Faeries, ghosts, and merrows, oh my! St. Patrick’s Day is here and to celebrate we’ve rounded up some Irish/Celtic-inspired YA filled with fantastical creatures that are sure to get you in the festive mood.
The Radiant Road by Katherine Catmull
Clare Macleod grew up listening to her mother’s stories about the Strange, tales of fairies and magic-making. Years after her mother’s death, Clare and her father return to Ireland, to the house where Clare was born—a house built into a hillside with an ancient tree for a wall. The house brings Clare memories of her mother, a mysterious boy with raven-dark hair and of dreamlike nights filled with stars and magic. Her past catches up with her and Clare finds herself drawn into a rift between the world of mortals and the world of fairies.
Merrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith
Ever since her father drowned and her mother disappeared, 12-year-old Neen Marrey has always been surrounded by the whispers of the people of Carrick Island. The townspeople claim her mother was a merrow and has returned to her home in the ocean. Neen can’t help but wonder if they are right. If her mother was indeed a merrow, would that explain the itchy red scales that appear on her each year? Neen must separate town gossip from town lore to learn the truth about her mother—and herself.
Bog Child by Siobhan David
It is 1981, and 18-year-old Fergus lives on the border between Northern Ireland and the south. While digging for peat with his uncle, they come across the body of a girl preserved by the bog. As Fergus tries to make sense of the chaotic world around him (his brother on hunger strike in prison and his growing feelings for Cora, the daughter of the archeologist sent to investigate the body), he begins to dream about the bog child he names “Mel.”
The Fire Opal by Regina McBride
Set on the western Irish coast during the late 16th century, Maeve O’Tullagh must care for her comatose mother while her father and brothers are away fighting to free Ireland from Queen Elizabeth’s tyrannical rule. But when her younger sister Ishleen falls victim to the same mysterious illness that afflicts their mom, Maeve becomes desperate to save them. She sets off on a journey for earth goddess Danu to retrieve the fire opal from the frigid home of the corpse goddess Uria. Retrieving the fire opal will restore the natural order of things, and save her mother and sister from a slow death.
Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan
Twin brothers Pat and Dom are forced to move with their parents to a seaside cottage after their nan accidentally burns their house down. Now in the dead of winter, it’s there that a ghost appears. And when the ghost takes possession of Dom, it’s up to Pat to keep his brother’s cover while figuring out how to save him, drawing clues from his own dreams and Nan’s long-ago memories while confronting a mystery that lies between this world and the next.
Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but gifted musician who discovers that she is a cloverhand, someone who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself drawn to the mysterious boy who enters her life, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke—who happens to be a gallowglass, a soulless faerie assassin. Also stalking Deirdre is Aodhan, and equally hunky and dangerous dark faerie soldier. Both Luke and Aodhan have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen: kill Deidre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen’s rule.