Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Brendan” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.59  ·  Rating details ·  264 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
This is the story of Saint Brendán the Navigator, whose legendary quest to find the Isle of the Blessed is one of the most remarkable and enduring of early Christian tales. Among Irish saints, Brendán the Navigator is second only to Patrick. Founder of several Christian monasteries, he most famously guided a group of monks on a dangerous journey into the unknown vastnes
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by Forge Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Brendan, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Brendan

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Richard Sutton
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
It can be a challenging read, but then the end is worth the effort. Late in Brendan, the author, in one of the rambling, associative story threads that make this novel, Brendan mentions the "Thin Places" in the warp and fabric of creation, where other spiritual realms intrude close by our reality. The entire book, I found, lies along a seam ripped in one of these thin places.

If a reader expects a straight line narrative, then this would not be a good choice, as it wanders in and around three and
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Llewelyn has written an interesting account of the life and voyages of Brendan of Clonfert and his various monasteries,as well as his associates. I did find it a bit disconcerting in the way various time ones were developed, although each line was set in its own distinctive typeface. At the end of his life, Brendan says "The miracles I had seen were mine to see. A different person might have seen something else, but I must look out of the eyes God Gave me." A reminder to look at life with eyes o ...more
Two-fisted History
Aug 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was a difficult book for me to stomach. The rambling, choppy writing style, the fictionalization of historic characters in obscene manners, the liberties taken with the history while providing no bibliography, see also, or references used. I really can't recommend this book. Worst $3.00 I ever spent in a clearance section.

I had high hopes for this novel as St. Brendan is my patron saint and I grew up being read stories of St. Brendan. Ms Llywelyn dashed any interest for me in any of he
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love the story and learning the history
Melissa Mikush
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I have never read any books written by Morgan Llywelyn before. I really don't know anything about St. Brendan either. Her writing style struck me as very allegorical. Now I'm interested in reading something historical about Brendan.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Morgan Llywelyn is one of my all-time favorite authors. I love her take on Celtic history and mythology – particularly the way she can tell larger than life stories and still not lose sight of the individual people at the heart of the legend. Her latest book, Brendan, tells the story of St. Brendan the Navigator who, according to legend, sailed off to find Paradise, visiting many fantastic places and having many incredible adventures along the way. It reminded me a lot of an Irish / Christian ve ...more
Joseph Finley
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Sixth Century Ireland, the novel reads like a biography of Brendan the Navigator, one of the most renown Irish saints. While it’s primarily written in the third person, the narrative is interspersed with the saint’s first-person recollections as if he was writing his memoir, as well as passages that purport to be from “The Voyage of Saint Brendan,” his personal account of his most legendary journey.

Brendan’s mentor is Bishop Erc, one of Saint Patrick’s original disciples and a former drui
Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
A book about an ancient Irish saint. There's so much potential there.

It started out enticingly with this Brendan fella on this voyage to paradise. As in, literally, he thought he could reach heaven by boat, by sailing west from Ireland. So that was cool, some mystical stuff, the rawness of a new faith still feeling the effects of the influence of paganism. But the whole pagan thing was too underplayed. It started out with these references to these mysterious hooded figures, the druids, an
Mar 29, 2010 rated it liked it
PW says Morgan Llywelyn’s retelling of the colorful life story of revered Irish monastic saint Brendan the Navigator is done in the form of a personal journal, written by an elderly Brendan, interspersed with third-person glimpses of the Great Voyage he undertook with 14 monks to find the fabled earthly paradise of the Western Sea, the Isles of Blest.
This book is a statement of faith and the belief in the use of self-discipline to achieve things we had not believed we would be capable of achiev
Apr 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I read quite a lot of Morgan Llywelyn's books when I was in college, and enjoyed them greatly. I hadn't gotten to this one, so I picked it up off my shopping list a little while ago and read through it over the past week or so. It was a solid book, nothing special, but enjoyable and a nice visit back to the author's world.

The story follows Brendan, aka Saint Brendan the Navigator, throughout his life and the voyage searching for the Isles of the Blest that secured his name in history. The story
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy
  • The Oxford History of Ireland
  • The Claddagh Ring: Ireland's Cherished Symbol of Friendship, Loyalty, and Love
  • The Life of an Unknown Man
  • The Ronin: A Novel Based on a Zen Myth
  • Knight Crusader (Carey Family, #1)
  • Jacob the Baker: Gentle Wisdom For a Complicated World
  • Wars of the Irish Kings: A Thousand Years of Struggle, from the Age of Myth through the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Dreaming the Serpent Spear (Boudica, #4)
  • Game of Queens: A Novel of Vashti and Esther
  • The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine
  • Tipperary
  • The Gate
  • Boudicca: The Warrior Queen
  • When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings
  • Camellia Street
  • The Story of Ireland: A History of the Irish People
  • El recurso del método
Morgan Llywelyn (born 1937) is an American-born Irish author best known for her historical fantasy, historical fiction, and historical non-fiction. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.
More about Morgan Llywelyn...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Although Erc was bitterly disappointed, there was another route to prestige. He possessed gifts of the mind sufficient to gain admittance to the order of Druids, the intellectual class of Celtic society. Members of the order were not practitioners of a specific religion, nor were they priests in the Christian sense of the word. The Greeks were more nearly correct by describing Druids as poet-philosophers.” 1 likes
More quotes…