It’s hard to believe this tale survived, passed down by oral tradition alone, for over a thousand years. Then again, it’s an exciting story.
Macha of the Red Braids exudes the essence of female power. Defying and fighting two kings, she takes her father’s place on the throne. With one goal in mind, she uses magic, battles, disguises, and skills of seduction to take the crown as sole ruler. She is the only woman listed as a High King of Ireland. She builds the famed kingdom of Emain Macha, marking off the borders with the pin of her treasured cloak brooch. Even still, a Champion from the wilds of Connaught throws the powerful battle queen off guard when he comes to claim her heart. Has Macha met her match in Nath of Connaught? Will he pass the three trials she has set before him?
It was night, and she was in her element As there were the dark gods of the moon and the sea, so there were the bright ones of the sun. She was dark. Her gaze fell onto the distant plain where she had raced with Nath earlier in the day. Though clouded in darkness now, she thought of the lush green grass that blanketed the earth. The deep, dark soil was firm and solid: sure, constant, and dependable.
She turned and gasped. Nath had come upon her, silently. He stood there at her side. “I did not mean to startle you, my queen.”
His nearness was overwhelming. She cleared her throat, pretending not to be affected. “Not at all.” But she couldn’t tear her gaze from him. Fiery sun, bright and hot, big and bold. Everyone wants him to shine on them.
“The druid thought you would be out here.”
“The druid knows me well.”
When the rays of the sun touch the rich earth, they create the lush peaceful green pasture. She needed him, the sun for her earth. They completed each other. They belonged together: dark and light, earth and sun, Nath and Macha. Lasair knew it, and druids were never wrong.
He looked up, and her gaze followed his. The pearl moon gleamed, smooth and perfect against the clear ebony sky, which twinkled with countless stars.
“Dark, sparkling, vast and enchanting,” Nath said..
“Yes, the night sky is lovely.”
“I did not mean the sky, my queen.”
A ray of moonlight caught her eye as she gazed at him. His eyes alone could set her ablaze. Fire danced in her. “I need to speak with you.”
“Yes, your majesty?” He leaned closer to her.
“Nath, what is it you want of me?”