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The Swan Maiden Paperback – February 24, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
This modern retelling of a tragic Irish myth is rich in well-researched detail but moves too slowly and reverently. Deirdre, a young woman prophesied to bring down the kingdom of Ulster, is torn between druidical mysticism and her love for Naisi, a warrior prince who flees with her to protect her from Ulster's covetous king. Watson (The Song of the North) emphasizes the sensuality suggested in the myth and carefully recreates the culture and people of Iron Age Ireland, but the grandeur and elegance of the original are lost in overwriting, clichéd scenes of passion and an interminable build to the inevitable conclusion. (Feb.)
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"In this graceful retelling of the Irish legend of Deirdre of the Sorrows, the young woman whose birth laid a curse upon the kingdom of Ulster and its aging king, Conor, the author of The White Mare captures the sense of tragedy, nobility, and the acceptance of destiny that permeates Celtic myth. Watson's characters have both a larger-than-life appeal and a commonality that emphasizes their human frailty as well as their dedication to life and love."—Library Journal
“Wonderful. Watson does not tell the story, she lives it. Mystical and poetic, a tour de force. A magical and compelling recreation of the lost Celtic world.”—Rosalind Miles, author of Isolde, queen of the Western Isles
“Jules Watson has conjured up the mythic past, a land of Celtic legend and stark grandeur. Readers will find her world and characters fascinating and unforgettable.”—Sharon K. Penman, author of Dragon’s Lair
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