Book Review: The Magic Lands

Book Review: The Magic Lands

A magnificent book of 55 folk and fairy tales, wonder tales and ghost stories from all over Britain and Ireland. Taken from original sources and then brilliantly retold in a fresh and modern way, this is the most comprehensive and authoritative collection written in the last twenty years.A handsome trade paperback with notes and sources. Each story has a beautiful opening illustration by Emma Chichester Clark, a major illustrator.

First published by Orchard Books as BRITISH FOLK TALES, it attracted rave reviews: ‘outstanding’ Naomi Lewis in The Observer ‘a sourcebook of folklore no home with children should be without’ The Independent ‘this great storyteller’ Philip Pullman in The Guardian ‘a fine storyteller with a poet’s ear’ The Independent

 

Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed The Magic Lands. I love reading original folk tales and myths and this book puts 55 interesting British and Irish ones together.

Each tale is short, some less than a page, some several pages long, so this is a perfect book for reading to children or to bring with you while you need to wait somewhere.

As much as I enjoyed the stories, I am a historian at heart, so found myself going to the end to read the “Sources and Notes” section for each tale. Crossley-Holland has obviously done huge amounts of research in this area and tells us about where the stories first came from, where first recorded, and other interesting details.

This is a great book for anyone wanting original tales written in accessible, modern language.

Share this: