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The Princes Of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd

Updated on October 1, 2014

The Princes of Ireland - A Historical Novel Spanning Many Generations in Dublin

The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd, is the first of two books in The Dublin Saga. This saga begins in ancient times and spans the generations of people who lived in the area we now know as Dublin. This series of stories shows glimpses of the history, and insights into the people of the land.

I picked up a copy of The Princes of Ireland, in the first week of March thinking that with St. Patrick's Day coming along, it would be a nice way to learn a little more about Ireland. Since I had some driving to do, I picked up the audio book as well. I have always enjoyed historical novels, but this was the first I've read that had such a grand scope.

I really enjoyed the stories in this book and found myself feeling much more connected to Ireland after having read it. I felt connected to both the people and the land.

The Dublin Saga

The Princes of Ireland is the first book in the two part Dublin Saga.

The sequel is The Rebels of Ireland which picks up with the Irish revolt of 1534.

The nature of this type of novel, however, makes it so reading the second book is not necessary. You won't end on a cliffhanger. You can read one or both books and feel satisfied.

Have You Ever Read a Multi-Generational Epic?

Have You Ever Read a Multi-Generational Epic by Rutherford, Michener, or any other author?

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The Princes of Ireland Audio Book

Reading the book versus listening to an audio book gives a completely different experience to the "reader". For this book, I did a little bit of both.

The audio book for The Princes of Ireland was read by John Keating. The Irish accent he reads did wonders for moving my thinking to Ireland. The setting was instantly set even before a description of the area was made, I had it in mind. Having it read to me, also, allowed the story to flow despite words and names that I might have tripped over (trying to figure out how they should be pronounced). Throughout this book, the names of places and some family names change over time. You could hear the similarities in the names as the story progressed. If these similar names were written, I am not sure I would have noticed the differences in the names, or else perhaps not realized they were the same place.

On the other hand, there are several things in the book that are inherently missing in the audio book, the first of which is the maps. Being able to flip to the maps in the book and see how different locations were geographically related is a great tool in seeing the progression of the story in front of you.

Other Books by Edward Rutherfurd

Edward Rutherfurd has written several multi-generational epics that document a single location over a long span of time. He has found in this an interesting way to show the history of a place in a captivating and acceptable to all.

In addition to The Dublin Saga, Rutherfurd has written books on New York City, an area in the heartland of Russia, Salisbury, New Forest, and London, England.

Edward Rutherfurd Compared to James A. Michener

Edward Rutherfurd was not the first to write multi-generaltion epics based on a single location. James A Michener made a career on these type of sagas. Because of this, Rutherfurd is often compared to Michener. Edward Rutherfurd takes a slightly different approach than Michener in that his books are on a much smaller area geographically. For Rutherfurd, the stories are on the a small area of land. Characters in different centuries are often standing on the exact same point of land. Buildings from one story are still standing and being used in another story. This is very effective to show the history of that location over time. As the book progresses, you can see the names of places change over time, but you get to feel like you know the land.


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