Author: Iain Zaczek
Publisher: Collins and Brown Limited, Great Britain.
Synopsis: Chronicles of the Celts presents the epic stories of a fascinating people. Here are legends of invincible hero-warriors, faerie enchantresses and magical forests that evoke the fire, pride and passion associated with the Celts.
Review: I had originally wanted this book years ago for a course on the Celts. However, at the time I couldn’t find a copy, so I bought the alternate text that the course provider had suggested. Imagine my surprise when I saw it on Amazon all these years later. So I bought it. The course I was taking at the time was a history course so I assumed that this book was going to be a history book. I was wrong. This is a mythology book. It has myths from Ireland, Wales, and Brittany. It is one of those beautifully organised books with beautiful photographs of artefacts, manuscripts and landscapes. It is not a large book, only 159 pages, which includes the bibliography, pronunciation guide, and picture credits.
The Introduction to the book is very interesting, it talks about a little history (enough to wet your appetite), a little art, some culture and tradition, Arthurian links, Christian influences, romantic fiction and the Celtic revival. By the end you know a little bit of everything but not enough to say that you know history based on this book.
The book starts with the Irish myths then goes on to Wales and Brittany. They are not the exact myths but rather a retelling of these myths. I loved that before each myth there is an explanation of where it came from, what the plot is and who the main characters are. Interspersed though out these myths are little boxes that have tit bits of information on artefacts, Gods, or some aspect of the culture.
This book isn’t perfect, maybe a tiny bit romantic in some aspects but it is a good book. If you want an easy to read book or an introduction to some of the more famous myths in the Celtic culture this is a great book to have.