… So, the Lord of Dyved climbed the Fair-Mound of Arbeth,
and the seven chieftains of Dyved climbed with him…
As they sat in counsel on the top of the Fair-Mound, they saw a woman, wearing gold
brocade, riding by, on a pale white horse.
Of comely bearing, and fair in face and form she was, and a fine, fitting, match for any young man.
She was approaching along the highway which ran past the hill.
“Men,” said Tyrnonos, Thunder-of-Water, “does anyone here recognise that woman?”
“No, indeed, Lord,” they all answered.
“Then let one of you go to find out who she is,” said Tyrnonos.
Caradawg went but by the time he had reached the highway, despite her
steady pace, the horse-woman had already gone past without so much as
a look to the left or to the right of her. He followed on foot as best he could
but the greater his speed, the farther ahead she drew and when he saw
that his pursuit was in vain he returned to the Fair-Mound and said to
Tyrnonos, “Lord, it is pointless to follow the horse-woman on foot.”
Now, Tyrnonos, who was a prince among princes, was not used to such treatment from
“All right,” he said, “but there is some meaning in this, let us return to the hall
and see if she rides past this way tomorrow.”
“A wonder indeed, we have seen today,” said Unig-the-Tall to Hevyd Broad-Back,
“a woman who will not stop for the lord and his company!” …
Excerpt from, Crucible of the Sun
By Stuart France
“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”
Once upon a time we gathered around the flames of the hearth and listened to tales of long ago and far away. The stories grew in the telling, weaving ancient lore whose origins lie somewhere in a misty past with tales of high adventure, battles, magic and love. In Crucible of the Sun this oral tradition is echoed in a unique and lyrical interpretation of tales from the Mabinogion, a collection of stories whose roots reach back into the depths of time, spanning the world and reflecting universal themes of myth and legend.
These tales capture a narrative deeply entwined through the history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles, drawing on roots that are embedded in the heart of the land. In Crucible of the Sun the author retells these timeless stories in his own inimitable and eminently readable style. The author’s deep exploration of the human condition and the transitions between the inner worlds illuminate this retelling, casting a unique light on the symbolism hidden beyond the words, unravelling the complex skein of imagery and weaving a rich tapestry of magic.
‘The author’s creative and scholarly engagement with the material and enthusiasm for the original tales is evident throughout.’ The Welsh Books Council
‘I found it very inspiring!’ Philip Carr-Gomm, Former Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D.)
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