My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Edward Rutherfurd has an interesting and different way of telling a story. He takes an area, and instead of making the historical figures the focal point of the stories, he puts them on the periphery so that their influence is felt, but the true story of the land and it's people is told using mostly fictitious people living and interacting in that time period. He encompasses vast amounts of time by telling multiple stories that take place over the course of generations, in the same location, where traits of ancestors are passed on, hair color, eye color, mannerisms, and the stories of those ancestors evolve over time, just as their descendants do. I recommend his books to lovers of the historical epic, who enjoy getting the feel of an area and it's culture. There are always interesting and surprising historical tidbits that arise during the telling.
The Princes of Ireland begins around 430 AD when the Druids are still the ruling religious leaders and ends around 1534 AD during the reign of King Henry VIII. Rutherfurd makes history accessible and shows events from the people's point of view. I always end up going to look up events or people while reading his books, learning even more!
The story continues in The Rebels of Ireland.
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