One of Ireland’s, ‘Three Great Tales of Sorrow’ which all deal with the lives and tragic deaths of offspring, this one, the second in the series, is the most poignant perhaps as, ostensibly, the offspring are still children.

Whilst it is possible to regard Folk Tales, Legends and Myths as ‘reportage’ it is necessary to understand how to read them as such and this requires us to relinquish habitual notions of ‘literal-ness’.

From a structural point of view, we may wonder after the third foster-daughter, Alva, who, although named, plays no role in the action of the story?

Are these three names deliberately chosen to question or even expand the biblical tale of origins?

The twin motif also seems under used save for the curious assemblage of the swans on the ‘Rock of One’. Perhaps it is referring us to plane and direction, and hence, is ultimately concerned with notions of dimensionality?

And what of the slender silver chains which link the swans at the end of the story and which, when broken, lead to their release from enchantment?

The Crafty-Folk initially keep pace with the fate of the swans and then mysteriously disappear?


Continue reading at France and Vincent

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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