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Bending the Boyne
J.S. Dunn
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Bending the Boyne

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Eire's ancient gold rush, and loyalty faces off against greed.

Circa 2200 BCE: Changes rocking the Continent reach Eire with the dawning Bronze Age. Well before any Celts, marauders invade the island seeking copper and gold. The young astronomer Boann and the enigmatic Cian need all their wits and courage to save their people and their great Boyne mounds, when long bronze
Published (first published March 17th 2011)
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My love for Ireland and her myths is what drew my attention to "Bending the Boyne" by J.S Dunn. "Bending the Boyne" is classed as Historical Fiction, but it does have a bit of a fantasy feel to it. For the story starts and finishes in present day. But for me it was much more than that. It was a tale of people who loved their way of life, who have walked gently on the earth and who are observers of the heavens. Their way of life is threatened as change descends upon them and their only way of sur ...more
2200 B.C. This novel tells of several tribes: in Ireland [the 'Starwatchers': peace-loving astronomers in the River Boyne area]; the 'Invaders' whose origin is 'the Continent' [Europe?], interested only in conquering and in finding precious metals--gold, copper, and tin--and trade; the 'Seafarers', who live on what we would call the Iberian Peninsula today and who are willing to engage in hunting for metal and in trading, and Basques. These groups interact among each other. Boann, the astronomer ...more
Allison  Macias
In Eire, Boann lives happily spending her days following in the steps of her astronomer father and healer mother. Her people, the Starwatchers, aren't the only ones inhabiting Eire. They face hostility from the Invaders with their long swords and horses. The Invaders seem to only want metals, which puts them at odds with the Starwatchers' peaceful and earth friendly culture. To cement a peace agreement, Starwatchers agree to Boann's marriage to the new ard ri, Elcmar. Boann bares Aengus, a fine ...more
Susan Johnson
I found this to be a fascinating read about 2200 BC in Ireland. It talks about how a people who studied astrology and how they discovered scientific truths we still use today, how they became aware of equinoxes and the movement of the skies-sun, moon and stars and, even more interestingly, how they recorded their findings. it makes an interesting story. I have been to Newgrange in Ireland and I wished I had read the book before I went. It would have made the visit come even more alive for me.
Evy Bernier
I greatly enjoyed this book. I do however feel that with a bit more polish and editing it would be a significantly better book. I am a medieval historian and a linguist with a strong interest in this time period so I came to this book with high expectations. Initially I almost stopped reading the book as the beginning was a bit slow and confusing. I really did enjoy the way that the author tied in myth, literature and history to try and recreate life in this period. The ending seemed a bit rushe ...more
Samantha Tew
This was a wonderful book! It has been a long while since I've read something that makes me feel apart of it :-)
Leigh Ann
Can't wait for this book to come! I am so excited to read it!
Juli Rahel
The story centers around Boann and how her life changes when Invaders land on Eire's shores and threaten her village. I found the beginning of this book fascinating. Dunn went into a lot of detail when describing the Starwatcher's culture and tradition, really showcasing his research. After reading the book you really feel you have developed an understanding of the importance of starwatching to these cultures. The threat posed by the Invaders is very well descrived, especially the conflict betwe ...more
Penelope Bartotto
Bending the Boyne is a mind-bending tale that is as spectacular as the night sky which plays a very prominent role in the story. I will admit going into this story I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into, was I reading something that was going to trip into the paranormal fantastic or follow or more realistic route. Reality is the direction I feel this delightful story follows, and it leads the reader on a journey that spans many lands, times, peoples, and traditions.
The story told her
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
I am very impressed with the work that went into this book. It is about ancient inhabitants of Ireland. This group of people were starwatchers and studied the heavens. They carved the cycles of the solar system and season into rock and temples. They were a peaceful people,

