The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance (Mammoth Books)

The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance. Edited by Trisha Telep - Trisha Telep, Shirley Kennedy, Cindy Holby, Helen Scott Taylor I have to admit that I came to this with some prejudice. The author biographies were the first thing I read, and I noticed that they sounded like they were all American, and things weren't helped by the Introduction "Ireland is a land of romance. Pure and simple." Then there was the first story. The Blue Pebble by Shirley Kennedy puts an Irish girl, from Tipperary, in England in 1814, and the culture shock is quite well portrayed. However the fact that her mentor in Ireland was MERLIN made me double-take. Now if she had met him in England, where he is rooted, or Wales where he is from I would have had no problems, but accepting Merlin without question snapped me out of my suspension of disbelief. Overall not a bad story, but research isn't evil. Claire Delacroix's Ballad of Rosamunde was set up for some issues when I realised it was set in 1422 Galway, thankfully Claire didn't refer to it as a city (Galway got it's city Charter in 1484, I'm a Galwegian); and apart from the slightly jarring Germanic name for the main female lead, a more Italianate or Spanish name would be more in keeping with the locale (Galway has links to both). It's a story of a rescue from Faerie, told in prose and song form. Margo Maguire's Oracle started with a jarring note with the wrong-direction accents. Irish has one accent, /, Scots-Gaelic is . (BTW it's a Fada or Long, it means that the vowel is lengthened); the main male is Rohrke, and the female is Sláine Mac Murchada, no, no, no, no, no. Apart from anything else Sláine is a male name, associated with a pretty violent 2000AD comic. While today Mac is used by both men and women, it means son of, set in 322AD, she would have been Ní or Nic, aka daughter of. It was a story of defeating evil that was causing strife. The Trials of Bryan Murphy by Cat Adams was about a modern man and woman fighting for each other against fairie. Not bad at all. Nia and the Beast of Killarney Woods by Cindy Miles is a Beauty and the Beast type of story. Set in Kerry in 1817, it felt like it should have been set earlier, some of the elements didn't sit right for the time-period. Beyond the Veil by Patricia Rice set in 1161AD is about a man searching through time for love. It didn't stand out for me. Shifter made by Jennifer Ashley is set in 1400 Kerry, a shapeshifter helps Faerie against his will and finds that she isn't as bad as she seems. One of the better stories. Daughter of the Sea by Kathleen Givens is set in 375AD is a fairly traditional quest story. Not bad The Warrior by Jenna Maclaine is set in 1260 Connemara and started off with a jarring place title, Castle Tara. No. Enough castles in the west, that wouldn't be used. Tara is a specific sacred place. Cuchullainn wouldn't shorten his name to Cullen, that's a slave name (Setanta took the name as he killed Cullen's Dog or Cú and became Cullen's Dog). Cuchullainn has a vampiric rescue from death to fight evil. Eternal Strife by Dara England set in 800 AD, a daughter sacrafices herself to save her mother, her sacrafice isn't all bad. Quicksilver by Cindy Holby set in 545 a man rescues a Sidhe woman. Feast of Beauty by Helen Scott Taylor, set in Cork, modern times, faerie searches for a wife in a reality tv show and finds her in the crew. Compeer by Roberta Gellis is a version of the Medb and Ailill story that reflects the traditional stories well. Ciar Cullen's On Inishmore in 1890, suffers from the Aran Jumper heresy (There's no evidence for Aran Jumpers before the 1930s, socks were more likely to be knit, or a jumper akin to English Fishermans jumpers). An American searches for inspiration on the Aran Islands. Susan Krinard's The Morrigan's Daughter has a warrior woman finding love with the enemy and then finding that all is not as it seems. Not bad, not my favourite. Tara's Find by Nadia Williams has an interesting twist on hidden faerie, that until they know about their heritage they're mortal. An Archaeologist finds a body burried that is actuall alive, what does she do with him? I liked this and would like to read more by this author. Set in modern Ireland. The Skrying Glass by Penelope Neri is set in 853 Siobhan sees death in the future for her husband and tries to evade it. The only jarring note was the servant who had a regular note of disapproving due to her Christianity. If I was Siobhan I'd find another servant. The Houndmaster by Sandra Newgent is about lost love and a magical curse. The Seventh Sister by Sue-Ellen Welfonder is an interesting story set in modern times about a visiting American a moment of love and a moment of finding it again several years later with some Faerie intervention. By the Light of My heart by Pat McDermot is another story of love rescued from Faerie. Overall it wasn't the worst collection I've read, several of the stories I liked were by authors I've previously read (Gellis, Givens, Ashley & Adams) and there were two that made me think about hunting up more by them, (Williams and Newgent) but overall it didn't really impress. Recently there's been a lot on the internet about respect for the culture of "others"; there is an assumption that Irish and Celtic is part of general lore and therefore the authors don't have to make an effort to do the research, this often leads to a gulf between the lore and legends as presented in American and the lore and legends as understood in Ireland. Along with a feeling on both sides that the stories don't sit quite right. Some of these stories sat a little better than others, the ones that didn't I have explained my issues above with them. Some of these issues I checked with about 5 minutes worth of work, if I can find the answer in 5 minutes on google or wikipedia the author fails, all the issues above fulfilled this test. Many of them aren't bad authors, just lazy.