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Pride of Lions
     

Pride of Lions

4.1 6
by Morgan Llywelyn
 

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Lion of Ireland was the breathtaking chronicle of Brian Boru, the Great King who led the bickering chiefs of Ireland to unity under his reign. He overthrew traditions, reformed society, and became the Irish Charlemagne. The Ireland of 1014 was a dream Brian Boru had dreamed and brought into being.

Now, with all the fire and brilliance for which her

Overview

Lion of Ireland was the breathtaking chronicle of Brian Boru, the Great King who led the bickering chiefs of Ireland to unity under his reign. He overthrew traditions, reformed society, and became the Irish Charlemagne. The Ireland of 1014 was a dream Brian Boru had dreamed and brought into being.

Now, with all the fire and brilliance for which her writing is known, Morgan Llywelyn takes us there, to the battlefield where Brian died, and to Brian's fifteen-year-old son, Donough, whose mother is the voluptuous and treacherous Gormlaith, with her lust for life and power undiminished by age: Donough, the son who is determined to make the High Kingship of Brian Boru's Ireland his own.

"I know he's too young, but he's all we have left," says Fergal, and thus the boy takes his first command, on the bloody ground of Clontarf. From there he must move to establish his right to rule in Kincora and to make the kings of Ireland accept him as their High King.

Yet Donough is torn--torn by his hatred for his mother and by his all-consuming passion for the beautiful pagan girl Cera, who remains beyond his reach, for the High King must have a Christian consort....



At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The perils of royal succession and a choice between love and glory form the dominant themes of Llywelyn's lively sequel to Lion of Ireland (1979). That novel described the rise of High King Brian Boru, who became known as the "Charlemagne of Ireland" after he managed to briefly unite the tribes of the Emerald Isle at the end of the 10th century. Here it's Brian's 15-year-old son, Donough, who aspires to the throne, made ambitious by a brief initial success in battle against the Vikings at Contarf, where Brian has met his death. But Donough's brother Teigue also claims the crown, and when Teigue drives Donough from the family fortress, their father's carefully crafted alliances begin to crumble. Journeying north to the Scottish kingdom of Alba, Donough seeks his own political ties, through an arranged marriage that binds him to the King of England; also traveling with him is his treacherous, manipulative mother, who hopes to use him to regain the power she lost upon Brian's death. When Donough returns, he must reconcile his inability to reunite Ireland and the failure of his marriage with lush memories of a passionate affair with a Druid girl. Llywelyn tells a strong story distinguished by its psychological depth and by his knowledge of ancient Irish history. (Mar.)
Patricia Monaghan
A canard current among historical novelists holds that it's impossible for a book set in Ireland to succeed because that country's past is so oppressively gloomy. Among the few exceptions is Llywelyn's "Lion of Ireland" (1980), the story of the heroic High King Brian Boru. But Brian was a victor, forming something like a nation in an island of squabbling tribes. None of his sons had the charisma or strength of their father or even of their mother, the scheming Gormlaith, which proves, perhaps, that sequels are hard even for high kings. The most compelling part of this diffuse novel is the tension between the ambition of its hero, Brian's son Donough, to assume his father's position, and his desire for a pagan woman, Cera, whom newly Christian Ireland considers an unacceptable mate for a king. Expect demand from Llywelyn fans.
Kirkus Reviews
A sequel to the popular author's Lion of Ireland (1980), the story of Brian Boru, the late tenth-century Irish warrior king who drove out the Norsemen invaders and, for an eyeblink of time, united Erin. Here, his son Donough, after Brian's death in 1014, sets his sights on his father's crown.

