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The Mountain of Marvels: A Celtic Tale of Magic, Retold from the Mabinogion

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012


    I think, after reading about all of his awards and books, I should be embarassed to say this was my first encounter with an Aaron Shepherd story, but rather than that, I'm just grateful to have discovered him now. ( Thanks, B&N, for including his work in the Nook selections!)

    Shepherd not only found a wonderful to pass down this tale, but he also did it while maintaining the authentic mood and tone of medieval romance. The stories of this genre in its original time period are delightful in their dispensing with lots of detail and build up and going straight to the meat of the often flimsy plots, improbable though they may be. In this story, one sees a little background and color, but not much. Rather, it's the boy sees the girl, tries to catch the girl, catches the girl but then has a hard time holding on to her and must, of course, face some kimd of challenge to do so.

    I admit to laughing out loud when Pwyll's horse is about to give out and he does the emminently practical thing: he shouts, "Hey, you!" (My own rough translation) and again when Rhiannon ( who, certainly, must be a double for Stevie) hisses at him to keep his mouth closed at the banquet. Ah, love!

    The standard by which all other medieval romances are judged must surely be Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or perhaps, arguably, Marie de France's Silence. The point is that there ARE standards and Shepherd's clever re-telling of this particular one should earn a title as honorary scop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

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