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Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga | [Edward Rutherfurd]

Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga

The saga begins in tribal, pre-Christian Ireland during the reign of the fierce and mighty High Kings at Tara, with the tale of two lovers whose travails cleverly echo the ancient Celtic legend of Cuchulainn. From that stirring beginning, Rutherfurd takes the reader on a powerfully imagined journey through the centuries. Through the interlocking stories of a memorable cast of characters we see Ireland through the lens of its greatest city.

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Publisher's Summary

The saga begins in tribal, pre-Christian Ireland during the reign of the fierce and mighty High Kings at Tara, with the tale of two lovers, the princely Conall and the ravishing Deirdre, whose travails cleverly echo the ancient Celtic legend of Cuchulainn. From that stirring beginning, Rutherfurd takes the reader on a powerfully imagined journey through the centuries. Through the interlocking stories of a memorable cast of characters (druids and chieftains, monks and smugglers, noblewomen and farmwives, merchants and mercenaries, rebels and cowards) we see Ireland through the lens of its greatest city.

While vividly and movingly conveying the passions and struggles that shaped the character of Dublin, Rutherfurd portrays the major events in Irish history: The tribal culture of pagan Ireland; the mission of St. Patrick; the coming of the Vikings and the founding of Dublin; the glories of the great nearby monastery of Glendalough and the making of treasures like the Book of Kells; the extraordinary career of Brian Boru; and the trickery of Henry II, which gave England its first foothold in Medieval Ireland. The stage is then set for the great conflict between the English kings and the princes of Ireland, and the disastrous Irish invasion of England, which incurred the wrath of Henry VIII and where this book, the first of the two part Dublin Saga, draws to a close, as the path of Irish history takes a dramatic and irrevocable turn.

Rich, colorful and impeccably researched, The Princes of Ireland is epic entertainment spun by a master.

©2004 Edward Rutherfurd; (P)2004 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"A tour de force....Breathtaking." (Orlando Sentinel)
"Rutherfurd literally personifies history." (New York Daily News)
"A richly imagined vision of history, written with genuine delight." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (648 )
5 star
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3.8 (299 )
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Story
4.0 (296 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kevin Santa Susana, CA, United States 01-18-05
    Kevin Santa Susana, CA, United States 01-18-05 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    96
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    324
    37
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    "Thank you Richard Matthews!"

    The brilliant reading by Mr. Matthews is why I gave this a solid 4 stars. I often found myself wondering how this would have been if I were reading it and I'm not sure I would have gotten through it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ana BALTIMORE, MD, United States 05-02-14
    ana BALTIMORE, MD, United States 05-02-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "lost interest"

    I have read all of Rutherfurd's books and so far, my favorites are Sarum and Russka.
    (this is the first time I listen to one).
    Yes, the characters are difficult to keep track of, and for that reason, I keep notes of who is whose son, etc. It has always been a great help.
    The first half of the book I found fascinating, however, by the last 8 or so hours, I had lost interest, mainly because of all the political detail and couldn't wait for it to end. The story at times gets extremely slow and excessively detailed. I love History and I love Ireland and Mr. Rutherfurd is truly a master, but this was a little bit too much for me.
    The narrator does a great job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Goran Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 03-14-13
    Goran Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 03-14-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "So-so"
    Would you try another book from Edward Rutherfurd and/or Richard Matthews?

    Richard Matthews / Simon Vance is magnificent. Edward Rutherfurd, not so much.


    Have you listened to any of Richard Matthews’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He is always excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is not so much an epic saga, as some here describe it. It is more a collection of stories loosely connected by the characters' heredity. The problem, however, is that just as you become acquainted with and begin to care for a group of characters, the author fast forwards 200 years, and now you've got a whole new set of characters to get acquainted with. These new characters always share certain physical or personality traits with their ancestors from the previous part or chapter of the book, but you still can't help but feel like you were forcefully yanked from a place you enjoyed and made to start all over again. While some may like this, I found it very frustrating. Rutherfurd tries to cover way too much historical ground for it to be an enjoyable and cohesive narrative.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Le Center, MN, USA 04-23-09
    Julie Le Center, MN, USA 04-23-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    118
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    202
    46
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    6
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    "Don't miss this series"

    I love these historical series where you follow a couple of families through time. This is one of the best. I found every excuse I could to plug in and listen and absolutely whizzed through all three. The narrator is perfect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Padden mission, BC, Canada 05-31-08
    Padden mission, BC, Canada 05-31-08 Member Since 2013

    I started reading eight years ago. I like medical, legal, and historical fiction. Biographies are sometimes interesting too.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Princes of Ireland"

    This book could have been rated as 5 if it had not moved from generations so quickly. I had difficulty keeping up with the characters.

    Perhaps if I were reading rather than listening, this would not have been an issue.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Dallas, TX, USA 12-29-05
    Christopher Dallas, TX, USA 12-29-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Brilliant!"

    Rutherfurd took me on a journey beyond my wildest imagination. The lives of so many generations were delicatly and seamlessly woven together that I felt myself traveling through the ages. What else can I say? Brilliant!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew houston, TX, USA 05-26-05
    Matthew houston, TX, USA 05-26-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
    1
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    "Great Story"

    I was very impressed with this book. You can really tell that the author spent a great deal of time researching this book. I really enjoyed the narration. The characters come alive, creating a delightfull story. This book is a must for anyone interested in Irish history and the city of Dublin.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Bryan Collegeville, PA 08-05-04
    Jennifer Bryan Collegeville, PA 08-05-04 Member Since 2013

    JAB

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Princes of Ireland"

    Wonderfully done. I would not have had the time to read this rich book if it were not for the audio version. Well done

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Cobb Memphis, TN United States 05-13-04
    C. Cobb Memphis, TN United States 05-13-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very pleased"

    An entertaining blend of history and fiction

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frantonya Albuquerque, NM, United States 02-12-12
    Frantonya Albuquerque, NM, United States 02-12-12
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    "Wake me when it's over..."
    Where does Princes of Ireland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I love learning about history through fiction, but the epic scope of this novel gives the reader short and shallow encounters with generations of characters. It is very well written and performed, but my personal taste leans towards detail and drama with a core group in a shorter time frame. I had a hard time paying attention and caring about the characters.


    Have you listened to any of Richard Matthews’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    My experience reading Sarum was very much the same.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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