Book: The Isles of the Blest
Author: Morgan Llywelyn
Publisher: Open Road Media
Format Read: Kindle
“The Isles of the Blest” is a short book based on an old Irish tale, that of Connla of the Fiery Hair. Son of the battle-hardened warlord of Erin, Conn of the Hundred Battles, Connla is a man of many talents, young and handsome. He is also sensitive to beauty and magic. So when the supernaturally lovely Blathine comes to him, and offers him an enchanted apple, and a life in the magical Isles of the Blest, Connla cannot resist. She enchants him when she laughs, for her laughter bright and silvery.
But blight has overtaken the land, and there seems to be a lingering curse that cannot be lifted. The blame, of course, falls on Conn’s druid Coran, who has no answers. As for Connla, he is enraptured by Blathine, whom no one else can see. With each bite of that apple, a little more of his will is lost. He withdraws from reality each time she smiles at him. Eventually, when Conn figures out that Blathine is more than mortal, Connla is almost completely enthralled by her.
And then, naturally, Connla follows her to an ethereal otherworld that has no death, no time, and too much Blathine.
This was a quick and fascinating read. The author’s prose is evocative and the imagery is delicate, and I liked the magic, and the mystery, and the characterization – especially that of the faery creatures and of Conn of the Hundred Battles. I have always like faery stories, myths and mythologies – and this book introduced me to something entirely fresh.