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The Irish Princess

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,173 ratings  ·  124 reviews

Ireland, 1160

Aoife MacMurchada is just 14 years old when her father Diarmit, King of Leinster, is brutally deposed, and her family is forced to flee Southern Ireland into English exile. Diarmit seeks help from King Henry II, an alliance that leads him to the charismatic Richard de Clare, lord of Striguil, a man dissatisfied with his lot and open to new horizons.

Diarm

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Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published September 12th 2019 by Sphere
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  1,173 ratings  ·  124 reviews


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Kate
This is a fierce contender for my novel of the year. It completely immerses the reader in these lives lived so long ago. It's an incredible story, extremely well-researched and very, very moving. Elizabeth Chadwick is a master at putting us in the room with these people. There is so much vivid colour but it all feels natural and real. I'll be reviewing this marvellous book closer to the publication date on For Winter Nights. ...more
Helen Hollick
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, the names of the characters are difficult for non-Irish speakers to get their tongues and heads around; yes Aoife MacMurchada is a princess few people outside (even inside!) Ireland have heard of - but yes, this is an absorbing and brilliantly written novel. Although few readers of historical fiction would expect anything less of Ms. Chadwick.

It is the minute detail that Ms Chadwick so excels in that brings the story and her characters to life, and not just the detail of the meticulous rese
...more
Lorraine
I am not really sure what I expected from Elizabeth Chadwick’s The Irish Princess. My knowledge of Irish medieval history is practically non-existent, but I enjoy the author’s writing and have read quite a few of her books. I was unaware that the author’s intention in this book is to convey the emotions of the characters, the main players, as I believe I was expecting a historical approach not an emotional one. (I read in the ‘author’s notes’ that EC had intended to relay the emotions of the rea ...more
D.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in return for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley for linking me up with the publisher!

A fabulous tour-de-force of a historical novel. If you enjoy the likes of Phillipa Gregory, follow this author immediately.
The rich setting, amazing writing, vivid characters. I REALLY loved this book, and I will be talking about it more on my own blog later in the month. Historical fiction gives us a chance to glimpse a possible, but that possible seems very real and very tangible in th
...more
J.A. Ironside
As a fellow writer of Medieval historical fiction, I really enjoyed this. I haven't read anything by Chadwick before (something of an oversight) but I will definitely be checking out her other books. The story follows Aoife MacMurchada, daughter of the King of Leinster 1152. This is during the reign of Henry II in England, and High King Ruidhe Ua ConChubhair (Rory O'Conner) in Ireland. Chadwick does an excellent job at showing two conflicting cultures and how the Normans gained a foothold in Ire ...more
M.J.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Irish Princess is a welcome return to the world of William the Marshall and Queen Alienor. Yes, they might not appear in the book for any great length of time, if at all, but the reader knows that they are 'off' in the background, living their own lives, while young Aoife is trying to do the same. (I am a huge fan of the William Marshall books and he inspired my character of Leofwine in the Earls of Mercia books.)

The setting of Ireland for much of the book provides a new arena for readers of
...more
Jemima Ravenclaw
'Aoife MacMurchada is just 14 years old when her father Diarmit, King of Leinster, is brutally deposed, and her family is forced to flee Southern Ireland into English exile. Diarmit seeks help from King Henry II, an alliance that leads him to the charismatic Richard de Clare, lord of Striguil, a man dissatisfied with his lot and open to new horizons.

Diarmit promises Richard wealth, lands, and Aoife's hand in marriage in return for his aid, but Aoife, has her own thoughts on the matter. She ma
...more
Trish at Between My Lines
2.5 stars

I had high expectations of this book, the Irish setting from 1160 onwards really appealed to me. However while I did enjoy the book it didn't really deliver the exciting story I expected.

The main character, Aoife, pulsates with energy, shows a dogged determination to be on top, and she cunningly plots how to use every situation to her advantage. Her wild spirit shone through the pages. The constant war between all the Irish chieftains made for a very uncertain political landscape, and t
...more
Jeannie Zelos
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Irish Princess, Her father's only daughter. Her country's only hope, Elizabeth Chadwick

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: Historical Fiction.

