I’m not Irish, but I’ve long had a fascination with Ireland and with the incredible richness of Celtic mythology. I was lucky enough to spend several months there one autumn, but I’ll have to tell you about that another time. In honour of St. Patrick, here are some of my favourite Celtic-inspired fantasy novels for younger readers (or those young at heart)…
Lloyd Alexander – The Prydain Chronicles. ‘Nuff said.
Alison Baird – The Hidden World. A girl visiting her ancestral home in Newfoundland discovers her grandmother’s diary, which draws her into the fantastic world of Annwn. Bonus: also draws on Arthurian mythology.
Diane Duane – A Wizard Abroad. While visiting family in Ireland, a young American girl gets caught up in a frantic search for four powerful treasures of the mythical Tuatha de Danaan, needed to battle an ancient enemy. This is the fourth book in Duane’s mostly excellent Young Wizards series.
O.R. Melling – The Hunter’s Moon. Two cousins’ backpacking trip around Ireland is interrupted when they unwisely spend the night on a faerie mound. One is stolen away to be the faerie king’s bride, and the other must fight to get her back. (There are sequels, which I didn’t know until just now. Yippee!) Melling also wrote The Singing Stone, which draws on the same mythology as Duane’s A Wizard Abroad but is written for an older audience (YA rather than MG).
Over to you. What were your favourite Celtic fantasy novels as a young reader?