They must deal with Invaders from the sea who come to plunder the metal resources and leave destruction in their quest for precious metals. The Invaders take natural resources from the starwatchers without a care to trade or wh
Mark Patton
J.S. Dunn’s Bending the Boyne weaves together historical fiction (based, essentially, on archaeological evidence) with Irish myth to create an engaging human story set in 2000 BC. At its heart is a conflict between two groups of people: the native Irish “Starwatchers,” a peace-loving Stone Age culture led by astronomer-priests, both male and female; and an invading group of copper/bronze using people with a strongly developed warrior culture, an insatiable demand for copper & gold, and a wel ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
I thoroughly enjoyed Bending the Boyne. It takes place in Ireland in 2200 BCE and follows the story of two "tribes." This is the first time that I've ever read anything about this time period in Ireland. I love when a book can take me someplace that I've never been before. I've been trying to read more about ancient history because I just don't feel like I read enough about times prior to about the 1300s or 1400s, which is pretty recent in the whole scheme of things.

I loved how much research the
Bending the Boyne is the story of Boann and Cian who both try to find their own way of dealing with the invaders who threaten the way of life their people have known for ages.[return][return]Bending the Boyne does a good job of combining archaeological fact, Irish Myths and imagination into a compelling story and opens a window into Bronze Age Ireland and the way people might have lived during those times.[return][return]Reading Bending the Boyne I just had one major problem. While I understood ...more
Heather Domin
This novel takes figures from Irish myth and places them in a realistic historical setting; familar names from Celtic mythology are given real lives and historical contexts for their legendary actions. Every page is packed with information, and plenty of back matter is provided for explanation and further reading. I personally would have wished for a little more emotional connection to the characters, but the author's passion for the topics and narrative is evident throughout the novel. I'll be ...more
S.L. Figuhr
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author for their generosity.

I am a lover of history and mythology, so I was excited to read Bending the Boyne. The storyline was immediately engaging, and the characters well rounded. The amount of research needed for such an epic tale is clearly evident in the descriptions of places.

There was many times while reading that I felt I was walking along side the characters, seeing, hearing, and feeling what they did. T
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Bending The Boyne is a story about an important time in the history of Starwatchers and Invaders (Intruders) on Eire. Boann, a young Starwatcher apprentice, bears witness to an era of great change for her. Starwatchers use the knowledge of the planet movement through the cycle of sunrises, sunsets, moon rise, and moon setting so that they may prosper. Boann loves Cian wants him to become her husband but Cian's work amongst the Invaders (Intruders) is important. Cian learns many things amongst th ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Cheryl marked it as interesting-possibilities  ·  review of another edition
Added this because of the description:

BENDING THE BOYNE draws on 21st century archaeology to show the lasting impact when early metal mining and trade take hold along north Atlantic coasts. Carved megaliths and stunning gold artifacts, from the Pyrenees up to the Boyne, come to life in this researched historical fiction.
I received a copy of this novel from a Read/Review program.

J.S. Dunn did an outstanding job researching all of the historical details for this novel. Although at times I felt there was too much information and not enough storytelling, over all I think it ended up balancing out.

Dunn had a wide variety of characters in this novel, and I thought all of the stories were told really well. I empathized the most with the Starwatchers, but I don't think the Invaders were necessarily evil. Just differen
This book was shared to me from a read and review group, thanks to the author for sharing it to our group.

Very well told tale of ancient Eire and its people. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Starwatchers and the accounts of their turning of the sky wheel. Boann is a quite one who is cleverer than what Elcmar would believe, while Cian her true soulmate goes above and beyond in his love for his people, country, Boann and her son Aengus . AS the protagonists, the invaders are fierce with their wea
Tom Connolly
Outstanding! The best historical novel of pre-historical Irish civilization I have ever come across. Lovers of Ireland, history, & just good stories; this is a must read.
Rosie Amber
Bending The Boyne is set around 2200BCE in Eire (Ireland) Here live simple folk, stone-cutters, potters, weavers and Star-watchers. These people live with the land and learn from the stars. They have mounds built and carve on stones, they celebrate the Equinoxes and plot shifts of the moon and the sun.

