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Red Branch Hardcover – February 1, 1989


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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 558 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (February 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688069460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688069469
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.1 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

"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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
This book was a fun read for me.
Jesse Kiefer
I found myself enthralled by the story, the characters, the myth, and the setting of this novel from page one.
Amazon Customer
I kept threatening to stop reading it, but it held enough fun and interesting moments to keep me reading.
C. A Fraser

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "tonyclark" on March 8, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have not read a book yet that Morgan Llywelyn has not done an outstanding job on, but when it comes to a real bardic piece of literature combined with the legends of the past, Red Branch excels. I have read the stories in other places, such as The Story of the Irish Race by Seumas MacManus, and passed over them as just another piece of literature. When I read the Red Branch it was transformed into a vibrant, living, pulsating story that wrenched emotion after emotion from the core of your being. It took Setanta, as a boy, and gave his passage into manhood a glorious path, that only when young would you feel so invulnerable, all for the sake of a short but long rembered life. Written for her son, I think she far exceeded anything she has done to date, in his honor.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely loved this book. Before picking it up I knew absolutely nothing about the story of Cuchulain, the legendary Hound of Ulster. I found myself enthralled by the story, the characters, the myth, and the setting of this novel from page one. This was the second of Ms. Llywelyn's novels that I'd read -- Lion of Ireland being the first -- and I think it's ranks as one of her best. By the end of the novel, even though you know that it cannot end well, you've become invested in the characters and it's sad when it finally ends. The novel has a lot to say about love and war, what motivates men (and women), and a curious historical tie-in to the modern troubles of Ireland. A great read for anyone interested in ancient Ireland's legendary past.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Siobhan Olaoghaire Sannes on January 7, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book weaves together the many stories that comprise the life of Cuchulain and the other warriors of the Red Branch. Llywelyn, as usual, shows great skill in telling this story, as well as injecting the book with a feel of what Ireland was like during this long ago time.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Traveling Irishman on May 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
You walk across a lonely glen in Ulster. In the middle stands a solitary stone jutting magnificantly into the air. What stories this stone must have if only it could tell them!
Morgan Llywelyn has told the stories of this stone and what it has seen. She takes you back over 2000 years to Ireland of ancient times. A time when when people were able to harness the spirits and powers of nature.
Llwelyn tells the story of a young boy in Ireland destined to become the Champion of Ulster, Cuchulain the Hound of Ulster. Cuchulain is blessed/cursed with extraordinary warrior skills and defends Ulster with all his heart.
The story brings you back to a time when being a warrior was to be noble, and power was vested in those that could win battles and bring home the spoils. We see the interaction between Connor Mac Nessa and his Connaught rival, Maeve. Years of rivalry between these two provinces result in fierce battles where the Hound proves his worth.
Take a step back into time with this incredible book. You won't be able to set it down once you begin!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Morgan Llewelyn is decidedly the modern Bard of the Celts. Compelling and alive with vibrant, accurate descriptions of the lay of the land and the ambience of the era, Red Branch is still Llewelyn's best book to date. While there is plenty of action to keep even casual readers engrossed, my favorite sections of the book center on the young Setanta, his feelings of bewildered isolation and his curiosity about his mother's dreamy half-life. Also wonderful are the rawness of emotion the author paints around the deaths of those closest to Cuchulainn - even when his heroic heart is breaking, his courage and ambition shine through, making the Hound of Ulster at last a very real and human being.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Red Branch made me laugh and cry, it really has an emotional bearing in the readers. The style of writing that Morgan Llywelyn uses in this novel is so exquisit and explicit! Morgan Llywelyn is obviously a gifted writer. I can't wait to read the next novel I have of hers "Lion of Ireland." I'm so excited! I know she will not let me down! Thank you Morgan!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Red Branch is amazing. Never has a book sucked me in like this one did. Unlike many authors who skip the details which make a story truly real, Llywelyn tells a tale that presents Cuchulain as both a larger-than-life hero and a real person at the same time. I felt the glory of living during that time as well as the pain. Truly a great book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adam Kinney(adkinney@sonetcom.com) on January 30, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My goodness, I am at a loss for words. I read the reviews before mine, and they all felt the same as me; great book! It has everything, and it was written perfectly. Congratulations Morgan Llywelyn!
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