If you like historical fiction, especially Celtic, then you will love this book! Ms. Llywelyn has done a great job in telling the story of Brian Boru and his fight to become King of Ireland and a hero for the people of Ireland.
Author Morgan Llywelyn recreates all the passion and greed, love and revenge of a long-ago time. She is celebrated as the high priestess of Celtic historical fiction and is recognized in Ireland and America as an expert on early Irish history and folklore.
The ring on the front cover was actually worn by Brian Boru. It was made from a massive "red-gold" nugget found in County Mayo, a type peculiar to Ireland.
This is straight-up indulgent Irish Historical porn and I loved every minute of it. I feel spend and exhausted; my emotions were tossed back and forth, every which way as I followed Brian from early childhood to the end of the book. I just want to sit and bask in the glory of it all - how it made me feel. I want to cry that it's over. And when I recover, I know I'm going to want more.
If you're like me, you've at some point lost your voice after a night of drinking and yelling about the evils of the English during the Scottish Clearances. Reading this will only make you want to yell at the same decibel level in support of Ireland, for whatever they do. (But my goodness, they do seem to fight a lot for no good reason in this book).
Brian is as beautiful and flawed a character as ever there was one. His lifelong struggle with religion and constant doubts made him approachable and likeable. I didn't always understand his choice of women but the author handled that part well. I was even interested in the innumerable brutal battles that seemed to never end throughout the book.
Llywelyn deserves her reputation as an excellent historical researcher; the amount that went into this book is nothing short of astounding. How she could use so much source material from so many differing sources to come up with this novel amazes me. I truly, truly appreciate the essential "real" part of the story - where things don't tie together, where strands are left hanging, where characters you'd think would see each other again simply don't. Because that is real life and this is supposed to be true to history.
Not as "romance novely" as the cover would suggest. More an entertaining telling of history. As I am of the clan, I found this fascinating. It is listed in Wikipedia as a scholarly book of the clan, so I guess it has some validity. An engrossing read. I am keeping my copy for my grandchild.
Brian Boru is an Ireland prince who has big plans for himself and Ireland. Tenth century Ireland is a very volatile and violent place with Vikings raiding and pillaging and the Irish fighting each other. Brian dreams of uniting Irish clans and sending the Vikings elsewhere to pillage and plunder. How does this man become a great legend in Irish folklore for centuries to come?
This book has everything wars, battles, violence, politics, strategy, romance, love stories and great character development. I highly recommend this look at Irelands history.
A historical fiction about Brian Boru, who apparently was one of the few Kings who managed to unite pretty much all of Ireland. It was interesting, and the romances sweet, but the constant battling got to be a little much after awhile. I found myself longing for other stories in my TBR pile.
King, warrior, and lover Brian Boru was stronger, braver, and wiser than all other men-the greatest king Ireland has ever known. Out of the mists of the country's most violent age, he merged to lead his people to the peak of their golden era.
His women were as remarkable as his adventures: Fiona, the druidess with mystical powers; Deirdre, beautiful victim of a Norse invader's brutal lust; Gormlaith, six-foot, read-haired goddess of sensuality.
Set against the barbaric splendors of the tenth century, this is a story rich in truth and legend-in which friends become deadly enemies, bedrooms turn into battlefields, and dreams of glory are finally fulfilled. Morgan Llywelyn has written one of the greatest novels of Irish history.
A long, but satisfying read. I'm surprised I admired the main character's parenting skills with his oldest son. Made me wonder what sort of research the author did to flesh out that particular relationship.
This book was very entertaining, and I don't usually read historical fiction. It covers ~70 years of Irish history, wars, and kings, so it can be hard to keep track of characters and places. Not sure if I will continue to read other books in this series.