BRIAN BORU by Morgan Llywelyn


Emperor of the Irish
Age Range: 12 & up
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 Adapted from the author's bestselling adult title Lion of Ireland (1980), about the charismatic man who united the Irish under his rule in the tenth century. Brian mac Kennedy, the youngest son of a minor Irish prince, is a carefree child until his mother is murdered and their home destroyed in a Viking raid. The bereft ten-year-old is sent to be educated in a monastery. There he learns the lessons of history and trains himself as both warrior and scholar. He grows into an imposing figure, a brilliant military tactician, and a natural leader. His goals change: No longer content to chase the Vikings from Ireland, he wants to subdue the fighting Irish clans and let the nation live in peace. He succeeds and ultimately becomes High King of the Irish. The story ends in 1014, with Brian Boru fighting his last battle to save the hard-won kingdom. Llywelyn, like the chroniclers of the time, makes no attempt to draw her hero with human flaws. She does, however, endow him with emotions, and the book's most convincing moments are tragic onesthe ten-year-old crying over his mother's body, the elderly Boru hearing of his son's death in battle. A satisfying tale of majesty and magic. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-85623-7
Page count: 156pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1995