The people of the river Boyne watch as invaders come in boats across the sea in search of copper and gold. The invaders are harsh, brutal and do not understand the simple star-watchers, they declar
Kathleen Kelly
I was a little apprehensive when I was first approached by Seriously Good Books to review Bending the Boyne as I am not a fan of reading history books. It depends on the subject matter of course and since I am of Irish descent, anything I can learn about Ireland I will jump at. The novel tells us of civilization in early Ireland, the trading routes and the mining of copper and the quest for gold. It also tells us about the Starwatchers who are peaceful people who study and record the stars and t ...more
Jenny Q
3.5 Stars. J.S. Dunn has spent a decade studying the Bronze Age culture in Ireland and has crafted a mystical story drawn from early Irish folklore and from the objects, carvings, and symbols discovered in the ancient mounds on Ireland and nearby islands. The Starwatchers living at the Boyne in 2200 BC study the night sky in an effort to understand the secrets of the universe. Theirs is a culture based on seasons, cycles, and ceremonies. But their peace-loving society is at a turning point.

The a
Evangeline Han
When I first skimmed through Bending the Boyne, I wasn't impressed by what I read. There seemed to be many facts about astronomy and I assumed that reading the novel would be a slow and daunting task. I was wrong about that. The story is entertaining to say the least. True, there were many facts about the study of astronomy and Irish mythology during the Bronze Age, but the characters based on mythology and their lives make an intriguing study.

I learned so many interesting facts about Bronze Age
The setting is 2200 BCE along the Boyne River valley in Ireland. Tensions mount when a group of war-like, metal-seeking intruders settle next to the Starwatchers, a peaceful community of astronomers and farmers. The beautiful and brave Starwatcher, Boann, is forced into marriage with Elcmar, the leader of the intruders. She manages to maintain a certain level of independence and is able to see that her young son, Aengus, is schooled in the knowledge of the Starwatchers. Her lover, Cian, joins th ...more
In 2000 BCE, the world was rapidly changing. On a remote island near the North Sea, an entire culture of astronomers, or Starwatchers as they call themselves, will have their entire lifestyle threatened by a group of invaders from across the big seas. These invaders, in their searches for copper, tin, and gold, bring with them foreign ideas such as land ownership, power struggles, and violence. As the two cultures fight for control of Ireland, two people attempt to do everything in their power t ...more
Nan Hawthorne
When a novel set in prehistoric ireland has in it the line "She and the Dagda worked to save their people from cultural annihilation" you know you have less of a story than a lecture. Sadly what could have been a fascinating look at pre-Celtic Ireland fell too much into this category. We learn that the recentnly arrived Celts of Eire were nasty, raping, environment destrouctive, greedy people bent on divesting the Starwatchers, who were peaceful, Earth centered,. and matriarchal, of their admira ...more
Wendy Hines
This is not a quick read. You won't read this in an hour at the beach. Every word must be savored in order to paint Boyne and it's inhabitants correctly. Throughout the entire book you get a feeling of being a part of something epic, something amazing. Though I'll admit it took me a few chapters to really get into the story and characters, once I was, there was no pulling back out.

Those who love mythology and historical fiction will adore this book. It's well-written, well-edited and beautifull
Lise Quinn
This book is fantastic. This book is set in the bronze age of Ireland about 2200 BCE and is built around actual artifacts of those times. It's a blend of invasions from the mainland and ancient Irish myth. It has romance, sacrifice, violence, death, birth, travel, all in the style of what it might be to live back then. The characters are rich and the detail is enough to give you a good picture, but not long-winded. A very enjoyable and informative. A very gook book.
T.K. Thorne
This book is rich with information about the Bronze Age in Ireland and the western European coast. The author's research is evident, giving a new perspective of the culture of the Starwatchers set in a time of change. If you are interested in this time period and the fascinating world of early astronomers, I recommend!
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J. S. Dunn resided in Ireland during the past decade, and from there pursued a keen interest in early Bronze Age culture along the Atlantic coasts of Spain, France, Wales, and Ireland. Numerous archaeologists and experts vetted the details of BENDING THE BOYNE.

BENDING THE BOYNE is a debut novel and won the Next Generation Indie Award for historical fiction, 2011. Finalist, ForeWord Book Of The Yea
More about J.S. Dunn...
Connery The Great, a short story Gaslight (Golden Light Anthologies, #3)

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