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The Lyre Dancers


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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.


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The Lyre Dancers

About the author

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.  The Amber Seeker is her fourth novel and the second in the Stone Stories trilogy, which began with The Walrus Mutterer (2018). Mandy is also the author of three poetry collections, a non-fiction book and numerous essays, and the editor of a poetry anthology.

Longlisted: Highland Book Award 2019

Editor’s Choice, Historical Novels Review (The Walrus Mutterer and The Amber Seeker)

‘Gripping, haunting and visceral … Lyrical and poetic prose … a convincing and entirely believable world… One of the best books I have read so far this year.’ Historical Novels Review

‘Haggith’s woman’s eye view of the Iron Age feels fresh and distinctive.’ Alastair Mabbott, Sunday Herald

‘Marries great storytelling and convincing research … enthralling.’ Allan Massie, Scotsman

‘Utterly compelling…beautifully crafted.’ Undiscovered Scotland