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 listener 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