Sometimes I just want to immerse myself in times past, and Elizabeth Chadwick is one of my “go to” authors. She can make me feel as if I'm there with the characters, living life like an unseen part of the cast.
I know only what I've read in fiction of this period in UK history. I hated history at school, shame it wasn't taught this way, I'd ha
...more
Alison
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve enjoyed previous works by this author so had high hopes for this one but unfortunately I found it rather tedious. I suspect lack of historical evidence made it hard for any of the characters to come to life and the central character, Aoife, is particularly a footnote in history. Potentially interesting but ultimately not.
Andréa
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been living in Waterford since 2012 so this was an amazing reading to me. I love to read period novels and I always end up reading something about England. I was so happy when I saw this book about an Irish princess. Even happier for being the story of Aoife and Strongbow which of course I heard some things here and there, but I didn't know much beyond that they got married in Waterford and lived here. Some tourist places that have a relationship with them in the city. Coincidentally, a w ...more
Laura Tenfingers
This is Chadwick at her finest! My enjoyment of this was on the level with her Marshal books, although this isn't so much a Marshal book as a parallel-prequel. He makes a flash appearance but it's Chadwick winking at us, not part of the story.

All the components of Chadwick's writing that I love were on offer here: women's roles in the nobility of the Middle Ages, daily life details that make you feel like you're right there, historical information woven through so it's not a lesson but we learn
...more
Tracey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rose Gan
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Chadwick's novels I have read but it wouldn't tempt me to read others. While the Irish princess is an interesting character, the novel did not make much use of the tumultuous period of 12th century Ireland in which it is set. Instead, the fascinating history of Strongbow became a plodding tale of their romance and domestic life set against a backdrop of the political events. It is telling that his main enemy never features in any scene and we learn of him only through off st ...more
Tammy
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, historical
A richly depicted story of Aoife MacMurchada, William Marshal’s mother in law. I really enjoyed reading her life as she plotted and manipulated her way to survive Ireland’s political turmoil during Henry II’s reign. Aoife is such a smart and strong female character. I don’t think I would survive if I were in her shoes! 5 stars
Monica Hills
I really enjoy this author's books however this book dragged for me. This book is very highly rated and I have to admit that I am a little disappointed. I had high expectations and I really had to push myself to keep reading. I really enjoyed the main character. She was a strong determined woman during a difficult time period. I love that the book is based on real people. I can't even tell you what the book was missing for me but it just was not one of my favorites. ...more
Pixel Sowelo
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
give me this, now!
Amy  McElroy
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set during the 1100's King Stephen has just died and King Henry II now sits on the throne.
Richard de Clare had fought for King Stephen so was not welcomed to court by the new king. He kept his earldom but was stripped of Pembroke Castle.
Feeling like he needed a chance to prove himself he was given an opportunity to venture to Ireland where the kings of Ireland were fighting each other.

The King of Lenister, Diarmait MacMurchada recently exiled makes a deal with de Clare. If he comes to Ireland a
...more
Sherry Parks
This was my first read by this author. I was super excited to read it because I love historical fiction and the reviews were great.

I have to say that this book left me wanting from the beginning. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there was definitely more needed. More depth for the characters. More build to the plot. I just needed more.

I’m sorry that I didn’t like it and clearly in the minority. But I won’t be seeking out this author again for a while.
Katarzyna Kuczynska
The star of the book was really good . It is story not only about a princess but also about brave, clever warriors, and brutal war politics and unexpected choices. However half way through all slowed down, Richard want to go to irland , can't because of the king , how many times? Many. Richard is manipulated by the king , how many times?many. This part of this book bored me a little bit. Then again the story seams to speed up , our of the blue Richard's sister is the very jealous, wanting power ...more
Jo-anne Atkinson
Ireland in the 12th century is a loose group of kingdoms ruled by a High King. In Leinster ambitious Diarmit MacMurchada is initially disappointed that his latest child is a girl, but as Aoife grows into a beauty he realises she will have her value. Losing his lands in a battle with an enemy Diarmit turns to help from England and King Henry allows disgraced Earl Richard de Clare to raise a force to go to Ireland. However when Richard marries Aoife, Henry worries about their power.
I've always fou
...more
Lisa
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t wait to start reading this book after receiving it from a monthly book subscription I received as a gift. Being of Irish descent and with the high ratings on Goodreads I quickly finished Bel Canto and eagerly picked up The Irish Princess.

