From the time of the plantations and Elizabeth's ascendancy, Rutherfurd moves into the grand moments of Irish history: the early-17th-century "Flight of the Earls", when the last of the Irish aristocracy fled the island; Oliver Cromwell's brutal oppression and confiscation of lands a half-century later; and the romantic, doomed effort of "The Wild Geese" to throw off Protestant oppression at the Battle of the Boyne. The reader sees through the eyes of the victims and the perpetrators alike the painful realities of the anti-Catholic penal laws, the catastrophic famine and the massive migration to North America, the rise of the great nationalists O'Connell and the tragic Parnell, the glorious Irish cultural renaissance of Joyce and Yeats, and finally, the triumphant founding of the Irish Republic in 1922.
Written with all the drama and sweep that has made Rutherfurd the best-selling historical novelist of his generation, The Rebels of Ireland is both a necessary companion to The Princes of Ireland and a magnificent achievement in its own right.
©2006 Edward Rutherfurd; (P)2006 Books on Tape
"Ambitious in scope, teeming with a huge cast of finely drawn and realized characters, and dripping with authentic historical detail, this lengthy but eminently readable narrative will satisfy the appetites of discerning historical fiction aficionados." (Booklist)
This is an excellent follow-up to the first book - The Princes of Ireland. The introduction is Very helpful as it gives a brief review of the first book and refreshes the memory as to family names. The narrator is again Excellent and the stories unfold at a good pace -- most moving to me was the horrible description of death and disease from the Famine - very moving. One also comes to better understand the age-old religous problems that continue today. Even the last story - which moves a bit too quickly over the last 40 years of the book - has a very moving ending. Highly recommend - But read this after the first one
This book offers the historical insight into the deep long history of the religious conflicts in Ireland. The story is well written, characters believeable and the book moves along. Do not be scared away by the book's length, it does not drag. excellent work and terrific follow-up to the original Dublin saga.
I really enjoyed Edward Rutherford's other books the Princes of Ireland and Sarum. This book was an informative history review. It wasn't nearly as engaging as the Princes book. Having said that, I am glad to have heard it. I don't feel like I wasted my time, but I do feel it wasn't worth two credits. In his other works, he developed the characters so well that you found yourself following them with a passion. Here he tells us who they are well enough to recognize them but not so we feel for them.
I learned a lot about the roots of Catholic/Protestant issues from this series - a FAR more complex confrontation than I'd imagined, with roots dating back to the 12th century. Carrying the family lines from "Princes of Ireland" helps tie it all together. The results of the inevitable intermarriages are at times heartbreaking. But there are incidents that made me chuckle as well. At times I found myself wishing that some chapters could have been longer; it wouldn't be hard to extend some of the periods into a book of their own.
Rutherford spins an excellent yarn.
The narrator deserves kudos as well - his wide range of intonations, inflections and accents bring the story to life. I want to listen to every book that he has read!
My husband was glad when I finished the books, as he had a hard time getting my attention while I had the headphones on...
DO read "The Princes of Ireland" before starting the Rebels - it will explain references in this book, and make the experience so much richer.
As usual Rutherfurd does not fail to entertain, educate and bring Irish history alive. Can't wait for Rutherfurd's "Seran" "London" and "The Forest". It's time for Audible to bring England to life!
Author carries forward themes and family lines from the Princes of Ireland very effectively. Well read. Interesting plot woven through known historic events and times. Though fiction, it prompted me to think about -- and even go read some real history about -- how the cultures, histories of England, Scotland and the U.S. interconnect with that of Ireland. Made elements of my own family and the Scots-Irish story come alive for me.
This book and the companion Princes of Ireland are fantastic windows into the interesting past of Ireland. The narrator was great. Distinguishable voices and not annoying on the females. I've listened to this (Dublin Saga) as 1916 and The Greener Shore and found they complemented each other well. Good characters and good historical research in both events and details kept all four interesting. I really wanted to follow these characters on into their futures, so they must have been engaging!
Well written, great characters, great story. Edward Rutherfurd is a great writer and doesn't disappoint.
Wonderful book that had me enthralled. Got a little long in places, but I stuck it out, and am glad I did. I tried reading Rutherford's "Sarum", not once, but twice, and could never get beyond the dragging, plodding pace of action. I anticipated a similar outcome on this book. But after reading other reviews, I decided to take a chance.
This book is for anyone with a big blank space in their knowledge of Irish history. Some chapters I had to read twice, they were so thrilling--the Siege of Drogheda, the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the story of Robert Emmett, the Great Potato Famine, the Easter Uprising. I understand the Irish weltangst a little better now,... and no wonder the enmity between the Irish and the British. I'm inspired to explore Irish literature and mythos further.
Just finished this series (do 2 books qualify as a series?), and I'm disappointed - not in the books but in being finished with them.
I'm a Rutherfurd fan; I must be b/c finishing these brings me up-to-date in having read everything he's written. Makes me a fan, right? I've heard it said of Rutherfurd that his characters are shallow - just as you get interested, he moves on. In his defense, to that I say, give the guy a break. After all, he's covering pre-history to modern day (in most cases, in one book). How much time could he really spend on in-depth individual character development?
The book is worth a 4, but I gave this a 5 b/c, in addition to an author I enjoy, I discovered a splendid narrator in Simon Vance. Love his voice - somewhere between totally relaxing and keeping me focused so as not to miss a word.
It's a great read; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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