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The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga by…
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The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Edward Rutherfurd

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2,192384,435 (3.67)55
Member:keyareuh
Title:The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga
Authors:Edward Rutherfurd
Info:Ballantine Books (2005), Paperback, 800 pages
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The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga by Edward Rutherfurd (2004)

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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Ireland until the reign of Henry VIII. Druids, clan rivalries, interspersed with more personal stories. Edward Rutherfurd spins quite a tale.

Part of what I love about his writing, is his focus on relating actual history. Customs, laws, religious practices. As well as basic living conditions and how people just survived, explained through the eyes of a few selected families carried down the centuries. It's all fascinating and helps to complete a vivid picture of early Ireland. ( )
  a1stitcher | Jun 22, 2019 |
This book has been described as a sweeping saga of the history of Ireland, and I wouldn't disagree with that assessment. The interesting part about this book is that it is part historical fiction and part actual history book. Rutherfurd introduces all sorts of characters as he moves through time to cover thousands of years of Irish history. While some reviewers have stated disappointment that they could not remain with the characters longer (as time jumps forwards as we come to a new chapter), I was happy that we were continually introduced to new characters that were descendants of the original characters at the beginning (at the start of Irish history). Many characters were not too well-developed and so spending more time with them would've become boring. If you want an interesting way of getting a ton of Irish history crammed into just under 800 pages, this is the book to pick up. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Jun 2, 2018 |
[Copied over from Goodreads]

The beginning of this book was really, really hard for me to get through. However, the more I read the more happy I was.

Some of the historical facts I have never even heard of (such as druid tonsures), I can't find information on them anywhere, so I'm really confused on that aspect. Was it something at the time this was written people thought was true, and later decided not? Was it ever a thing? Or is it just not something widely spoken of? No idea.
However, overall I think he did really good with the historical things. I obviously can't judge much of it because I'm not that knowledgeable in Irish history, but still, I'd say it was done well.

The beginning of this book was really hard to read due to a few things (which do carry through the book, but not as bad as the beginning):
a) The writing style. It was written in a way that reminded me way too much of a history textbook. Parts of it were literally textbook-type of entries, and the story itself was just so stiff. It dragged heavily.
b) The repetition was atrocious. How many times do you need to repeat ''on the island'' and the ''in the Celtic world''?
c) The characters were so cardboardy. I couldn't tell if he was trying to sort of do his writing in a way to resemble reading or hearing an old legend or myth or if it was the textbookishness. At this point I feel like he attempted the first but ended up with the latter.

Another pet peeve was the whole lumping Celtic cultures together. I don't think there was once he ever used ''Gael''. What was the point in using ''Celtic'' when you were focusing on Ireland? Celtic peoples are not all the same. Don't lump in the rest with Ireland, dude, especially without reason.

As I continue reading the chapters, those things do continue on, but are a lot easier to swallow and easier to get into.
The characters got better. The plots got more interesting. All the historical stuff of course was interesting, and didn't come off quite as textbookish.

Well... I did have a HUGE problem with the characters going through the rest of the chapters. Don't get me wrong here, it was super interesting to see the descendants of the original characters and all but - it gets super, super tiring when they are almost literally the same as their original ancestors. It just doesn't really work that way. I was constantly waiting to see certain key elements of sort of slowly disappear over the ages but they didn't. You expect me to believe every generation kept on to their one ancestor's traits?

But again, negativity aside, I really did enjoy this book in the end. I've never seen this kind of thing done before in a historical fiction, so it was super fun and I was partially learning things. It makes me want to get back into history again. It was fun to read some of the plots and get into some daily lives. Even some of the plots which I found super silly I could still just see happening. I just wish there had been some more editing and some more thought on some aspects.

I will be picking up the second sometime in the future. ( )
  leoithne | Nov 24, 2017 |
Edward Rutherford obviously did his research on the history of Ireland for this book, which seems to be the main intent for the book. At first, I could barely put it down, but as it went on stretching from the time of the ancient Celtic druids to King Henry VIII in the 16th century, there was a lot in the smaller stories and characters that felt redundant to me. I enjoyed seeing the transgression of names and the connections through ancestors, but I would have liked to have focused on some of the characters and their stories more. It would have actually made a good series if the stories could have more varied details to them, adding new life to each. ( )
  Sarahliz2182 | Jun 30, 2017 |
Edward Rutherfurd has an interesting and different way of telling a story. He takes an area, and instead of making the historical figures the focal point of the stories, he puts them on the periphery so that their influence is felt, but the true story of the land and it's people is told using mostly fictitious people living and interacting in that time period. He encompasses vast amounts of time by telling multiple stories that take place over the course of generations, in the same location, where traits of ancestors are passed on, hair color, eye color, mannerisms, and the stories of those ancestors evolve over time, just as their descendants do. I recommend his books to lovers of the historical epic, who enjoy getting the feel of an area and it's culture. There are always interesting and surprising historical tidbits that arise during the telling.

The Princes of Ireland begins around 430 AD when the Druids are still the ruling religious leaders and ends around 1534 AD during the reign of King Henry VIII. Rutherfurd makes history accessible and shows events from the people's point of view. I always end up going to look up events or people while reading his books, learning even more! ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345472357, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:56 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A sweeping panorama steeped in the tragedy and glory that is Ireland, epitomizes the power and richness of Rutherford's storytelling magic. The saga begins in tribal, pre-Christian Ireland during the reign of the fierce and mighty High kings at Tara, with the fate of two lovers, the princely Conall and the ravishing Deirdre, whose travails cleverly echo the ancient Celtic legend of Cuchulainn.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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