cover image Red Branch

Red Branch

Morgan Llywelyn, Morgan Llynwelyn. William Morrow & Company, $19.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06946-9

The rich trove of the Red Branch literature, the heroic Irish tales known as the Ulster Cycle, is mined creatively by the author of the bestseller Lion of Ireland . In recreating the life and times of Cuchulain, legendary warrior of the bardic era, Llywelyn works a massive canvas, peopling it with larger-than-life characters, yet shaping them with intimate insights, as she did so effectively in the earlier book on Brian Boru, Erin's first ruler. Chronicling the legendary exploits of Cuchulain, a boy of mysterious, magical parentage, a fosterling of King Conor, Llywelyn conveys the rage and strength that earn him the sobriquet ``The Wolfhound of Cullen''Cuchulain. His life's journey is mystical and sensual, filled with curses and blessings as he fulfills the unrelenting destiny of a champion. Whether motivated by the kidnaping of Deirdre, whose beauty destroys men, or by the cattle raid organized by doughty Maeve of Connaught, the ancient Gaels were in constant competition for supremacy. This movement is captured in an epic novel drawn from colorful and treasured legends. (Mar.)