Book aims to bring Welsh mythology alive to the nation’s children

An author hopes to bring Welsh mythology alive to the children of Wales in an adaptation of the best-selling The Wizards of Once book series.

The Welsh-language adaptation, Yr Hudlath a’r Haearn, will be available to but on the Eisteddfod yr Urdd Maes in Cardiff Bay this week.

Author Ifan Morgan Jones said that he saw a number of similarities between the history of Wales and the plot of the novel and that is what inspired him to undertake the work.

The original book was written by Cressida Cowell, author of the How to Train Your Dragon series.

“It’s a novel about what happens when Warriors invade the west of the British Isles and get into a war with the Wizards,” Ifan Morgan Jones said of the book.

“I saw that there were strong parallels there with the history of the Anglo-Saxons and the Celts, and Welsh mythology, and I saw it as an opportunity to play with those themes.”

The map from Yr Hudlath a’r Haearn

The tale tells of a Warrior girl Dôn and the Wizard boy, Llŷr, have to team up to fight an ancient evil that is creeping back into the forest where they live.

“As well as being an opportunity to tell an exciting, funny story there was also a chance to adapt the book in order to introduce children and young adults to elements of Welsh mythology,” Ifan Morgan Jones, who lectures in journalism at Bangor University, said.

“I included creatures from our mythology such as the Cath Palug, Cribwr Gawr, and Ysbaddaden Gawr so that the story felt that it was rooted in Wales as well.

“The book was an awful lot of fun to adapt and I could see why it had been such a best-seller in English.”

The second and third installments of the Wizards of Once series will also be adapted in the same way, he said.

Yr Hudlath a’r Haearn can be bought online here.

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