Read The Island of the Mighty by Evangeline Walton Online


This is a tale of the Great Ones.This is the tale of Mâth, Son of Mathonwy, King and perhaps High-God of Gwynedd in the far marshes and mountains of the West—the dark kingdoms of Wales in the druidic days;As it is the tale of Mâth's nephew and heir, Gwydion, warrior-necromancer whose heroic might and towering strength helped him to stand alone;And of Gwydion's terrible sisThis is a tale of the Great Ones.This is the tale of Mâth, Son of Mathonwy, King and perhaps High-God of Gwynedd in the far marshes and mountains of the West—the dark kingdoms of Wales in the druidic days;As it is the tale of Mâth's nephew and heir, Gwydion, warrior-necromancer whose heroic might and towering strength helped him to stand alone;And of Gwydion's terrible sister, the sorceress Arianrhod, she who rejected her brother but gave birth to a seed of life which became the beloved doomed heir of Gwydion, Llew Llaw Gyffes.And finally, this is the tale of Llew the Golden, the wise, courageous, and adored one—the one cursed by his mother to a destiny that wed him to a heedless child made of flowers.This is a tale of Wonders....

Title : The Island of the Mighty
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345242112
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Island of the Mighty Reviews

  • Nikki
    2019-02-25 09:52

    Island of the Mighty retells the last branch of the Mabinogion, the story of Gwydion, Arianrhod, Llew Llaw Gyffes, Blodeuwedd and Goronwy. It begins with a retelling of stealing the pigs belonging to Lord Pryderi. Gwydion uses this to provoke war, allowing his younger brother to rape the king's footholder. This also leads to the death of Pryderi, which doesn't endear Gwydion to the reader who has also read the retellings of the other three branches -- and also to the disgracing of Arianrhod and the birth of Llew Llaw Gyffes.The themes Evangeline Walton explored in the other books come to fruition here, as power passes more and more from women to men, even power over birth and the rearing of children. Arianrhod is not very sympathetically dealt with, I have to say: often Walton's work suggests that the passing of women's power is a bad thing, but Arianrhod is capricious and unkind, considered by characters and text unnatural -- for the crime of not having wanted to bear a child! Blodeuwedd isn't treated with much sympathy here, and the other women are barely characters.It's hard to sympathise with most of the characters here, particularly as they stir up war, steal, lie and trick each other. I still enjoyed it as a retelling and think Walton dealt well with the material, but I wish she'd been kinder to Arianrhod and Blodeuwedd, who were both unable to fit in the patriarchal society that wanted power over women's bodies, and expected them to abide by two conflicting sets of rules.

  • Jacob
    2019-03-22 08:36

    Chronologically, this is the last of Walton's Mabinogion Tetralogy, even though it was actually published first. It's probably best that it not be the first one in the collection; I found the story inherently less interesting than Prince of Annwn. It's a good story, but a little more typically fantasy-quest-legend style than the other.Gwydion, strong, fair, and intelligent prince of north Wales repeatedly facilitates the dreams of those he cares about, only to have his plans thwarted by the people he cheats in the process. Just in case you might feel conflicted about this, it is explained how those others weren't good people anyway ;) Antics include tricking his uncle the king into going to war so that Gwydion's brother might make off with the king's footmaiden. She must be a virgin, and is required to hold his feet at all times while he's not at war. Doesn't that make it difficult for the king to exercise or train?In the quest for a replacement, Gwydion's sister ends up bearing two children (and thus proving unsuitable), and Gwydion's quest shifts to raising one of them in spite of his sister's repeated attempts to curse the child.Gwydion is used as a major character in Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain series, and you can see elements of others too, such as Gwydion's witchy sister and base and treacherous lords. The intrigue is interesting and the tragedy is heartbreaking and beautiful.

