The Western Isles are the Scottish Hebrides where, in the course of ten pungent, diverse stories, a clever lad tricks a complacent rich man into praying for absolution; a faithful lass accedes without complaint to conviction by circumstantial evidence; a long-resident bauchan berates his family for emigrating to America. The plots are clever, the moods vary (often within a story) from wry amusement to poignant loyalty, the phrasing and language are distinctively local, and, surprisingly, there are almost no parallels (except in specific incidents) to other folklore. Also, the sea is seldom out of sight or sound, and one, about a sea captain who is directed to Eilean-h-oige, the Isle of Youth, then forced to brush the dust from his shoes lest he find it again, is a sea legend of the purest sort. Equally pervasive are the magic folk, embodied as the brown curly-furred giantess who gambles with the young prince; or the three fine hounds who save the king's son from the perfidy of his sister; or the crusty little bauchan who won't be left behind. Printed on extra-thick stock, the ten make up a tome but there's hardly a sluggard among them--it's one of Miss Leodhas' most consistently intriguing collections.