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Publisher's Summary

An unusual and original work of fantasy from the acclaimed author of Tea with the Black Dragon.

A contemporary man, John Thornburn (a meek, non-violent and unpredictable artist) and woman, Derval (his tough, confrontational, strong and warrior-like lover) time travel to ancient Ireland to avenge a Viking attack. Packed with fascinating details of historical time and place in Irish history and delicately balanced on the border between realism and fantasy, the story centers around one of the most famous and beautiful illuminated manuscripts in history, the legendary but entirely real Book of Kells. Celtic history blends with magical fantasy for a strange and immersive tale of adventure.

©1985 R.A. MacAvoy (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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The Book of Irish Fantasy

Not really about the Book of Kells, but excellent on its own merits. It does contain a story about that book, but the main plot is not so much the time-travel (which is important to the character portrayal) but life and times in the Ireland of the 10th century. Herein is contained the storytelling (and the magic) of the Irish of any age, and richly portrayed by both the author and the reader. There are scenes in this book that I will probably never forget (and as much as I read and listen, that is saying something!)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Don't waste your money

I'm only on the 3rd chapter and I can't read anymore. The main characters personality is really negative, the woman he has a relationship with is negative, they bicker all the time. Then it just gets bloody and dark... I just stopped listening because it's so bad. I wish I hadn't wasted my money in this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Interesting Time Travel Concept

This was a good story based on time travel. The way they travel is new and has not been overdone. It is so nice to not have someone travel through a fairy ring stone. This is different and is an unexpected form of artistic magic. The ending was unexpected. The narration was good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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All the Good Things

All the good things are in this book-- love and poetry and music and art, and time-travel and swords, betrayal and loyalty. Fans of Outlander should find it irresistible. Flawless Audible performance. I just wanted him to keep telling me the story, even after it was finished.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M.
  • Chesapeake, VA, United States
  • 08-21-17

Enjoyable listen!

Predictable but very enjoyable. The narrator made a wonderful story even more enjoyable.
Entertaining listen.

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Fascinating

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I loved this book. Anyone interested in Celtic history and a spell binding story will be enchanted by these characters. Totally different but as fascinating as "Tea with the Black Dragon"

What did you like best about this story?

The story is quick aced covering only a few days. The twists in the final chapters are perfect and keep you on the edge.

What about Alan Robertson’s performance did you like?

Alan Robertson's performance was perfect. Her brought old Irish language to life with out confusing the listener. He truly brought this story to life word by word keeping the listener eagerly entwined with the story

Any additional comments?

This book reinforced my admiration of MacAvoy's. I look forward to hearing more

  • Overall
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  • Powell
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • 12-25-16

I kept rereading parts to not finish

Would you consider the audio edition of The Book of Kells to be better than the print version?

I read along with the narration so that my eval covers written and spoken.

What other book might you compare The Book of Kells to and why?

KINDRED, by Octavia Butler
The time difference is a mere couple hundred years where an accomplished black women hits her head sending back to slavery and she must save a life in order to be born.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The poetry and songs

Any additional comments?

I've read a lot of books with diverse time and ones in which a character goes back and forth. This book is special because it contains much that is historically accurate.
Down town Dublin is wonderful and John looks at a battle field of dead bodies and realizes that the corpses lay where his 21st century home is located. He thinks of Methusulah and muses that he has covered more time.
The Book of Kells which is housed in a library in Dublin(at the college) under climate control is little different from the one carried through mud and swamp. I think that the the paradox is that there is one book not two and the one that John takes to the library is itself crossing time lines. But that's me.
I love the women in the book. I love how from centuries apart the Irish who differ in education and royal status get along and kind of sort of work together. The ragtag poet is an enigma to himself. Then, there are scenes with the Viking commander trying to function with knuckle heads and realizing that he won't get back home. Everything I said could be all a misunderstanding of the book and I like that. So, one day, I will read it again.

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Good book

must read . Irish to the bone full of action and intrigue and fantasy awesome

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Very Interesting Story.

I liked the story well enough. The differences between the religions and practices. Very interesting.

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This must have been a challenge and a joy to read out loud .

One of my perennial favorites, I can now enjoy it while doing chores. I can wait to buy the audio of The Grey Horse..

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