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
"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)
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.
I started reading fifteen years ago. I like medical, legal, and historical fiction. Biographies are sometimes interesting too.
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.
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.
Richard Matthews / Simon Vance is magnificent. Edward Rutherfurd, not so much.
He is always excellent.
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.
For anyone that loves this genre of historical writing, this is a wonderful book ... actually, a series of books because the story continues in "The Rebels of Ireland." As does most historical fiction of this type, he follows a number of families down from pre-Christian to modern day Ireland, specifically, Dublin. The story is not so tightly tied to Dublin as is the author's "London" or "New York" was tied to those cities, but it is certainly centered in Dublin. I can find nothing to criticize in this wonderful book and am now in the middle of the second part of the saga. It's enthralling and you'll learn more than you imagine! Worth a second reading, too.
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.
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!
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.
Wonderfully done. I would not have had the time to read this rich book if it were not for the audio version. Well done
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