Read your way to Tir Na Nog

In recognition of March being Irish-American Month, we’ve found a treasure trove of books about Irish and Celtic Mythology.  Which one will you choose?

ADULT FICTION

Book Cover for The Lost Witch by Paige CrutcherThe Lost Witch by Paige Crutcher ~ 1922 – Brigid Heron is a powerful witch and healer in the seemingly lost, but charming small town of Evermore on a forgotten isle in Ireland. However, there is one thing that she longs for above all else: a child of her own. She is even willing to be seduced by the mysterious Luc Knightly, head of the Knightly coven, whose pull is potent and impossible to resist. When their child is born and falls ill, Brigid will risk anything to save her daughter–even tap into the forbidden magic of the Lough of Brionglóid. But when the wild magic takes her daughter from her, Brigid is swept away as well. 2022 – Evermore is under siege. The witches of Knight have been using their chaos magic to widen the rift between the island and the Otherworld. Creatures from folklore prey on the villagers, consuming their very humanity. Brigid awakens in this world with no memory of how she traveled into the future, but she learns that she helped unleash this curse on Evermore. To seal the lough and stop the witches of Knight, she must work with her magical descendants, Ophelia and Finola. But the knowledge she seeks lies with Luc Knightly himself—mysterious, handsome, and powerful. To save Evermore, Brigid may have to lose everything once again.

 

Book Cover for The last Days of Magic by Mark TompkinsThe Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins ~ Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and—with her twin, Anya—unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden. As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld, while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today’s world—and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.

 

 

Book Cover for The Furies by Katie LoweThe Furies by Katie Lowe ~ In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead. She’s posed on a swing on her boarding school’s property, dressed all in white, with no known cause of death. Whispers and rumors swirl, with no answers. But there are a few who know what happened; there is one girl who will never forget. One year earlier: a new student, Violet, steps on the campus of Elm Hollow Academy, an all-girl’s boarding school on the outskirts of a sleepy coastal town. This is her fresh start, her chance to begin again in the wake of tragedy, leave her demons behind. Bright but a little strange, uncertain and desperate to fit in, she soon finds herself invited to an advanced study group, led by her alluring and mysterious art teacher, Annabel. There, with three other girls–Alex, Grace, and Robin–the five of them delve into the school’s long-buried grim history: of Greek and Celtic legends; of the school founder’s “academic” interest in the occult; of gruesome 17th century witch trials. Annabel does her best to convince the girls that her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals, and that they are just history and mythology. But the more she tries to warn the girls off the topic, the more they are drawn to it, and the possibility that they can harness magic for themselves. Violet quickly finds herself wrapped up in this heady new world of lawless power–except she is needled by the disappearance of a former member of the group, one with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance. As her friends’ actions take a turn for the darker and spiral out of control, she begins to wonder who she can trust, all the while becoming more deeply entangled. How far will these young girls go to protect one another…or to destroy one another?

 

ADULT NON-FICTION

Book Cover for Ireland's Immortals: A History of the Gods of Irish Myth by Mark WilliamsIreland’s Immortals: A History of the Gods of Irish Myth by Mark Andrew Williams ~ Ireland’s Immortals tells the story of one of the world’s great mythologies. The first account of the gods of Irish myth to take in the whole sweep of Irish literature in both the nation’s languages, the book describes how Ireland’s pagan divinities were transformed into literary characters in the medieval Christian era–and how they were recast again during the Celtic Revival of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A lively narrative of supernatural beings and their fascinating and sometimes bizarre stories, Mark Williams’s comprehensive history traces how these gods – known as the Tuatha De Danann – have shifted shape across the centuries, from Iron Age cult to medieval saga to today’s young-adult fiction. We meet the heroic Lug; the Morrigan, crow goddess of battle; the fire goddess Brigit, who moonlights as a Christian saint; the mist-cloaked sea god Manannan mac Lir; and the ageless fairies who inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s immortal elves. Medieval clerics speculated that the Irish divinities might be devils, angels, or enchanters. W. B. Yeats invoked them to reimagine the national condition, while his friend George Russell beheld them in visions and understood them to be local versions of Hindu deities. The book also tells how the Scots repackaged Ireland’s divine beings as the gods of the Gael on both sides of the sea–and how Irish mythology continues to influence popular culture far beyond Ireland.

 

YOUNG ADULT

Book Cover for Ravensong by Cayla FayRavensong by Cayla Fay ~ A demi-god who refuses to cohabitate with humans accidentally falls in love with one in the first book of a pulse-pounding teen duology that’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Celtic mythology. Neve has spent lifetimes defending the mortal world against the legions of hell with her two sisters. Unfortunately for Neve, in this lifetime, she is the only one of the Morrigan—a triad of Irish war gods—still stuck in high school and still without her full power. She’s been counting down the days until her eighteenth birthday, when she finally gets to shed the pretenses of humanity and grow into her divine power. But then she meets Alexandria. And Alexandria is as determined to force Neve into some semblance of teenage normalcy as she is haunted by her own demons—both figurative and literal. As they grow closer, Neve decides that humanity—and, perhaps, love—isn’t so detestable after all. Which makes it all the more dangerous when she realizes that something in Hell wants Alexandria, and it’s be up to Neve and her sisters to save her before Alexandria’s past catches up to all of them.

 

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