among the bracken but a few paces apart.
'What beast wouldst thou slay?' cried Deirdre, affrighted.
'It was no beast,' said Nathos, 'but yonder among the bracken lieth a dead man, if my javelin missed not its mark.'
In fear and wonder Deirdre ran to the spot. No man lay there, but she saw on the bracken the form of a crouching man. She saw, too, the tracks that marked his escape.
Nathos followed her, and stooped to take his javelin from the ground. And there, beside it, lay a wooden-hilted knife.
'It is as I thought,' he said. 'This knife is used but by the hillmen who are in bondage to Concobar. The King seeketh my life. Go thou, then, back to thy lonely cottage, and await that day when he shall make thee his Queen.'
'Ask me not to turn from following thee, O Nathos, for thy way must be mine, this day and ever.'
'Come, then,' and Nathos took her by the hand.
Through the shadowy forest they walked swiftly, until of a sudden he bade her rest among the bracken. Then went he forward and
A compilation of three Celtic stories, short and sweet. "Deirdre the Star-Eyed" is somewhat reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty, while "The Four White Swans" seems to be an allegory to the spread of Christianity in Ireland. I don't know what to compare the last, "Dermat and Grania", to, but it is a sweet, sad story.
In all, quite nice for a bit of light reading.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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