From the time of the plantations and Elizabeth's ascendancy, Rutherfurd moves into the grand moments of Irish history: the early-17th-century "Flight of the Earls", when the last of the Irish aristocracy fled the island; Oliver Cromwell's brutal oppression and confiscation of lands a half-century later; and the romantic, doomed effort of "The Wild Geese" to throw off Protestant oppression at the Battle of the Boyne. The reader sees through the eyes of the victims and the perpetrators alike the painful realities of the anti-Catholic penal laws, the catastrophic famine and the massive migration to North America, the rise of the great nationalists O'Connell and the tragic Parnell, the glorious Irish cultural renaissance of Joyce and Yeats, and finally, the triumphant founding of the Irish Republic in 1922.
Written with all the drama and sweep that has made Rutherfurd the best-selling historical novelist of his generation, The Rebels of Ireland is both a necessary companion to The Princes of Ireland and a magnificent achievement in its own right.
©2006 Edward Rutherfurd; (P)2006 Books on Tape
"Ambitious in scope, teeming with a huge cast of finely drawn and realized characters, and dripping with authentic historical detail, this lengthy but eminently readable narrative will satisfy the appetites of discerning historical fiction aficionados." (Booklist)
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"A Wonderful Story"
This is an excellent follow-up to the first book - The Princes of Ireland. The introduction is Very helpful as it gives a brief review of the first book and refreshes the memory as to family names. The narrator is again Excellent and the stories unfold at a good pace -- most moving to me was the horrible description of death and disease from the Famine - very moving. One also comes to better understand the age-old religous problems that continue today. Even the last story - which moves a bit too quickly over the last 40 years of the book - has a very moving ending. Highly recommend - But read this after the first one
"An Irish Must Read"
This book offers the historical insight into the deep long history of the religious conflicts in Ireland. The story is well written, characters believeable and the book moves along. Do not be scared away by the book's length, it does not drag. excellent work and terrific follow-up to the original Dublin saga.
"Good but not great"
I really enjoyed Edward Rutherford's other books the Princes of Ireland and Sarum. This book was an informative history review. It wasn't nearly as engaging as the Princes book. Having said that, I am glad to have heard it. I don't feel like I wasted my time, but I do feel it wasn't worth two credits. In his other works, he developed the characters so well that you found yourself following them with a passion. Here he tells us who they are well enough to recognize them but not so we feel for them.
"Educational, entertaining, engrossing"
I learned a lot about the roots of Catholic/Protestant issues from this series - a FAR more complex confrontation than I'd imagined, with roots dating back to the 12th century. Carrying the family lines from "Princes of Ireland" helps tie it all together. The results of the inevitable intermarriages are at times heartbreaking. But there are incidents that made me chuckle as well. At times I found myself wishing that some chapters could have been longer; it wouldn't be hard to extend some of the periods into a book of their own.
Rutherford spins an excellent yarn.
The narrator deserves kudos as well - his wide range of intonations, inflections and accents bring the story to life. I want to listen to every book that he has read!
My husband was glad when I finished the books, as he had a hard time getting my attention while I had the headphones on...
DO read "The Princes of Ireland" before starting the Rebels - it will explain references in this book, and make the experience so much richer.
"Missed the mark"
My parents came from Ireland, their parents, and their parents. I have read or listened to some excellent Irish History ( most recently " The Graves are Walking" available on Audible). I did not care for this book. Rutherford is ok at...times, but with so RICH a history, so many tragedies to write about, he so often skirts around it, and instead of telling Ireland's history through the characters, has them off on a side stage which is often, well, boring. I persevered through to the end ( almost giving up when Parnell was mentioned in passing, but by that point I was too close to the end, too invested in a 30 hr book) but that is only because I am compulsive, not because I was engaged. Disappointed. I will return to straight factual history when I next revisit the topic(s). Richard Matthews, on the other hand, was very good - i will look for him again soon
As usual Rutherfurd does not fail to entertain, educate and bring Irish history alive. Can't wait for Rutherfurd's "Seran" "London" and "The Forest". It's time for Audible to bring England to life!
"Would listen to it again"
Author carries forward themes and family lines from the Princes of Ireland very effectively. Well read. Interesting plot woven through known historic events and times. Though fiction, it prompted me to think about -- and even go read some real history about -- how the cultures, histories of England, Scotland and the U.S. interconnect with that of Ireland. Made elements of my own family and the Scots-Irish story come alive for me.
an entertaining way to learn about Irish history and culture. The narrator's use of accents was instructive.
"Amazing portrait of Ireland and those that peopled it"
Read The Princes of Ireland first then go through the rebels. Be enthralled You won't be able to get out of the car!
"Epic, well written - read the book before it."
Love this saga. I have listened to both books twice, and following the family lines and themes that Rutherford weaves is a joy. I totally lost myself in the story.
"Historically interesting but verbally grating"
I found the content interesting and well written. Even as an Irish man I found it difficult sometimes to separate the fiction from the fact, but that was not a problem. What was a very large problem was that the pronounciation of almost every person and place name was mispronounced. A small bit of research in this area would have made the book far easier to listen to. This is why I rated it 3 rather than 4.
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