This is a delightful modern but faithful retelling of the main legends of Irish literature. Heaney has a breezy, action-driven approach to the tales that still has a certain emotional resonance (often involving wounded pride). Madness, vengeance, sorrow, teamwork, courage abound, as well as some wonderful descriptions of beauty and Ireland and Tir Na nOg. The Tuatha de Danaan, the Children of Lir, Cuchulainn, and the Fianna are all included here. There is perhaps less focus on certain characters (e.g., Maebh). The tales of Saints Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille that are the last three sections of this book seemed a bit out of place compared to the largely pre-Christian material with which they are grouped. Had I been editor, I would have excluded them--not least of which because, other than Patrick's, the lives described don't have a lot of narrative oomph.