Book Reviews

Book Review: Dadeni gan Ifan Morgan Jones

This is a bilingual book review, for the English translation, please scroll down further.

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3/5 Seren

Mae Dadeni llyfr ffantasi/”magic realism” gyda naratif wedi gael eu rannu, sydd wedi’i lleoli yng Nghymru heddiw ac yn ysgrifenedig yn Gymraeg. Mae wedi gael ddosbarthu fel “Young Adult” ond mae’n addas am oedolion fyd.

Mae Joni yn ei arddegau ac yn dod o Landysul. Mae’n cael ei fagu mewn antur gyda’i dad archaeolegydd anghyfannedd, wrth iddo frwydro yn erbyn gwrthdaro mewnol heb ei ddatrys.
Rydym yn dilyn Joni, Alaw ac Isgoed fel mae’r duwiau a chwedlau Cymru a’r Mabinogi yn dod yn fyw.



Rwyf wrth fy modd y syniad y tu ôl i’r llyfr hwn; mae’n llawn cymeriadau o mytholeg Cymru. 
Fe’i hatgoffa i lawer o American Gods gan Neil Gaiman yn hynny o beth; gan weld cymeriadau o gorffennol Cymru a’r Mabinogi yn dod yn fyw a goroesi yn y byd modern. Gwnaeth Ifan Morgan Jones waith gwych yn ail-greu’r cymeriadau hyn. Roedd yn adferiad adfywiol, ac fe wnaeth Ifan greu cydbwysedd da rhwng y stori a’r chwedlau, a’r Gymru hyn o bryd.

Roedd gen i broblemau gyda’r naratif weithiau’n teimlo’n orfodol, neu wedi fy nhynnu. Yn enwedig pan fydd Joni yn cael “wrando mewn” ar cyfarfod cyfrinachol; rwy’n ymwybodol ei bod yn stori sy’n delio â duwiau a zombies a chreaduriaid chwedlonol, ond roedd hi’n anodd iawn credu y byddai ysgrifennydd yn caniatáu i ddieithryn cyflawn wrando ar gyfarfod cyfrinachol ei boss. Roedd ychydig o achosion yn debyg i hyn a oedd yn fy ngwneud i cwestiynu gweithredoedd cymeriad, roeddent achosion anffodus yn y naratif, beth oedd fel arall stori wych.

Nes i mwynhau naratif a digwyddiadau Joni y mwyaf. Byddwn wedi hoffi gweld beth oedd Isgoed yn gallu ei wneud, nid oedd yn gymeriad yr hoffwn (dwi’n ofni os byddaf yn esbonio pam y byddaf yn rhoi gormod i ffwrdd, ond yn ddigon i ddweud bod rhai o’i benderfyniadau wedi fy nhroi yn erbyn ef). Fe’i canfyddais hi’n anodd iawn cysylltu ag Alaw, roeddwn i’n angen i, roeddwn i’n teimlo bod ganddo rôl bwysig iawn i’w chwarae; ond mae fy galluoedd llai yn y Gymraeg yn gadael i mi deimlo bod llawer o’i stori hi yn wedi cael ei golli mewn cyfieithiad imi, aeth y wleidyddiaeth i gyd dros fy mhen. Mewn gwirionedd, rwy’n credu y byddai’r stori wedi bod yn gwbl bleserus heb unrhyw wleidyddiaeth, roedd e’n gyd teimlo ychydig bach fel stori hollol wahanol.

Byddwn yn argymell y llyfr hwn i ddarllenwyr hyderus yn y Nghymraeg; yn cydsoddi chwedlau gyda thriller modern cyffrous iawn.

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3/5 Stars

Dadeni is a split narrative fantasy/magic realism based in Wales in the present day and written in Welsh. Classified as YA but very much suitable for adults also.

Joni is a teenager from rural Wales. He becomes entangled in an adventure with his estranged archaeologist father, as he battles an inner unresolved conflict.
We follow Joni, Alaw and Isgoed as the gods and myths of Wales and the Mabinogi come to life.


I absolutely loved the concept behind this book; it is ram packed with figures from Welsh mythology. It reminded me very much of Gaiman’s American Gods in that regard; seeing characters from Wales’ past and the Mabinogi brought to life and surviving in the modern world. Ifan Morgan Jones did a wonderful job recreating these characters. It was a refreshing retelling, and Ifan created a good balance between the fairy tale and legends, and modern Wales.

I did have some problems with the narrative sometimes feeling forced, or contrived. Most notably when Joni gets to “listen in” on a confidential meeting; I’m aware that it’s a story that deals with gods and zombies and mythical creatures, but I found it very hard to believe a secretary would allow a complete stranger to listen in on her boss’ confidential meeting. There were a couple of instances similar to this that left me seriously questioning a character’s actions, they were unfortunate narrative stumbling blocks in what was otherwise a great story.

I definitely enjoyed Joni’s narrative the most and his encounters. I would have liked to have seen what Isgoed was capable of, he wasn’t a character I particularly liked (I’m afraid if I explain why then I’ll give too much away, but suffice to say some of his decisions turned me against him). I found it quite difficult to connect to Alaw, I wanted to very much, I felt like she had a very important role to play; but my lesser abilities in Welsh leave me feeling like much of her plot line was lost in translation for me, the politics all went over my head somewhat. In fact, I think the story would have been perfectly enjoyable without any of the politics, it sometimes felt like I was reading a different story.

I would recommend this book to confident Welsh readers; the story was an exciting merging of myths and legends with a modern race-against-the-clock thriller.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Dadeni gan Ifan Morgan Jones

    1. Thank you so much for reading it! You have absolutely no idea how much that means to me, I assumed only Welsh language speakers/readers would be interested in reading my reviews about Welsh books! I posted my review bilingually in the hope someone else may want to read it too, so thank you again 😍

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