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The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga by…

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

by Edward Rutherfurd

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1,867303,700 (3.68)51
Title:The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga
Authors:Edward Rutherfurd
Info:Ballantine Books (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 800 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd (2004)


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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I have read most of Edward Rutherfurd's novels and, on the whole, quite like his work. Unfortunately, one has to be the least favourite and this one wins the prize. I hate to use this word when describing books but it was 'tedious'. The Princes of Ireland follows the author's tried and true formula of taking a location and following it's growth and change throughout many centuries - in this case the city of Dublin, Ireland from the time of the Druids to the 1500's. Generally the story is told through the eyes and actions of a number of families throughout the generations.

Princes of Ireland felt like one endless description of minor, sometimes petty, battles from beginning to end. The people were never fleshed out enough for me to really care about them and, as a result this book never really captured my attention. I did stick it out to the end though - all 1280 pages of it because I have enjoyed so many other books by this author.

If you have never read anything by Edward Rutherfurd, I wouldn't want to spoil that experience for you - try his excellent 'Sarum' or 'London' instead. ( )
  EvelynBernard | Apr 25, 2016 |
3.5 stars

I can't say I loved this book and given that the author routinely gets praised to the heavens I was somewhat disappointed. As a novel, I thought this was rather patchy; some parts held my interest, others didn't. There were few characters I was really interested in and I had a particular problem with the women in this book. The best aspect of the book is of course the history and the amount of research that has gone into it. It's packed with historical detail, from great events to small details of everyday life, beautifully presented in a very readable manner. Of course, occasionally the author seems to slip from novel into textbook mode, but personally I didn't mind that. Top marks for historical content, but in terms of entertainment value I'm less enthusiastic. Liked it, but didn't love it. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
I have read several of Rutherfurd's books and enjoyed this the least. That does not mean it is not a good book - it just means I don't think it is as good as some others. If you don't have knowledge of Ireland - this is a good read for good basic history. ( )
  JanicsEblen | Dec 13, 2015 |
Okay, I decided to try "The Princes of Ireland" by Rutherford by skipping most of the first section. What turned me off before is the image of women as merchandise and the source of most of the trouble, if not the root of or excuse for every war. That theme was still present through the rest of the book. Add to that petty kings battling to become the High King, Christianity, and the Vikings pushing in on top of the Celtics, Irish, Scots and Norse and you end up with endless bloody battles.

The biggest irony of all to me is that one of those petty kings named Diarmait invited King Henry II
in by way of gaining fighters. And the rest is history........... ( )
  cfk | Aug 8, 2015 |
[Review of the audio, abridged version:] Offers a good foundational knowledge of early Irish history, albeit usually with a military slant. I expected Saint Patrick to appear in one of the vignettes, but in fact he was side-stepped and skipped over. I suppose it's because his story is told frequently enough elsewhere. I learned that the Vikings were more successful at settling in Ireland than I had known, and that the initial English incursion was more subtle. The stories are all very Dublin-centered, as per the saga's title.

Edward Rutherfurd is a great researcher and I always learn a lot of fascinating things from his work, but his writing wears me out. The fictional aspects ought to be the sugar that makes the medicine go down, but too often I find it's the non-fiction bits that help me swallow the treacle. He does have a knack for placing his characters as bit players where they'll see critical action play out, and how they're affected as a sample of the general repercussions that unfold. I'm interested in the rest of the story (post Henry VIII) and may follow this up with its sequel someday, but I'm not rushing. ( )
  Cecrow | Mar 19, 2015 |
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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)

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