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Cover for The Swan Maiden

The Swan Maiden

A Novel

Jules Watson

Paperback

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Description

In this lush, romantic retelling of one of the most enduring Irish legends, acclaimed Celtic historical author Jules Watson reignites the tale of Deirdre—the Irish Helen of Troy—in a story that is at once magical, beautiful, and tragic.

She was born with a blessing and a curse: that she would grow into a woman of extraordinary beauty—and bring ruin to the kingdom of Ulster and its ruler, the wily Conor. Ignoring the pleadings of his druid to expel the infant, King Conor secrets the girl child with a poor couple in his province, where no man can covet her. There, under the tutelage of a shamaness, Deirdre comes of age in nature and magic…. And in the season of her awakening, the king is inexorably drawn to her impossible beauty.

But for Deirdre, her fate as a man’s possession is worse than death. And soon the green-eyed girl, at home in waterfall and woods, finds herself at the side of three rebellious young warriors. Among them is the handsome Naisi. His heart charged with bitterness toward the aging king, and growing in love for the defiant girl, Naisi will lead Deirdre far from Ulster—and into a war of wits, swords, and spirit that will take a lifetime to wage.

Brimming with life and its lusts, here is a soaring tale of enchantment and eternal passions—and of a woman who became legend.


Praise For The Swan Maiden: A Novel

"In this graceful retelling of the Irish legend of Deirdre of the Sorrows, the young woman whose birth laid a curse upon the kingdom of Ulster and its aging king, Conor, the author of The White Mare captures the sense of tragedy, nobility, and the acceptance of destiny that permeates Celtic myth. Watson's characters have both a larger-than-life appeal and a commonality that emphasizes their human frailty as well as their dedication to life and love."—Library Journal

“Wonderful. Watson does not tell the story, she lives it.  Mystical and poetic, a tour de force. A magical and compelling recreation of the lost Celtic world.”—Rosalind Miles, author of Isolde, queen of the Western Isles

“Jules Watson has conjured up the mythic past, a land of Celtic legend and stark grandeur.  Readers will find her world and characters fascinating and unforgettable.”—Sharon K. Penman, author of Dragon’s Lair

Bantam, 9780553384642, 560pp.

Publication Date: February 24, 2009



About the Author

Jules Watson was born in Western Australia to English parents. After gaining degrees in archaeology and public relations, she worked as a freelance writer in both Australia and England. Jules and her Scottish husband divided their time between the U.K. and Australia before finally settling in the wild Highlands of Scotland. She is the author of the Dalriada trilogy—The White Mare, The Dawn Stag, and The Song of the North—a series of historical epics set in ancient Scotland about the wars between the Celts and the invading Romans. Kirkus Reviews named The White Mare among the top ten science fiction/fantasy releases of 2005, and The Song of the North was featured as a “Hot Read” in the Kirkus special science fiction/fantasy edition of 2008.