After the battle in which the Ari Ri (king) Brian was killed—a conflict brought about by King Sitric of Dublin, then urged on by the fierce Gormlaith, the wife whom Brian had exiled—Donough, at 15, is the only surviving prince. On his way to manhood and respect, he must deal with his half-brother Prince Toigue, older but with no heart and no ability as a warrior. With his own vacuous bride, Donough is uneasily established at Toigue's fort of Kincora (he's sure it's his) when in storms his mighty mother—a former beauty and terror of Ireland now bent on empire-building. Gormlaith detects king-stuff in Donough and has a hand in plots and plans until her final madness. Meanwhile, Donough is finding true love with Cera the druid, though the increasingly influential church is disapproving. Eventually, he'll take the long sea trip to Scotland to meet with his half-sister's husband Malcolm II (grandfather of Duncan of Macbeth fame) and return with an alliance, not only with Scotland but England, now under the rule of King Canute ("Canute is nothing short of brilliant," bubbles one noble). In Scotland, Gormlaith, in her golden years, is brassy-bold with King Malcolm, who succumbs, though she'll be longboated home mumbling about her only love, Brian Boru. Donough will be cheated of the crown, and there'll be war and war and war. At the last, Donough is given a choice—Cora or Tara.

Straight bothered-hero fare, with grue, stone digs, and sword- and ax-play.

From the Publisher
"Get ready for another Morgan Llwelyn epic....Llwelyn is a master (mistress?) of historical fiction, drawing upon a rich weaving of myth and actuality into a fast-paced read....The author can spin Celtic gold with her word processor, and admirable trait when reaching back 900 years into that little island's dim past. The scribes of Kells would be envious." —Irish American Post

"One of my all-time favorite authors." —Jude Deveraux

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429983501
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
03/15/1997
Series:
Celtic World of Morgan Llywelyn , #6
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
229,496
File size:
650 KB

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One


The tall boy on the gray horse cast an apprehensive look at the sky.
He could hear his men behind him grumbling as they rode. They resented his command of their company, considering it an undeserved appointment forced upon them by his father. Still more they resented being sent south for skirmish duty while Brian Boru was assembling the main army at Dublin for the battle to determine the future of Ireland.
Young Donough was as frustrated as his men, though in his case it was compounded by a growing sense of foreboding. The sky to the north, in the direction of Dublin, was filled with black clouds that had been boiling in eerie configurations since first light. It was now late in the day on Good Friday in the Year of Our Lord 1014, and the clouds looked more ominous than ever.
Donough tried to reassure himself. My father would never initiate battle on a Holy Day, he thought. But what if his enemies forced a confrontation? Pagan Northmen have no respect for the Christian calendar.
Watching the demoniac sky, Donough was increasingly certain that Brian Boru had already faced his enemies on the field of battle. The writhing clouds were witness.
He turned his horse's head toward Dublin and lashed its flanks with his horse-goad.

Copyright © 1996 by Morgan Llywelyn

Meet the Author

Since 1980 Morgan Llywelyn has created an entire body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. her critically acclaimed novels, both of history and of mythology, have been translated into many languages. She is an Irish citizen and lives in Dublin.


Since 1980, Morgan Llywelyn has created an entire body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. Her critically acclaimed novels, both of history and of mythology, have been translated into many languages. Her books include 1916 and Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish. She is an Irish citizen and lives in Dublin.

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Pride of Lions 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book. One I could not put down. If you are interested in Irish history this bring ancient Ireland to life. You can feel it rushing in your blood. I laughed, I cried, my emotional cup ran over. I could see the 40 shades of green as the scenes unfolded.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was truly amazing, not unlike Ms. Llywelyn's 'Lion Of Ireland'. This book is both funny and touching, It is sure to make you laugh and cry, a rarity among modern books. And yet Ms. Llywelyn seems to know just how to do it, again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
The author's earlier novel, Lion of Ireland, traced the life of Brian Boru, the great High King of tenth-century Ireland. This book describes the country's turmoil following his death, in particular following the life of his youngest son, Donough, who's ambitious to claim the throne for himself. Like his illustrious father, however, Donough is conflicted by his love for a beautiful pagan woman - at a time when the Catholic church's influence in his homeland is growing. Wonderful descriptions of Ireland's natural beauty and its appreciation by the druidic culture add to the drama of this great tale.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book once i started took my full attention and i could not put it down. Lovers of irish history and lore, you're in for a big treat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To the book that preceded it. It was just ok. The story was kind of aimless and at points i wondered if i even cared what happened to donough. The ending was rushed and thoroughly unsatisfactory.