Tree of Leaf and Flame

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9781848513877: Tree of Leaf and Flame

I wish I could tell you that their story ends here... If only every story could have a happy ending! Triumphs are hard won in this world of bold warriors, resourceful wives and scheming spellbinders. How the storyteller would love to leave his heroes and heroines happy... but he has a duty to wring every moment of trial and danger from the tales he tells In Tree of Leaf and Flame, award-winning storyteller Daniel Morden retells the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, an intertwining set of tales from the Middle Ages. Mysterious, dreamlike, they link two worlds: that everyday world we all inhabit, and Annwn, a magic Otherworld where nothing is as it seems. Tree of Leaf and Flame won the 2013 Tir na n-Og English Award.

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About the Author:

Only a few people can say that they earn their living telling stories, but since 1989 Daniel Morden has travelled the world as a professional storyteller visiting arts centres, theatres, libraries, museums and festivals worldwide. He has told Welsh tales in St Donat's and at St David's, from the Arctic to the Pacific to the Caribbean. Daniel says "When I was young, children could walk to school by themselves. Every day as I walked I would make up a story, about myself, or Spiderman, or the Viking God Thor, or some strange character I had invented. When I reached school, if I hadn't finished the story I would walk around the playground, muttering it under my breath. I had to know how the story ended, even though I was making it up." His first book, Weird Tales from the Storyteller, was published by Pont Books in November 2003 and was subsequently nominated for the Tir na N-Og Children's Book Prize. Delighted with his first publication , he said "I wanted to write the kind of book I would have loved to read when I was young. I loved books where I was laughing and shuddering by turns." He is one of the UK's most popular tellers of traditional stories, with a repertoire that ranges from The Iliad and The Odyssey performed with Hugh Lupton to his work for families fusing music and story with Oliver Wilson-Dickson. Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton were awarded the 2006 Classical Association prize for 'the most significant contribution to the public understanding of the classics'. Daniel has conceived and presented numerous documentaries on storytelling for BBC Radio Wales. In 2007 he won the Tir na n-Og Award for Dark Tales from the Woods. His latest publication is Tree of Leaf and Flame, published by Pont Books in 2012.

Review:

A compelling cover and a captivating title will surely draw readers both young and old into the pages of this pocket-sized version of some tales of the Mabinogi, by the gifted storyteller Daniel Morden.His narrative technique is crisp and bardic. His simplicity of language and sentence structures balance the complexity of the stories themselves, which can so often be a hindrance to the understanding of younger readers. The repetition of half-remembered phrases, and the revisiting of traditional storytelling techniques, building to an inevitable crescendo of decisive action is hard to fault. Daniels treatment of some of the more horrific and risqu elements of this weird and sometimes ragged collection of legends is both sensitive and stark. Indeed, the whole essence of the book seems to be one of stark contrasts difficulties in balancing power and love, kingship and domesticity, reality and fantasy, todays world and the past, the half-living and the half-dead. The mirror image of Prince Pwyll as he exchanges his year-life with Arawn, seems to signify the very heart of the collection. Exchanges can be blessings or curses. Also at the heart of this publication are the evocative, and I must admit sometimes disturbing, scraperboard images by the talented Brett Breckon. The design and restrained colour of the tree and its branches on the textured dust jacket is hard to resist, and I particularly like the simple chapter-heading vignettes of the four creatures involved the stag, the starling, the field mouse and the eagle, so evocative of the Four Branches themselves. Bretts interpretation of the text is best when he concentrates on the humanity of the protagonists. Brn, Pwyll and Gwydion convince the eye, which may well be puzzled by the inanimate fountain and golden bowl of Annwns fortress, or the monstrous woman and the magic cauldron to each his own preference. Daniel Mordens voice seems to become that of Gwydion, the magicican storyteller himself. As the collection reaches its dramatic conclusion with the deaths of Lleu, Gronw and Blodeuwedd in the Fourth Branch, so the books title is cunningly revealed. A masterful interpretation in poetic prose.Like the narrator, I wish I could say that this is the end of the story, but our own unfinished stories of lifes pleasures and lifes troubles (even those of a young reader) will, I feel, continue to haunt us in the dual worlds we have encountered in this selection of tales. They have conjured up the world we know and believe in every day Hereford, Gloucester, the Irish Sea, the Tower of London as well as the mystical world of Celtic mythology, caught for Welsh culture and tradition in the tales of the Mabinogion. Together, or individually, we can follow in the footsteps of Pwyll and Pryderi and climb the hill at Arberth, where we too will be blessed or cursed by our choices.Chris S. StephensIt is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. Gellir defnyddior adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. -- Welsh Books Council

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Book Description GOMER PRESS, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Brett Breckon (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. Tree of Leaf and Flame is Daniel Morden s unique take on the tales of the Mabinogi. It s the perfect opportunity to hear these strange and fascinating tales retold by a storyteller who earns his living travelling Wales and holding audiences spellbound - just as the professional bards and troubadours did all those years ago. Tir na n-Og Award winner 2013. -- Welsh Books Council. Bookseller Inventory # WBC9781848513877

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Book Description GOMER PRESS, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Brett Breckon (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. Tree of Leaf and Flame is Daniel Morden s unique take on the tales of the Mabinogi. It s the perfect opportunity to hear these strange and fascinating tales retold by a storyteller who earns his living travelling Wales and holding audiences spellbound - just as the professional bards and troubadours did all those years ago. Tir na n-Og Award winner 2013. -- Welsh Books Council. Bookseller Inventory # WBC9781848513877

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Book Description Gomer Press. Book Condition: New. 2012. Hardcover. An unique and accessible take on the tales of the Mabinogi Illustrator(s): Breckon, Brett. Num Pages: 96 pages, Illustrations (black and white). BIC Classification: YFJ. Category: (J) Children / Juvenile. Dimension: 189 x 132 x 13. Weight in Grams: 204. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781848513877

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Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; Tree of Leaf and Flame is Daniel Morden's unique take on the tales of the Mabinogi. It's the perfect opportunity to hear these strange and fascinating tales retold by a storyteller who earns his living travelling Wales and holding audiences spellbound - just as the professional bards and troubadours. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9781848513877_rkm

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