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.
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This is another fine offering fro Edward Rutherfurd. I am hooked on his presentation of ancient cultures. I knew very little of Ireland, and having read this and 'The Rebels of Ireland', I now look a bit differently at England! I love these book of ancient cultures as they change your view of whatever city/country you are reading. Understanding history makes me sit back and really think about how we came to be where we are today. I enjoy Mr. Rutherford's method of slowly bringing the reader forward in time, keeping the thread of each family throughout. I will always read a 'Rutherfurd' book!more
This book was my first venture into Edward Rutherfurd's works. When I began reading it, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get through it. There was a lot of describing the scenery of the area of Dublin, before the story begins, which I find boring (thus the 3 stars) and almost put me off of the book. I just need a vague idea, and I'm set to go. This persists throughout the book, but once I got into the story, I didn't notice it as much.Once the story begins, it gets much better. Rutherfurd helps the reader track who comes from what family by having certain traits passed down through the generations, such as the green eyes of the Ui Fergusa, though having that eye squint of the MacGowan's passed down seems a bit weird.If anyone comes to this novel fairly ignorant of Ireland's history, as I was, it does a wonderful job of describing the historical events and doesn't leave the reader confused as to what was happening or why it was, or may have been, happening. If something about an event is not clear, such as who started it, why it started, etc., it's usually stated in some way.Overall, this book is well written. Rutherford keeps you wanting to know what's going to happen to the families with the situations that he puts them in. His story includes tales of love (though this isn't a major plot line), intrigue, family relationships, and of course, history.more
This was an excellent book and has become one of my favorites. It is an easy read with maps and genealogical charts to help you keep track of characters and changes that occur as centuries pass. An excellent explanation of early Irish history, Rutherfurd has a knack for making even the most trivial aspects of history personable. This isn't just watching events occur in an orderly fashion or looking at an important family. This book is about everyday people doing everyday things as history unfolds around them.more
Rutherfurd is a modern day Michener, and if historical fiction is your cup of tea, Rutherfurd is a worthy successor. I first read his novel, Russka, and have subsequently read all his works (Sarum, London and Prices of Ireland). Of these, Russka is still my favorite. I don't put Rutherfurd in quite the same league as Michener and Clavell, but I'd be hard pressed to find anyone better at this genre at this point in time.more
Mildly interesting as a story, I did learn something about the history of Dublin, especially its anachronistic and ambiguous relationship to the rest of the island.more
This is the third Edward Rutherford book I've read. I enjoyed London and Sarum better than this one. Rutherfurd's talent is making history easy to read. The characters are flat and meant to be more of a vehicle for the history lesson. He seemed to want to build deep multi-dimensional characters in the beginning of the book, but then lost steam by the end.more
I have read most of Edward Rutherfurd's historical novels ands on the my personal Rutherfurd Scale, I rate this book #3 behind only Sarum and London, but ahead of its sequel, the Rebels of Ireland, the Forest, and certainly well above Russka. With good reason Rutherfurd is always compared to James Michener. Their works both tell sweeping histories through fiction by following several families through time. Their books are not Great Literature, but I do find Rutherfurd to be a consistently better novelist than Michener. The Princes or Ireland focuses on Dublin and the area 'beyond the pale' over a span of 11 centuries beginning in 450 C.E. He spins his yarns around the fascinating tales of the Druids, St. Patrick, the Book of Kells, Brian Boru, the Vikings, and the English. Good historical fiction not only entertains, but it also leads the reader to want to learn more. Rutherfurd succeeds again. An excellent read for anyone interested in Ireland, the Druids, the spread of Christianity, the beginnings of English colonialism or history in general. Highly recommended.more
This novel doesn't live up to the standaard Ruterford established for himself in "Sarum". Entertaining but not compelling.more
I'm a big Rutherfurd fan but had a harder time getting into this book for some reason. Not quite sure why - it just didn't "grab" me like Sarum and The Forest did.more
Although Rutherfurd is just not as good as Michener at these historical sagas: he just doesn't have the same gift for character development; his previous novels, Sarum, London, Russka, and Forest, at least had a reasonable story line and thin, but believeable characters. The Princes of Ireland reads more like an outline or first draft of a story rather than a published work. The story is disjointed and unconnected to a great extent, has very little character development, and doesn't even do justice to the history of Ireland. A disapointing read.more
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