From the internationally bestselling author of London and Sarum -- a magnificent epic about love and war, family life and political intrigue in Ireland over the course of seventeen centuries. Like the novels of James Michener, The Princes of Ireland brilliantly interweaves engrossing fiction and well-researched fact to capture the essence of a place. Edward Rutherfurd has introduced millions of readers to the human dramas that are the lifeblood of history. From his first bestseller, Sarum, to the #1 bestseller London, he has captivated audiences with gripping narratives that follow the fortunes of several fictional families down through the ages. The Princes of Ireland, a sweeping panorama steeped in the tragedy and glory that is Ireland, epitomizes the power and richness of Rutherfurd's storytelling magic. The saga begins in pre-Christian Ireland with a clever refashioning of the legend of Cuchulainn, and culminates in the dramatic founding of the Free Irish State in 1922. Through the interlocking stories of a wonderfully imagined cast of characters -- monks and noblemen, soldiers and rebels, craftswomen and writers -- Rutherfurd vividly conveys the personal passions and shared dreams that shaped the character of the country. He takes readers inside all the major events in Irish history: the reign of the fierce and mighty kings of Tara; the mission of Saint Patrick; the Viking invasion and the founding of Dublin; the trickery of Henry II, which gave England its foothold on the island in 1167; the plantations of the Tudors and the savagery of Cromwell; the flight of the "Wild Geese"; the failed rebellion of 1798; the Great Famine and the Easter Rebellion. With Rutherfurd's well-crafted storytelling, readers witness the rise of the Fenians in the late nineteenth century, the splendours of the Irish cultural renaissance, and the bloody battles for Irish independence, as though experiencing their momentous impact firsthand. Tens of millions of North Americans claim Irish descent. Generations of people have been enchanted by Irish literature, and visitors flock to Dublin and its environs year after year. The Princes of Ireland will appeal to all of them -- and to anyone who relishes epic entertainment spun by a master. From the Hardcover edition.
Distinctly evocative of James Michener's all-encompassing recapitulations of history, this lackluster saga by the author of bestselling London and, most recently, The Forest (2000), is the first of a projected two-volume series billed as the Dublin Saga. Rutherfurd begins his tale of the Emerald Isle in pre-Christian Ireland in A.D. 430 with a tragic romance between a maiden,Dierdre, and a Celtic warrior, Conall, hearkening to the legend of the mythic first-century Celtic hero, Cuchulainn. After Conall is offered up as a sacrifice to the Druid gods, the narrative jumps ahead 20 years to Pat Rick's (St. Patrick's) arrival in Ireland in A.D. 450 and his establishment of a small Christian toehold at Dubh Linn. Five centuries later, the Vikings make their mark, and Rutherfurd skips ahead with chronicles of the monastery at Glendalough, the Book of Kells and the death of Brian Boru (founder of the O'Brians) with his Pyrrhic victory over the high king of Tara in 1014. A retelling of King Henry II's arrival in Ireland in 1171 is followed by a cursory account of the reformation of the Irish Church at the Council of Cashel and the story of an obscure 1370 skirmish at Carrickmines Castle (a minor landmark presently doomed to make room for a highway). Rutherfurd sets the last of his ill-connected and artificial sketches in 1537, with Henry VIII hanging Silken Thomas, and Dublin poised at the dawn of the Renaissance. Readers who persevere will glean plenty of historical detail from these pages, but Rutherfurd's uninspiring storytelling makes the journey a slog. (Mar. 2) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . wonderful storyteller
Posted April 14, 2010 by myevre , windsorEdward Rutherdord is a wonderful storyteller and this book does not disappoint
March 02, 2004
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Excerpt from The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd
LONG AGO. Long before Saint Patrick came. Before the coming of the Celtic tribes. Before the Gaelic language was spoken. At the time of Irish gods who have not even left their names.
So little can be said with certainty; yet facts can be established. In and upon the earth, evidence of their presence remains. And, as people have done since tales were told, we may imagine.
In those ancient times, on a certain winter's morning, a small event occurred. This we know. It must have happened many times: year after year, we may suppose; century after century.
Dawn. The midwinter sky was already a clear, pale azure. Very soon, the sun would arise from the sea. Already, seen from the island's eastern coast, there was a golden shimmering along the horizon.
It was the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. If, in that ancient time on the island, the year was designated by a date, the system of designation is not known.