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The Rebels of Ireland

(The Dublin Saga #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  5,609 ratings  ·  387 reviews
A tale of fierce battles, hot-blooded romances, and family and political intrigues, The Rebels of Ireland brings the story begun in The Princes of Ireland to a stunning conclusion.
Hardcover, 863 pages
Published December 31st 2006 by Doubleday Books (first published February 1st 2004)
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Religious wars are rampant throughout history. They are still happening today, even though they are subtler in some ways. None of our countries in the world will experience real peace until people and governments can agree to live and let live.

In this second of the two books Edward Rutherfurd wrote about Dublin, we are invited to visit many other areas of Ireland as well. Some of these were touched on in the previous book, and this is expanded into a bigger picture point of view that
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a terribly sad but fascinating novel regarding a number of families, Protestant, Catholic, and Quaker on the Emerald Island. It covers nearly five centuries of tumultuous history from the Age of Elizabeth until the Irish Civil War. This is the first Edward Rutherford book I have read and because of its epic nature and focus on specific times and places, I can only compare him to James Michenar. That is high praise. I do wish that Rutherford would have included some of the main historica ...more
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loved Trinity and Redemption; those who study Irish heritage
I loved this book! In fact, I loved the two book series. As one who studies Irish culture and history, I found this series of books to be not only entertaining, but educational, as well. Though not as dearly loved as Trinity by Leon Uris (lets face it, no one can beat Conor Larkin as an Irish hero,)this book covers that same period of time with a few additional centuries thrown in. I did find that I had to review the family tree on several occasions, as the multiple family connections became com ...more
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice chronicle covering three centuries of Ireland's past right up to the Easter uprising in 1916 and the island's independence in 1921.

Rutherfurd's history sweepers are engrossing and challenging (Sarum, Russka). This one is no exception. I knew about the Catholic and Protestant divide over the centuries, but had no idea just how convoluted, murky, and ultimately intertwined it was. Family landlords, Old English Gentry, the Ascendancy, name changes, families deliberately deciding to
On one hand, I really like Rutherfurd's style of telling history. By following the same families through hundreds of years, it's possible to see how the country changed over time and how those changes affected generations of real people from different backgrounds. On the other hand, it is so frustrating to start feeling close to a character only to suddenly shift 40 years in the future, where that character is dead and his children are middle-aged. There were also many characters I wanted to kno ...more
K.M. Weiland
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much more gripping than the first book in the series. I appreciated getting a solid view of Ireland’s history and the causes behind much of their strife.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: irish
Simply magnificent. The convoluted, tragic history of Ireland is done justice in this epic book. Impossible to summarize so just read it.
Glyn Longden
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 7/10. The second book of 'The Dublin Saga; the first was 'The Princes of Ireland' which I read in Feb./06. I also read Rutherfurd's 'London' which was excellent. In this fictional account the English take over Ireland lock, stock, and barrel. After reading the accounts of British oppression you can understand completely why the Irish hate the English so much. Rutherfurd's style is like Micheners...a story at each level or time period. Very effective. I enjoyed both books in this series a ...more
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a well-researched history book with a low-level soap-opera plot: basically the perfect recipe for a boring book. The things that annoyed me the most were the shamefully shallow characters and the physical descriptions of female characters, who all are a horrifying combination of "peachy skin", "tender breasts" and other nonsense.
Bridget Healy
Finally finished! This was another fantastic look at over 500 years of history. The first book, The Princes of Ireland, starts in 430AD, and follows six Irish families through the reign of King Henry VIII. This was the second book in the series, following the same six families from the the 1500s through the Easter Rising of 1916. Highly recommended!
Katherine Coble
I'd set this aside several times, and was determined that I'd read it this year for St. Patrick's Day. I think it's safe to say that this is my second-favourite Rutherfurd, after Sarum. The characters' stories that we follow through the river of Ireland's history are good ones; they are compelling enough to keep you coming back even through the darker historic times.

Still, this is an intense book. I recommend it for anyone interested in brushing up on Ireland's history from 1500-1900, yet I cau
Apr 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sweeping (and I mean sweeping) epic of Irish history is the 2nd in a series. It's very ambitious covering a period from the late 16th century to the early 20th century. Great writing and interesting history make it an enjoyable read but it's almost too ambitious! I'm in the last 50 pages and am looking forward to being done! The most interesting angle of this history - one which I never fully understood -is how and why the religious rifts occurred in Ireland. I also learned the "old English ...more
Rutherfurd is fair and historically accurate -- even sensitive, I would say -- but the centuries-long scope of the book is too broad to support anything terribly profound. Generations come and go, and characters who are developing nicely are quickly snuffed out by time. I suppose this is simply the nature of a history-based novel that takes place over a long span of time, and I suppose I was unreasonably hoping for something with a little more depth. It's not a bad read, given the parameters Rut ...more
After reading hundreds of pages in a sprawling, unhurried hand, the ending seemed rushed and jerky. It almost seemed that the book could have been longer (Did I really just say that about an eight hundred page book?). I've thoroughly enjoyed my time wandering through Rutherfurd's Dublin. I learned so much about Irish history and mindset. They are to be greatly admired, and I count myself lucky that I am of Irish descent.
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tells the peculiar history of Ireland through 2 long books. The first, Princes of Ireland, is fabulous, old tribes, princes feuds and the obligatory pair of flashing green eyes that threads through both books and centuries! I listened to this one, very entertaining and informative. I understand more of the "troubles".
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to know something about Irish history
Shelves: fiction, history
I listened to the audio version of this book before joining Goodreads in 2010. Rutherfurd does a wonderful job of bringing Ireland's history to life through this fictionalized account of the Protestant and Catholic adversity. He has a gift for making history palatable and unforgettable. I would read more of his books except they are so blooming long and my TBR list is likewise.
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times the characters' stories and interactions seemed a bit forced to be able to fit into the timeline but other than that, great stuff. Also, not as descriptive of settings/characters as I'd like.
Barbara V. Vaughan
Fictional account of Irish History

