Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Children of Llyr - Evangeline Walton

I finally got back to this fantasy series written in the 1930's and rediscovered and published in the 1970's.  It is of special interest to me because my ancestry is Welsh and the stories are based on the Welsh Mabinogion, ancient Welsh mythology prose poems.

This book is the story of the grown sons and one daughter of the ruler, Llyr.  In these stories the son's of women inherit the title and property so Branwen, daughter of Llyr, will bear the next King of the Island of the Mighty, or the island of Wales and England. She falls in love with the King of Ireland and goes with him and has a son.  Her brothers hear of her treatement there and launch a war to rescue her.

The book is dark and tragic as the forces of evil and good, represented by the brothers and the Irish King, struggle for power.  The seers (druids) fortell the rise of men and the dominantion of women as the evolution of the world .

The Mabinogion is actually a series of four "branches" of the ancient families.  The first book by Walton, The Island of the Mighty, told the story of the fourth branch.  She'd written the stories in the 1930's and only the first book was published.  In the 1970's, the remaining books were published and were a cult hit.

I still have one to read and one to find.  I've enjoyed the stories and the peek into my heritage.

Published: 1971  Read: January 2014  Genre: Fantasy

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