10 books like The Tain

By Ciaran Carson (translator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Tain. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Book of Conquests

By Jim Fitzpatrick,

Book cover of The Book of Conquests

Jim Fitzpatrick’s CV may include the world’s most famous portrait of Che Guevara, but in Ireland, he is better known for his glorious depictions of our native myths and legends. If anything can be said to be his masterpiece, it is his work in The Book of Conquests. The text is a translation of a medieval manuscript, Lebor Gabála Érenn. This account of the mythical origins of Ireland was my most important inspiration for writing The Call. But as a child, it was the pulse-pounding illustrations that really made my jaw drop.

The Book of Conquests

By Jim Fitzpatrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE BOOK OF CONQUESTS, published in 1978, is the first volume of a trilogy of works, which tell the story of the ancient and magical race: the Tuatha Dé Danann. The second volume, THE SILVER ARM was published in 1981; while volume three, THE SON OF THE SUN is in preparation. THE BOOK OF CONQUESTS tells the story of Nuada, king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and the First Battle of Moy Tura, one of the most important sagas in Early Irish Literature.


Gods and Fighting Men

By Lady Gregory,

Book cover of Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland

Although we’ve never stopped telling stories on this island, there is no doubt that a huge part of our heritage would have been lost if not for those who collected it, translated it for a non-Irish-speaking audience, and published it around the world. Lady Gregory’s brilliant collection, Gods and Fighting Men is the one on which so many others are based.

Gods and Fighting Men

By Lady Gregory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gods and Fighting Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A few months ago I was on the bare Hill of Allen, "wide Almhuin of Leinster," where Finn and the Fianna lived, according to the stories, although there are no earthen mounds there like those that mark the sites of old buildings on so many hills. A hot sun beat down upon flowering gorse and flowerless heather; and on every side except the east, where there were green trees and distant hills, one saw a level horizon and brown boglands with a few green places and here and there the glitter of water. One could imagine that had it been…


Ireland's Immortals

By Mark Williams,

Book cover of Ireland's Immortals: A History of the Gods of Irish Myth

This is a fascinating look at the perceptions of Irish mythology at different points throughout our history. There’s always a lot of fuss on the internet about fantasy writers who get our mythology “wrong”, but Mark Williams shows that the legends themselves and their themes have evolved constantly to reflect the concerns and mores of the times and of the storytellers themselves. Ireland’s Immortals is almost an academic proof of the thesis laid out in Robert Holdstock’s brilliant novel, Mythago Wood, which -- it goes without saying -- I also highly recommend.

Ireland's Immortals

By Mark Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ireland's Immortals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sweeping history of Ireland's native gods, from Iron Age cult and medieval saga to the Celtic Revival and contemporary fiction

Ireland's Immortals tells the story of one of the world's great mythologies. The first account of the gods of Irish myth to take in the whole sweep of Irish literature in both the nation's languages, the book describes how Ireland's pagan divinities were transformed into literary characters in the medieval Christian era-and how they were recast again during the Celtic Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A lively narrative of supernatural beings and their fascinating and…


The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne / The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu

By Standish O'Grady, A.H. Leahy,

Book cover of The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne / The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu

Irish mythological tales are usually divided into various cycles. I’ve already included the heart of the aristocratic Ulster Cycle with The Táin above. Here, with The Pursuit, A.K.A., the Tóraíocht, we have my favourite part of the Fenian Cycle, with a Dark Ages hallucinatory road trip across the island as runaway lovers try to evade capture by a jilted king. Did I mention it was funny? I should have. It’s great.

The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne / The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu

By Standish O'Grady, A.H. Leahy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne / The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For a thousand years and more audiences have delighted in these Irish tales, wondering at the elopement of the impetuous Grainne with the heroic Diarmuid and heartbroken by the fateful flight of Deirdre. Two strong women take control of their destinies and both pay grievous prices.


Early Irish Myths and Sagas

By Jeffrey Gantz (translator),

Book cover of Early Irish Myths and Sagas

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 Call

By Peadar Ó Guilín,

Book cover of The Call

The Call picks up on the horror element I loved in Buffy. In this alternative world, the Irish have banished the Sidhe, but as revenge, the Sidhe call Irish teens to their land, where they are hunted for 24 hours. You don’t know who will be called, or when, but eventually, it will be your turn. School is all about helping teens learn to survive when they are taken. Three minutes pass in our world before you are returned. But in what state? I loved the concept of this novel, and the main character will hit you in all the feels!