  • Joseph
    2019-02-28 10:37

    I'm not sure if this is a "retelling" of the Mabinogi, or an "adaptation" or a "novelization" or what. What I am sure of is that it was a lovely, lovely book, full of graceful prose, magic, love and loss. And unpronounceable Welsh names. And maybe just a wee dram of 1930's spiritualism/mysticism courtesy of the author. Highly recommended.

  • Matt
    2019-03-12 09:38

    A satisfying reworking of Welsh legend. There are more than a few winks made at 20th century society in the narrative, but the spirit of ancient tales is strong with it. As with any adaptation of an oral narrative there are hook phrases which recur nearly constantly that kight make this a thoroughly enjoyable audio book if someone had the time and grasp of Welsh pronunciations.

  • Sean
    2019-03-07 07:42

    The tetralogy is great and a thing of beauty. I believe, however, that this the fourth book is perhaps my least favorite. Perhaps it was the way Walton's 20th century voice broke through, a bit more insistently than in the previous three books. Maybe my tolerance for reading about stupid people who don't learn is making me into one of those insufferable prigs-- O God, please no. I really can't say why I like Island of the Mighty less, but whatever the reason, it is nevertheless a great conclusion to a great series. Walton did an amazing job of telling the ancient stories in a way that is simultaneously faithful to the old while catering to our modern psycholgical concerns to make a richly satisfying mythic story for people today. It is difficult to imagine anybody else doing that job as well as she did.

  • Jason gordon
    2019-03-13 05:05

    Of all the 4 books in the Mabinogian this was undeniably my favorite. The characters are larger than life itself (they are gods afterall). But gods wrestling with mere human flaws and the consequences born of them. The prose still seemed dry and dusty to me at times, but had a logic to it that, once I fell in time with it, was easy to fall back into whenever I picked up the tale again. I especially enjoyed the dedication at the end by the author to Gwydion. It told me of a love beyond the simple pages of translated script, but a deeper and more encompassing love of story and idea and fulfillment, the kind which makes reading stories more than just a pastime, but a lifetime endeavor.

  • Fraser Sherman
    2019-03-01 07:39

    A superb adaptation of the fourth branch of the Mabinogion (a collection of Welsh myths). The magic is powerful (despite Walton's insistence it's just Lost Science), the characters are vivid, though the mysticism is cliched and her handling of gender issues a bit uncomfortable (this was written in the 1930s)--for example, Walton's assertion that before virginity became a concept, rape didn't exist (WTF?). I think it's terrific, even so.

  • Adam
    2019-03-13 07:02

    An exciting adaptation of the fourth branch of the Mabinogi. Walton made it a blast to read, and contextualized it for a slightly less misogynistic audience without bowdlerizing or making it feel inauthentic. I'm ordering the other three parts to read soon!

  • Readelf
    2019-03-21 08:41

    Wow! Trippy feminist retelling of parts of the Mabanogion. Unexpected and slightly shocking in places.

  • readmuchrunfar
    2019-02-27 04:58

    I'm not sure why, but I couldn't get into this one at all. Main characters were all pretty hateful and selfish, and I didn't like them or care about them. I much prefer Lloyd Alexander's Gwydion!

  • Tony
    2019-03-20 11:56

    Now that I've finished the Fourth Branch I wish that there was more, time to start reading any related material I can find. ^_^

  • Jackie
    2019-03-16 06:52

    Originally titled The Virgin and The Swine. Awesome celtic mythology. My father knew the author who was known as "The Blue Lady" because she suffered from a lack of oxygen when she was born.

  • Steve
    2019-03-10 11:00

    The final branch of the Mabinogion is masterfully retold by the author. It encompasses the magic, love, and tragedy of the tale, and is told with empathy and love.

  • Philip
    2019-03-18 11:45

    first half was four stars, second half was five stars, so I'd give it 4.5 if I could:).

  • Carolyn V.
    2019-03-05 03:47

    read it during the 1970s and remember loving it. Need to reread it.

  • Katie
    2019-03-11 04:42

    A rich, interesting remake of old Welsh myth. I enjoyed marking the similarities between this and other more modern takes on Celtic lore.