as a child of her groom's death on their wedding day, Shoban vows to never marry. - I liked this one for Shoban's secret magical nature and for the gorgeous groom-to-be who Shoban fears she will lose much too soon (4 stars)

18. "The Houndmaster" - Sandra Newgent - As a child Branna's mother is murdered by hounds, now grown-up she seeks a magical object lost during the attack. Her search brings her to Devlin on his last night as a mortal. - Devlin's struggle with his attraction to Branna and his impending fate appealed to me (4 stars)

19. "The Seventh Sister" - Sue-Ellen Welfonder - The magic of Ireland calls to Maggie and, on vacation there, she loses her heart to the country and to the gorgeous Conall. - I liked Maggie's struggle between the practical and the haunting draw of what she's left behind and also the bit of magical help she needs to win her a HEA (4 stars)

20. "By the Light of My Heart" - Pat McDermott - A young man goes to Faery to rescue a healer, and then wakes up and meets her again in the normal world - so was his trip to Faery just a dream? - This story starts promising enough, but once the rescue is accomplished it looses its magic as the characters resume their mundane lives and for me it just fizzles (2.5 stars - it didn't dislike it, but I didn't like it either)
4 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Kelley I own all the mammoth romance books so far but this is the first I read. The size IS daunting and it would probably still be untouched on the shelf if it hadn't been our monthly read in one of my book clubs. Was no where near finished before our meeting but at least I feel like I'll have it finished by end of the month. Some excellent stories in here. But like you said a few not so great as well. But over half the authors I'm familiar with so I've enjoyed this one do far.

back to top