This holiday season we’re taking a look at our favourite books which make fantastic gifts for friends and family and of course treats for yourself!

Every day for the first twelve days of December we’re doing a blog on each of the 12 best books in our collection, the most-loved titles by all our staff for 12 Days of Blogmas!

Here’s why you should pick them up.


Day 3: The Enchanted Lake


Sinéad de Valera’s The Enchanted Lake weaves a world of magic like no other. From witches and mermaids to giants and princesses, this new edition, full of beautiful and colourful illustrations by the artist Alexis Sierra, brings together eight of her classic Irish Fairy Tales. Set in the Erin of old, these timeless tales are brimming with ancient charm, captivating characters and magical locales. The Enchanted Lake will transport the reader to a world of wonder and enchantment that will invite them back again and again.

The language used by the author is typically that used used to tell the fairy tales and as such is quick, incisive and intriguing. At the basis of everything there is always the desire to include the reader in the narrative so that he himself lives a timeless condition and without rules. As often happens with this type of reading, the reader’s mind is lost in the manifestations of his imagination.

If magical, enchanted worlds fascinate you, then this is the book for you. Lose yourself and get transported to the mystical world de Valera describes.

Books are a different kind of magic, gentler, but still capable of unbelievable things!



If you, like me, are a lover of these kinds of books and the reading experience they provide, then here are some of the most exciting excerpts from The Captive Princess:

“All the people in the place where Hugh lived had heard of an unhappy princess who had been carried off by a wicked giant and was kept captive in his castle […].

The giant’s wife was a witch and if anyone attempted to cross the lake, she set the water in motion and caused it to form whirlpools so that neither swimmer nor boat could reach the castle. Hugh had a great desire to rescue the princess, whose name was Maca […].

“Take this,’ she said, and my blessing with it. I shall never forget your kindness,’ said Hugh, as he set off with a stout heart. It was not long before he reached the Valley of Weasels.

They rushed towards him as if they would spring at his throat […].

As Hugh came near the castle he saw the giant and his wife standing on the steps. When the pair saw Hugh, the giant waved his club round his head and the woman raised her wand over the water […].”

In this case, it really takes a moment to be impressed by the story and its key passages, that’s why I’m happy to announce that you can read the rest of this and all the other stories from The Enchanted Lake ordering it from our website or buying it in any good bookstore!