Legends of the Celts

By Frank Delaney

165 ratings - 3.81* vote

Wonderful modern retelling of tales of centuries past. Recognize themes that appear in the myths of other lands (such as the story of Tristan and Iseult), and find the amazing reasons behind the parallels.

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Book details

Paperback, 240 pages
September 1st 1992 by Sterling Publishing (NY)

(first published 1989)

Original Title
Legends of the Celts
0806983515 (ISBN13: 9780806983516)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


Delaney's collection of Welsh and Irish legends is a pretty quick, easy read and a good intro into the colorful, bizarre world of Celtic legends. He provides some nice historical prefaces that never become too academic or pedantic, and in the longer stories- the Cattle Raid of Cooley and Tristan and Iseult, his storytelling powers reveal themselves to be considerable. Some of the shorter tales, however, are a bit on the perfunctory side, and could have stood a bit of embellishment in character and stakes, not to mention clarification. Additionally he drops a number of stories that would provide narrative context for some of the ones he keeps- Finn Macool, for instance, is almost unmentioned till the last two stories of part one, at which point he seems oddly out of place would strike an unschooled reader as not particularly important. Still, Delaney deserves credit for sticking to the source material while making it as approachable as he can and some of these legends, particularly those surrounding Welsh heroes Pwyll and Pryderi, are beautiful, mystical treats not to be missed.


A selection tales from Irish folklore, The Mabinogion and a retelling of Tristan and Iseult, Frank Delaney’s book of Celtic legends is a clear, easy read but somehow lacking is that “certain something” that would lift it out of the pedestrian.The tales are full of incredible feats of strength and daring, warriors fighting impossible odds, strange, surreal turns of events and no real internal logic. But then this is folklore, meant to be told by bards. A valiant attempt.

Brian Turner

Split into three parts, Irish, Welsh and finishing with Tristan and Iseult.The Irish stories are the better ones, in the characters and the way the author retells the stories.The Welsh ones (and Tristan & Iseult) are rather bland, and seem to rush over interesting events to reach the end.

Misty Jones

Loved this book!What a page turner,but I might be a wee bit biased since Irish blood flows through my veins,LOL.For anyone interested in Mythology and folklore,it's a must -read!

Louise Duckworth

Interesting but hard to follow


I may give this book another chance once I learn more about Celtic legends and myths. As a novice, I found it difficult to follow the flow of the legends. I think this book would be better suited to those who are familiar with the myths.