The Dream of Aengus
Kelly L. Green is the co-editor of the Children’s Literature edition
of the Canadian Book Review Annual.
Caer is the beautiful, golden-haired daughter of the immortal sorcerer
King Ethal. Afraid that Caer might grow up to marry a mortal, her father
lays a curse upon her that she must live every second year as a swan.
One day, Aengus, son of the King of Ulster, visits the shore of Loch
Bél Dracon, where he is observed by Caer and her handmaidens in their
swan state. Upon seeing him and hearing him sing, Caer falls in love;
King Ethal’s fears are realized, and the destinies of both families
are tied together irrevocably. The Dream of Aengus, a tale of longing
and loyalty, tells how two people who met only in a wordless dream
conquered curses and sorcerers to be together forever.
Joanne Findon’s retelling of this medieval Irish fantasy will
re-create the story’s magic for children and adults alike. The
beautifully spare text is accompanied by Ted Nasmith’s realistically
fantastic illustrations, in which sorcerers clash, dreams are embodied,
and swan girls alight from the fire of sunset. His graceful white swans
live in a world of grey-blue night, and lend a chill air to this
mysterious tale. Highly recommended.