Red Branch

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Overview

"Powerful . . . A lusty, poetic and legendary world based on Ireland's mythical warrior-hero Cuchulain." The New York Times Book Review In a land ruled by war and love and strange enchantments, Cuchulain -- torn between gentleness and violence, haunted by the croakings of a sinister raven -- fights for his honor and his homeland and discovers too late the trap that the gods have set for him in the fatal beauty of Deirdre and the brutal jealousy of King Conor.

Cuchulain was a fatherless boy, yearning ...

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Overview

"Powerful . . . A lusty, poetic and legendary world based on Ireland's mythical warrior-hero Cuchulain." The New York Times Book Review In a land ruled by war and love and strange enchantments, Cuchulain -- torn between gentleness and violence, haunted by the croakings of a sinister raven -- fights for his honor and his homeland and discovers too late the trap that the gods have set for him in the fatal beauty of Deirdre and the brutal jealousy of King Conor.

Cuchulain was a fatherless boy, yearning to join the warrior elite--the Red Branch. He was protected from above by the bloodthirsty raven god of war and destined to become the Champion of Champions. But he faced the ultimate foe in the murderous Lady Maeve and was pushed to the ultimate sacrifice--his best friend!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The rich trove of the Red Branch literature, the heroic Irish tales known as the Ulster Cycle, is mined creatively by the author of the bestseller Lion of Ireland . In recreating the life and times of Cuchulain, legendary warrior of the bardic era, Llywelyn works a massive canvas, peopling it with larger-than-life characters, yet shaping them with intimate insights, as she did so effectively in the earlier book on Brian Boru, Erin's first ruler. Chronicling the legendary exploits of Cuchulain, a boy of mysterious, magical parentage, a fosterling of King Conor, Llywelyn conveys the rage and strength that earn him the sobriquet ``The Wolfhound of Cullen''Cuchulain. His life's journey is mystical and sensual, filled with curses and blessings as he fulfills the unrelenting destiny of a champion. Whether motivated by the kidnaping of Deirdre, whose beauty destroys men, or by the cattle raid organized by doughty Maeve of Connaught, the ancient Gaels were in constant competition for supremacy. This movement is captured in an epic novel drawn from colorful and treasured legends. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804105910
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/1990
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 493
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(2)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2004

    the best book i ever read

    well it was the best book i ever read it took me more than a week to find the next book i wanted to read because after reading that nothing seemed good. i found the book in the bottom of my closet read it and will keep a copy with me for life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2002

    Read It

    You can read all the above to see what it's all about, all I have to say is simply it's the best book I've ever read (not including the bible).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    loved it!

    the only thing I didnt like about the story is that there was no happines at all in this book besides that it was a great read not boring at all wonderful story.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    enthralling...

    Red Branch is a well written novel about "Ireland's mythical warrior-hero Cuchulain." It brings Cuchulain to life and sets him up in the company of enemies, friends, lovers and even an ancient goddess in the form of a raven. The story starts out when the child Cuchulain is know as Setanta. The man who Setanta believes to be his father is a warrior of the Red Branch, the army of the King of Ulster. Because Setanta feels entitled to be with the Boys' Troop in training to become Red Branch, he runs away from home to find Emain Macha...the stronghold of the King. He finds the stronghold and the course of his life is set in motion. Along the way Setanta becomes a man, earns the name Cuchulain (hound of Cullen), trains with a warrior woman on the island of Skya, becomes the champion of Ulster and all the time is followed by a mysterious raven.<BR/><BR/>Cuchulain is an absolutely enthralling character. He is kind and sensitive but when the Rage overtakes him....woe to his enemies. He turns into a kind of berserker and is virtually unstoppable. Red Branch is filled with intriguing characters. There is Emer, Cuchulain's wife, who reveals in her own way what true love really means. The deep friendship between Cuchulain and Ferdiad is stunning in it's passion. Laeg is exceptionally loyal and faithful in his role as Cuchulain's charioteer. These characters and many, many more fill the pages of this book with life and make Red Branch a wonderful read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2005

    Rousing Tale of Ancient Ireland

    There's something in this book for everyone - adventure, romance, history, magic. And lots of male bonding. The legendary hero Cuchulain has mighty powers, some of them supernatural, which makes him the ideal candidate for the Ulster king's champion. He proves his mettle, but also shows himself to be tender, loving, and as befuddled as anyone about the meaning of life. The author gives a mystical tone to this tale, particularly at the end, following Cuchulain's last battle. I recommend this tale for readers from teenagers on up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2001

    Wonderful!

    This is a book that begins at a slow pace but as it develops it draws you in like few books that I've read before. It flows with a turmoil of emotions and settings that are magnificent. I first borrowed it from a friend... three years ago; I have yet to return it and somehow I believe it'll continue to grace my bookshelves for many years to come

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2001

    Ageless

    I read Red Branch nearly ten years ago and it still remains at the front of my mind as one of the most fascinating and unique literary works that I have had the pleasure of reading. I have since lost my copy and I am visiting this site in order to purchase another so I may read it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2000

    Engrossing, brilliant!

    From the first page, Red Branch was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in quite a while. I have read many of Ms. Llywelyn's books and, yet again, I am not disappointed. The characters seem to jump from the page. I had to force myself to put the book down, and even then I couldn't stop thinking about Cuchulain and the other characters! This book made me laugh and cry. Rarely will a book do that to me, so I know I have read an incredible book that deserves to be read more than once. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a glimpse of Celtic life as it was many centuries ago!

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted May 25, 2009

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    Posted August 22, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

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