Once upon a time, kings, knights, and dragons roamed the verdant hills of Ireland, and druids used their sorcery for both good and evil. It was a time of magic. It was a time of warriors. It was a time of legends.
The six legends presented here are taken primarily from two cycles in Irish lore: An Rúraíocht (The Red Branch Knights Cycle) and An Fhiannaíocht (The Fianna Cycle). These stories have been passed down from generation to generation in Ireland but will delight children of any heritage. They deal with many diverse topics, yet they all share an underlying theme: the journey into adulthood.
- “Children of Lir” puts a mystical twist on the traditional evil-stepmother fable.
- “Deirdre of the Sorrows” questions whether one can change her destiny.
- “Setanta” is the name of a young boy who wishes to become a member of the famous Red Branch Knights of Ulster.
- “The Salmon of Knowledge” gives Fionn, a prince in hiding, the ability to answer any question; it also allows him to return to his people.
- “Fionn and the Dragon” tells how the prince proves his bravery and assumes his rightful place as leader of the Fianna.
- “Oisín in Tír na n-Óg” tells of Fionn, who, even in a beautiful land of eternal youth, longs to return to his beloved Ireland.
As children learn these Irish legends, they are certain to learn a thing or two about themselves as well.