The Lyre Dancers

Mandy Haggith

Mandy Haggith lives in Assynt in the northwest Highlands of Scotland, where she combines writing with sailing, environmental activism and teaching – she is a lecturer in literature and creative writing at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Her first novel, The Last Bear, won the Robin Jenkins Literary Award for environmental writing in 2009. Bear Witness was published in 2013 and Into the Forest followed shortly after.

The Lyre Dancers is her fifth novel and the third in the Stone Stories trilogy, which began with The Walrus Mutterer (2018), longlisted for the Highland Book Prize, and continued with The Amber Seeker (2019).

Mandy is also the author of three poetry collections, a non-fiction book and numerous essays, and the editor of a poetry anthology.

The Lyre Dancers

by Mandy Haggith

  • RRP: £8.99 (print) / £5.99 (ebook)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781912235582
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781912235599

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Northern Britain, c. 300 BC. Former slave, indomitable survivor and now matriarch Rian returns with her daughters to her Celtic homeland and navigates changing fortunes from plundered riches and feuding warlords to betrayals and menacing curses. But when a disaster befalls her older daughter mirroring the cruellest events in Rian’s own past, Rian finds herself conflicted. A beautifully written, engrossing tale, The Lyre Dancers takes place in a richly imagined world that, despite its distance from our own times, is peopled with readily identifiable characters whose emotions and circumstances we relate to instantly. Haggith’s innovative, widely praised research is worn lightly in a powerful narrative that challenges our modern views of family, gender roles and our place in the environment. Above all, the storytelling soars as grudges, peril and passions take their turn across the pages of this early Celtic saga.    

REVIEWS OF The Lyre Dancers

“A beautifully woven conclusion to a fascinating trilogy of ancient adventures … Haggith has worked to extensive lengths to breathe life into an age that has long been forgotten … she approaches [the] story with eloquence that makes the reading itself an adventure of its own.” Charlie Ceats, Cultured Vultures

"Convincing, provocative … evoked with lyrical detail … triumphantly draws together all the threads … while successfully eluding any simplistic resolution." Margaret Elphinstone, Northwords Now