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Culhwch and Olwen

"Packed with the thrilling peril and magic of an ancient Welsh quest story, this reawakens the magic of The Mabinogion for new generations."

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

Retelling a quest story from The Mabinogion — a collection of medieval tales about Welsh folklore and legend — Catherine Fisher’s Culhwch and Olwen presents an ancient love story for a new generation. Rippling with courage and magic, with a storyline driven by striving to fulfil the seemingly impossible tasks set by a formidable giant, it’s big on adventure, and rich in poetic language.

Soon after he’s born in “the depths of this tanglewood”, Culhwch’s mother dies, just after declaring “the boar is a sacred animal for him. It will shape his destiny”. In time, his father marries King Doged’s daughter — a woman who proclaims, “You will never have a wife, ever, in all your life, unless you marry Olwen, the daughter of Ysbaddaden, Chief of Giants”.

Immediately, “deep inside Culhwch’s heart, a flame sprang into fire. Olwen. The name left small white prints in his heart”. When Olwen and Culhwch meet, they fall in love instantly, but she tells him, “When I take a husband, the Giant will die. So of course, he will try to kill you”. Undeterred, Cuhlwch sets about bringing the Giant the thirteen treasures he demands in exchange for his daughter’s hand…

Beautifully complemented by Efa Lois’ illustrations, Catherine Fisher’s re-telling of Culhwch and Olwen retains the spirit of the ancient story while highlighting relatable perennial themes, such as courage, commitment and love.

You can find out more about Culhwch and Olwen here as Joanne Owen chats to author Catherine Fisher:

Joanne Owen

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