The best books on Celts and Druids

Who am I?

I have been studying Celtic history and lore since I was in college and took a class on Arthurian literature. Drawing heavily from Irish and Welsh lore to build my “land beyond the veil” known as the Five Quarters, I have always been intrigued by the Celtic view of the land of the dead as a distinct world to which we go and then return, like two sides of the mirrored surface of a well. The land below the water, and the land above. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!


I wrote...

Three Wells of the Sea: Three Wells Series Book 1

By Terry Madden,

Book cover of Three Wells of the Sea: Three Wells Series Book 1

What is my book about?

When high school English teacher Hugh Cavendish is summoned back across the well between worlds, he finds his killer sitting on his throne and invaders at his shore. He was a failure as a king in his last life. Why does this druid think he can fix things now? But this world holds everything he has longed for—vengeance, love, and a second chance at all of them. For he is bound to this land by blood magic and something far stronger.

He soon realizes he wasn't the only one who crossed the well. Someone has followed him here, and they are set on taking him back. But first, Cavendish vows to set things right with his land, his people, and his own soul.

The books I picked & why

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The Celtic World

By Barry Cunliffe,

Book cover of The Celtic World

Why this book?

If you are looking for an overview of Celtic culture, this book is it. It is richly illustrated with artifacts, many obscure, which I appreciate. It is written by one of the foremost Celtic historians. Cunliffe continues to delve into the relationships between tribes of people who have been collectively called "Celts."

The Celtic World

By Barry Cunliffe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Celtic World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Numerous illustrations, photographs, and maps mark a large-format exploration of the history of the Celts, a civilization that once ranged from central Europe to northern Scotland, that studies the multifaceted character of a misunderstood people.


The Druids

By Peter Berresford Ellis,

Book cover of The Druids

Why this book?

My copy of this book is highlighted and dogeared to the max. When searching the word Druids, you usually come up with books on magic or books related to the neopagan movement which calls itself "druidism". This book, however, is a summary of what we really know about them and is based on solid research. Scholarly yet highly entertaining. Awesome book!

The Druids

By Peter Berresford Ellis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Druids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readable and well-researched history and practices of the Druids. Illustrated.


Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales

By Alwyn Rees, Brinley Rees,

Book cover of Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales

Why this book?

An amazing analysis of myth and folklore from Ireland and Wales linking culture and language back to our Indo-European roots and parallels with Hinduism. It is rather technical, but if you are researching the foundation of Celtic lore, this is a must. I got my title from a quote in this book.

Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales

By Alwyn Rees, Brinley Rees,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Celtic Heritage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Early Irish Myths and Sagas

By Jeffrey Gantz (translator),

Book cover of Early Irish Myths and Sagas

Why this book?

For a quick dive into the most prominent Irish myths, this is an easy translation to get your feet wet. I drew heavily upon the “Wasting Sickness of Cuchulainn” as inspiration for my resurrected king in Three Wells of the Sea.

Early Irish Myths and Sagas

By Jeffrey Gantz (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Early Irish Myths and Sagas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First written down in the eighth century AD, these early Irish stories depict a far older world - part myth, part legend and part history. Rich with magic and achingly beautiful, they speak of a land of heroic battles, intense love and warrior ideals, in which the otherworld is explored and men mingle freely with the gods. From the vivid adventures of the great Celtic hero Cu Chulaind, to the stunning 'Exile of the Sons of Uisliu' - a tale of treachery, honour and romance - these are masterpieces of passion and vitality, and form the foundation for the Irish…


The Mabinogion Tetralogy

By Evangeline Walton,

Book cover of The Mabinogion Tetralogy

Why this book?

Be sure it is Walton’s version of this very ancient Welsh mythological cycle. I have read other translations, but Walton turns the stories into more modern fiction and it rivals the best fantasy books out there, in my opinion. The Welsh pig-herd Pwyll and his bargain with the king of the dead is wonderfully told and highly readable.

The Mabinogion Tetralogy

By Evangeline Walton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mabinogion Tetralogy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An omnibus edition containing the four compelling novels of the Mabinogian, a quartet of fantasy novels based on epics and tales of medieval Welsh mythology, features The Prince of Annwn, The Children of Llyr, The Song of Rhiannon, and The Island of the Mighty. 10,000 first printing.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Celts, druids, and Celtic mythology?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Celts, druids, and Celtic mythology.

The Celts Explore 25 books about the Celts
Druids Explore 17 books about druids
Celtic Mythology Explore 16 books about Celtic mythology

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Shaman, English Heritage Book of Shrines & Sacrifice, and The Thetford Treasure if you like this list.