I haven't done a book review in a little bit so let's jump into one today for Kris Hughes 'Lugh Lleu A Collection of Poems and Tales' published in 2020. This is a short book and features 5 poems and 4 stories as well as an introduction. The introduction lays out the author's intent with the book which is to explore the areas of crossover between the Irish deity Lugh and the Welsh god Lleu through retelling older folk tales and myths and through poetry.
The author achieves the stated premise throughout the text, blurring the boundaries between the two deities and dancing back and forth between one set of myths and another. This is perhaps most evident in the poem 'Lugh Lleu' where each verse shifts from one deity to another, giving us a verse about Lugh followed by one about Lleu and so on. Others such as 'Alpha' are less easily parsed and may perhaps apply to both deities without explicitly being aimed at either.
The re-tellings of the stories are based on older myths and folktales, which the author discusses at the end of the text in the 'Notes' section. All of the original sources are cited there and there is a small commentary on that particular story and the author's approach to it, from direct retellings of tales, such as in 'Gwydion' to stories like 'Balor' which are much more creative and blend both multiple older versions with the author's imagination. As with the poems the tales encompass both Lugh and Lleu.
This book would probably not work well for hard polytheists or those who see a strong separation between Lugh and Lleu, but for those who see a fuzzier demarcation between the Welsh and Irish Gods or who enjoy contemplating the possibilities there this provides interesting food for contemplation. With its mix of poetry, retelling,s and creative reimaginings of tales 'Llugh Lleu A Collection of Poems and Tales' has a little bit of everything. Copies can be found here