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Evangeline Walton

Evangeline Walton(1907-1996)
Evangeline Walton was the pseudonym of Evangeline Wilna Ensley, an American author. She was given the World Fantasy Lifetime Acheivement Award in 1989.

Prince of Annwn: An excellent read

Prince of Annwn by Evangeline Walton

Evangeline Walton first wrote the MABINOGION TETRALOGY in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Only the fourth book in the sequence was published at the time, under the title The Virgin and the Swine. The series was rediscovered in the early 1970s; The Virgin and the Swine was reprinted as The Island of the Mighty, and the other three books saw publication for the first time. Prince of Annwn is the first in the sequence but was the last to be published. It was a nominee for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature in 1975.

The four novels are based upon four related tales from Welsh mythology, known as the Four Branches of the Mabinogi. Prince of Annwn is an adaptation of the first “branch,” “Pwyll Prince of Dyfed.” Walt... Read More

The Song of Rhiannon: Problems with the source material

The Song of Rhiannon by Evangeline Walton

The Song of Rhiannon (1972), the third volume in Evangeline Walton’s MABINOGION TETRALOGY, begins with Manawyddan, son of the sea god, haunted by grief and feeling directionless after the events of The Children of Llyr. (I haven’t read The Children of Llyr, but I have read “Branwen Daughter of Llyr,” the medieval Welsh tale on which it is based. It features a Red Wedding’s worth of deaths.) His friend Pryderi, prince of Dyfed, gives him new purpose in life by offering him a home at his palace and the chance to court Pryderi’s widowed mother, Rhiannon.

The Song of Rhiannon is based on the third... Read More

Witch House: Sarai, Sarai, quite contrary

Witch House by Evangeline Walton

Ever since British author Horace Walpole kick-started the haunted house genre with his seminal short novel of Gothic romance, The Castle of Otranto (1765), there have been hundreds of short stories and dozens of novels centered on this most shuddery of literary subjects. But for this reader, the two novels at the very top of the ectoplasmic heap have long been Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (1959), still the most spine-tingling book that I have ever read, and Richard Matheson’s ubercreepy Hell House (1971); perhaps not surprisingly, those two were later adapted into exquisitely scary cinematic fare, in, respectively, The Haunting (1963) and Read More

She Walks in Darkness: A period gothic thriller from a master of epic fantasy

She Walks in Darkness by Evangeline Walton

Many of us who have read Evangeline Walton have her, mentally, on our epic fantasy bookshelf with people like J.R.R. Tolkien and Mervyn Peake, for her retellings of the Welsh mythic cycle The Mabinogion. For us, She Walks in Darkness is a surprise. This previously unpublished novel, brought out by Tachyon Press, is not epic fantasy at all but a gothic thriller.

Written in the early 1960s, She Walks in Darkness was a casualty of Walton’s dispute with a publisher. The publisher had handled Dark Runs the Road badly, and Walton’s contractual agreement stipulated they got first crack at her next book, which happened to be She Walks in Darkness. Walton put the book in a drawer, along with many o... Read More

More fantasy novels by Evangeline Walton

Evangeline Walton Witch House book reviewWitch House — (1945) Publisher: Macabre, relentless — it was a merciless haunting that spanned generations and thrived on innocent souls… The little girl saw it, saw the evil that had been bequeathed her by the house that had bedeviled her ancestors. And there was no escaping it. It lived at the lonely mansion off the New England coast… it followed her… possessed her… and it would not review Evangeline Walton The Cross and the Sword

The Cross and the Sword — (1956) The Vikings, tall, fair-haired, blue0eyed and ferocious, leapt snarling on Christian England, laying waste her lands, killer her men, ravishing her women. This is the story of the great Viking chief, Sweyn, terror of the English king. It is the story of his raids and wars, the women he took and the one he loved, his tragedy and dreadful revenge – a novel of blood-chilling horror and superb courage, pagan and Christian locked in deadly conflict.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsSon of Darkness — (1957)


book review Evangeline Walton The Sword is ForgedThe Sword Is Forged — (1983) A fantasy recreation of the story of Theseus, the legendary Greek hero, and Antiope, Queen of the Amazons, and a time of great changes when the old world order is undergoing transformation