The Call

By Peadar Ó Guilín,

Why should I read it?

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


Through the Door

By Jodi McIsaac,

Book cover of Through the Door

I recommend this book not only for its gripping storyline but for its fascinating take on Irish mythology and seamless blend into our world too! I loved the characters, especially Cedar, the main protagonist in the book as she's thrown into the deep end and has to adapt pretty quickly to survive and save her daughter! And if you're like me and like to work out how it ends, there's enough here to keep you guessing. I certainly didn't see that coming!

Through the Door

By Jodi McIsaac,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Through the Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's been seven years since the love of Cedar McLeod's life left with no forwarding address. All she has left of him are heart-wrenching memories of happier times and a beautiful six-year-old daughter, Eden. Then, one day, Eden opens her bedroom door and unwittingly creates a portal that leads to anywhere she imagines.

But they're not the only ones who know of Eden's gift, and soon the child mysteriously vanishes.

Desperate for answers, Cedar digs into the past and finds herself thrust into a magical world of Celtic myths, fantastical creatures, and bloody rivalries. Teaming up with the unlikeliest of…


Waylander

By David Gemmell,

Book cover of Waylander

Gemmel is still the only author who writes heroic fantasy in a way that inspires you. His style is unmatched, his heroes are all larger than life and their battle scenes are exquisite. He has an attention to detail that allows you to bond with the character and care for each of them.

Waylander

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'THE HARD-BITTEN CHAMPION OF BRITISH HEROIC FANTASY' - Joe Abercrombie

'HEROISM AND HEARTBREAK . . . GEMMELL IS ADRENALINE WITH SOUL' - Brent Weeks

The Drenai King is dead - murdered by a ruthless assassin. Enemy troops swarm into Drenai lands. Their orders are simple - kill every man, woman and child.

But there is hope.

Stalked by men who act like beasts and beasts that walk like men, the warrior Waylander must journey into the shadow-haunted lands of the Nadir to find the legendary Armour of Bronze. With this he can turn the tide. But can he be trusted?…


Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

By Stephen R. Lawhead,

Book cover of Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

Although magic doesn’t feature as strongly in this as the other recommendations and in the subsequent books in the series, I recommend this it cleverly disguises magic within the world, it's not showy but still believable, something which makes you think. It's also a gripping tale that connects Atlantis with the stories around King Arthur.

Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

By Stephen R. Lawhead,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A magnificent tale which begins with the tragedy of Atlantis and the arrival in Britain of King Avallach. In this world, Celtic chieftains struggle for survival in the twilight of Rome's power, and one heroic figure towers over all, the Prince Taliesin, in whom is the sum of human greatness. This is a tale of a love that spawns the miracle of Merlin and Arthur and a destiny that is more than a kingdom.


The Unknown Socrates

By Bernhard Huss, Marc Mastrangelo, William M. Calder, R. Scott Smith, Stephen M. Trzaskoma

Book cover of The Unknown Socrates

This book provides a series of translations of ancient texts relating to the life of Socrates, raising questions about his earlier trajectory among other things. The scattered sources gathered in this volume tell a very different story about the philosopher from that normally obtained by concentrating almost exclusively on his trial and death.

The Unknown Socrates

By Bernhard Huss, Marc Mastrangelo, William M. Calder, R. Scott Smith, Stephen M. Trzaskoma

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Socrates (469 399 B.C.) is one of history's most enigmatic and intriguing figures. He is often considered the father of Western philosophy, yet the four most famous accounts we have of him present a contradictory, confusing picture.

Just who was Socrates? Was he Plato's brilliant philosopher, at times confounding and infuriating, morally serious and yet ironic; the ever-worldly man, sometime mystic, and uncommon martyr? Or did Plato conflate Socrates' views with his own startling genius, as Aristotle suggests? Was Socrates instead the less impressive, more mundane man whose commonsense impressed the laconic Xenophon? Or could Socrates have been the charlatan,…


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