Queen Maebh’s Raging Return to Galway

The latest instalment in Poolbeg’s MAC (Mythical Activity Control) series, sees the legendary queen back in Connacht, trying once more to buy a prize bull. It’s up to Áine and Fionn – two young MAC agents who guard the doors between the Otherworld, where the magical people live, and our world – to bring her back to the Otherworld, where she belongs. 

In their attempts to locate the queen, Áine and Fionn travel around Galway (by passing through mirrors), visiting various famous sites. The book also includes a map of the city, showing these landmarks, and an attractive full-colour postcard, as well as ten interesting and fun facts about Galway. 

The book zips along at quite a pace and is clearly written, with plenty of humour. The black-and-white illustrations are similarly energetic and playful – also, hidden among them are Claddagh rings for readers to find as they go. 

With each title in this series set in an Irish city, these would work well for the tourist market as a fun and engaging souvenir. I do think, though, that this book would have benefited from a few facts about Queen Maebh herself, as readers unfamiliar with her legend might struggle to understand just why she is so anxious to get her hands on this bull. However, Poolbeg’s In a Nutshell series, which retells Irish myths and history in an accessible way for young readers, has published The Adventures of Maebh the Warrior Queen, which would make a nice companion to the Raging Return