cover image Grania


Morgan Llywelyn, Morgan Llynwelyn. Random House Value Publishing, $3.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-55951-2

The 16th century pirate-chieftain Grace O'Malley, often called Grania of Ireland, bestrides the turbulent cosmos created by Llywelyn (Lion of Ireland in this lusty saga. Grania, a formidable figure of hearty appetites, is the leader of fractious Irish clans and burns with zest for her seafaring life. She endures many brutalities, narrowly escapes death several times and eventually feels the power of her challenger across the water, Elizabeth of England. Their confrontation in the waning years of their lives is one highlight of the sprawling tale. Other characters include the fabled leaders of the Irish tribes who were Grania's liegemen, and her lovers, among them Sir Philip Sidney (whose poetry did not stir her). Weaving fact and legend, at times melodramatically, Llywelyn brings to life a ferocious time, making understandable the ancient enmity of Gael and Saxon. (March 17)