It took me 20 days to finish this book. Several times I contemplated not finishing it, but I hate not finishing a book. Firstly, the characters didn’t really interest me. Richard and Aoife were only concerned with themselves and as far as I can tell
...more
CC
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a great interest in learning more about this period of history, including characters that were lesser known to me like the Macmurchada clan and the Earl of Striguil. Being also unfamiliar with this author however I think I didn't realise how skewed to the romance side of things that this novel would be. For fans of that type of thing I expect this will be very popular but it all felt a bit too bodice ripping for my own tastes. A quick, easy bit of mindless reading that felt very repetitive ...more
M.K.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story by one of my favourite authors. Superb historical fiction featuring Ireland in the 12th century, a time of warring kingdoms and England's plans to seek control. ...more
Helen Robare
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book even though I have loved all of Ms. Chadwick's novels dealing with long ago living historical people. I knew nothing about Aoife other than what I had read in Ms. Chadwick's other novels dealing with William Marshall. However, I should not have doubted Ms. Chadwick's ability to tell a story and make it interesting and readable no matter who or what the subject is.

This book hooked me almost from page one when Aoife was born. The way her father came t
...more
Laura
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In twelfth century, Ireland, Aoife grows up as the daughter of the King of Leinster, Diarmait MacMurchada. After he is forced from his Kingdom, the family seeks help from King Henry II of England. This leads the family to Richard de Clare, an Earl who seeks to improve his standing with King Henry II. Richard and Diarmait hatch a plan to retake Ireland, which includes Richard marrying Aoife as one of the key elements. Will their plan work to retake Ireland? Will Richard regain Henry II’s favor? W ...more
Megan Jones
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aoife MacMurchada is just 14 years old when her father Diarmit, King of Leinster, is brutally deposed, and her family is forced to flee Southern Ireland into English exile. Diarmit seeks help from King Henry II, an alliance that leads him to the charismatic Richard de Clare, lord of Striguil, a man dissatisfied with his lot and open to new horizons. Diarmit promises Richard wealth, lands and Aoife's hand in marriage in return for his aid, but Aoife, has her own thoughts on the matter. She may be ...more
Susanna Lynley
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chadwick takes us into the turbulent world of Britain in the 12th century. Henry Plantagenet has finally brought an end to the first English civil war – between King Stephen and his rival, the Empress Matilda. But woe betide those barons who supported Stephen against Henry’s mother, Matilda. The few Henry needed, he reluctantly rewarded; those he didn’t need, he punished by reducing their titles and holdings. One who suffered Henry’s displeasure was Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke. He was dep ...more
Sally-ann Hoyne
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this partly because of the continuity from so many other books written by Elizabeth Chadwick. I most recently read the William Marshall series, which covered a span of time, and really was wondering about Richard Stongbow and the Kilkenny connection because my husband is from Kilkenny, and most of his family still live there or nearby.
I find it most enjoyable that there are many historical details that are supported by history researchers, but there is a plausible story pulling it a
...more
Geoff Boxell
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have problems with those languages that use a spelling convention that is different from English such as Polish, Spanish, Welsh and, in this case Irish. So, I am sorry Elizabeth Chadwick, despite you telling me how people's names should be said, I read them as I saw them.
Over the years I have often been in, what at times could be robust, discussions with Irish folk. I mean, so many of them blame us English for Strongbow's invasion but, honestly, there were no English involved and, unlike the I
...more
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Best selling historical novelist Elizabeth Chadwick won a Betty Trask Award for her first novel The Wild Hunt. She has been shortlisted for the UK's mainstream Best Romantic Novel of the Year Award 4 times and longlisted twice. Her novel The Scarlet Lion about the great William Marshal and his wife Isabelle de Clare, has been selected by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society as one ...more

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