MacLir plays a role in the series The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries, but who was this legendary figure?
He guards the gates of the world beyond life. He is the God of the sea. Of all the Tuatha de Danann, he was said to be the most powerful. HIs name is Mananan MacLir.
Modern spellings of the name have shortened Mananan to Manann. He was the son of Lir, God of the Sea. The "mac" at the beginning of his last name translates to "son of," thus MacLir is "son of Lir." Eventually, Manann inherited the role of sea god from his father. In time, he became so much more.
In Lady Gregory's book "Gods and Fighting Men", she states "It was Nuada was king of the Tuatha de Danaan at that time, but Manannan, son of Lir, was greater again." Manann is powerful and wise. In legends, he takes on the role of trickster god, tricking humans, giants, and even the occasional fae people. Fortunately, if Manann does any harm to the individuals he interacts with, he usually sets things right by the end - and they come away from the encounter generally having learned a thing or two.
The stories of Manann's encounter with Cormac MacAirt in the series, The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries, are adapted from actual legend. Rather than put in a spoiler here, you can read the story summarized here in "His Three Calls to Cormac" from the original tale told by Lady Gregory. Manann's treatment of MacAirt might seem cruel at first, but in the end, as he usually does, Manann sets things right and MacAirt goes on to become a wise and benevolent king.
MacAirt has his own rich history as a mythical high king of Ireland. His mother is supposed to have foreseen his birth and his father's death in a dream. His father, Art, was the son of a king, who did, indeed, die in battle. Cormac was taken to live with a foster-father and at the age of thirty reclaimed the throne. You can read his complete story here. In The Faerie Apothecary Mysteries, MacAirt's descendents play a strange and crucial role in the town of Moss Hill. I won't give away any spoilers, but things start to become clear in Remedy and Ruins.
To write any more may give some things away, so I'll stop here. Hope you're enjoying the book series and these posts. As always, thanks for reading!
Cormac MacAirt. (2018) Retrieved October 30, 2018 from http://bardmythologies.com/cormac-mac-airt/
Gregory, Lady I.A. (2004) Gods and Fighting Men.Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14465/14465-h/14465-h.htm
His Three Calls to Cormac. Retrieved October 30, 2018 from https://www.revolvy.com/page/His-Three-Calls-to-Cormac