The book leads you through time with stirring events that take place in the lives of several fictional families. The historical content is concise. The elements of relationships make Irish history come to life.
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in2018
These books are long, but so so good.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a very good read indeed. It defines both the chartacter of the Irish and the duplicity of the English with a balanced point of view and a good story sense.
It was an interesting read and as always Rutherfurd’s characters make history come alive. I feel I understand better now where Ireland is coming from, although the reader is left a bit hanging with the story finishing in the 20s.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book delivers what I'd expect of Rutherfurd. This is book 2 for Ireland and have to say it feels the last 100 or so pages he just wanted to end story. Good read but disappointed in the overall ending.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad, but a bit boring in between....
Eileen Iciek
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable journey through Ireland's history starting in the early 17th century and running all the way to the early 20th century. I did not read the author's earlier book on Ireland prior to the 17th century, but I gather that the ancestors of many of the families whose stories this novel includes were part of The Princes of Ireland.

The pacing in this book never slows, so it really is a page-turner. I knew little of Irish history before reading it, but now I understand a lot more of swirling
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
It may have been a mistake to attempt reading two Edward Rutherfurd books in one year, but since it took me until 2018 to actually finish it I won’t quite count it as a faux pas. I briefly grew weary of the historic melodrama during the chaotic cross-provincial move, but I found my bearing again in mid-December once things had settled down a bit. This second book about the families of Dublin and the surrounding area was a lot less romantic than the Princes of Ireland, but it seems fitting since ...more
Dana Dinowitz
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed the books in Rutherford’s Ireland series. My only complaint about The Rebels of Ireland was the ending. The last fifty pages were rather rushed for a story so long and detailed. The last five, in my humble opinion, did not justify the 850+ commitment.
Having said that, I would love to be a fly on the wall during Rutherford’s research. I challenge anyone to come forward with an author so talented; to craft a descriptive novel while holding the readers in
Sean Kennedy
I know the political history of Ireland is a complex one, but this second volume of the Dublin saga seems to think long plodding scenes of political discourse are more interesting than the human angle. It's absolutely bizarre that the Famine, the Diaspora and the Easter Uprising are all dealt with in the last hundred and fifty pages when you could have gotten a lengthy novel out of just one of those events alone.

Indeed, the end is so rushed that one feels shortchanged after 1800-odd pages. Are
Benno Krojer
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book during my Erasmus semester at Trinity College Dublin and it was a perfect for that situation. As I was discovering Dublin and Ireland, I spotted numerous historical sites. It gave me more context to this beautiful country and its history whilst never feeling like tedious studying.
For my personal taste, Rutherford doesn't bestow most of the characters with enough details, so some remain rather plain. Nonetheless, it's a well researched and suspenseful read, especially if yo
A wonderful way to learn history. As it turns out, I knew virtually nothing about Irish history. Its really a very sad story, and shows that different race/skin color/ethnicity are not required for humans to hate or feel contempt for other human beings. Religion is one of those differentiating human traits that causes irrational enmity, and the multi-generational conflict between Protestants and Catholics makes it easier to understand the current (and not really recent) conflict between Shiite a ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I found the pace perfectly set and the characters engaging and believable. The tragedies of the different families are so beautifully written that you're captivated by them and keenly feel their anguish. I love Rutherfurd's style of writing, I feel like I've learned so much and yet not been taught. It's brilliant.
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First book necessary? 3 30 Jul 03, 2011 10:10PM  

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Francis Edward Wintle, best known under his pen name Edward Rutherfurd, was born in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. After numerous attempts to write books and plays, he finally abandoned his career in the book trade in 1983, and returned to his childhood home to write SARUM ...more

Other books in the series

The Dublin Saga (2 books)
  • The Princes of Ireland (The Dublin Saga, #1)
“So does nobody care about Ireland?"
"Nobody. Neither King Louis, nor King Billie, nor King James." He nodded thoughtfully. "The fate of Ireland will be decided by men not a single one of whom gives a damn about her. That is her tragedy.”
“True the greater part of the Irish people was close to starvation. The numbers of weakened people dying from disease were rising. So few potatoes had been planted that, even if they escaped bight, they would not be enough to feed the poor folk who relied upon them. More and more of those small tenants and cottagers, besides, were being forced off the land and into a condition of helpless destitution. Ireland, that is to say, was a country utterly prostrated.
Yet the Famine came to an end. And how was this wonderful thing accomplished? Why, in the simplest way imaginable. The famine was legislated out of existence. It had to be. The Whigs were facing a General Election.”
More quotes…