Strongbow : The Story of Richard and Aoife

3.67 (299 ratings by Goodreads)
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The dramatic story of the Norman conquest of Ireland in the 12th century. Full of battles and warfare, but a story of love, too, between an unlikely pair - wilful and wild Irish princess Aoife, and Strongbow, the greatest of the Norman knights to come to Ireland. A clash of cultures and a vivid story of one of the Greats of Irish more

Product details

  • 10+
  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 130 x 192 x 14mm | 140.62g
  • O'Brien Press Ltd
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • English
  • 0862782740
  • 9780862782740
  • 313,812

Review quote

'... the Norman knight, Richard de Clare, and his wife-to-be, Aoife, tell their stories in alternative chapters. The device works well, the incredibly complex history of the period is made comprehensible and the reader is spellbound ...' -- The Irish Times The Irish Times 'This is an ambitious and wholly successful recreation of the life and times of Strongbow, daringly presented in alternate chapters as the narratives of the hero himself and of Aoife, destined to become his wife.' -- Children's Books in Ireland Children's Books in Irelandshow more

About Morgan Llywelyn

Historian and novelist Morgan Llywelyn was born in New York City, but after the death of her husband and parents in 1985 returned to Ireland to take up citizenship in the land of her grandparents and make her permanent home there. After making the shortlist for the United States Olympic Team in Dressage in 1975, but not making the team itself, she turned to writing historical novels exploring her Celtic roots. The most successful of these was Lion of Ireland - The Legend of Brian Boru, which was published in 1980 and has sold into the millions of copies. She received the Novel of the Year Award from the National League of American Penwomen for her novel The Horse Goddess as well as the Woman of the Year Award from the Irish-American Heritage Committee for Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish. The latter award was presented to her by Ed Koch, then-mayor of New York City. Morgan is also the author of A Pocket History of Irish Rebels for the O'Brien Pocket Books Series. In 1990 Morgan Llywelyn turned to writing for the young reader, with the publication of Brian Boru, Emperor of the Irish, a biography in the novelistic style, by The O'Brien Press, Dublin. For this book she won an Irish Children's Book Trust Bisto Award in 1991. Her second book for the young reader is Strongbow, The Story of Richard and Aoife (The O'Brien Press) 1992, for which she won a Bisto Award in the Historical Fiction category, 1993 and the Reading Association of Ireland Award, 1993. Her third novel for young readers, entitled Star Dancer, (The O'Brien Press) was drawn from her experience of the world of showjumping and dressage. She has also written The Vikings in Ireland, an exploration of what actually happened when the Norsemen landed in Ireland. Morgan's latest book for children is Pirate Queen, the story of Grace O'Malley, told partly through letters from Granuaile to her beloved son. It is a thrilling tale of adventure that brings this unorthodox and inspiring historical figure to more

Review Text

A fictionalized biography based on true events in 12th-century England and Ireland, and told in alternating chapters by the principals, Richard de Clare - Strongbow - and Aoife. Both are children of warriors who have been stripped of their titles by hostile kings. Richard and Aoife's desires to regain what has been lost bring them together in a war for control of Ireland. The events of the tale are inherently compelling, but for a story grounded in warfare, the battle scenes are rather tepid. The alternating first-person narrations are oddly confusing - it may be hard for readers to keep track of all of the names. Llywelyn (Brian Boru, 1995, etc.) has created a book that, as an introduction to little-known historical incidents and people, is valuable and interesting; as a novel it is flawed. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

299 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 19% (57)
4 36% (107)
3 39% (118)
2 5% (14)
1 1% (3)
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