Monday, October 02, 2006
Sword of Clontarf
It has arrived!!! You will love Charles Brady's story set at the time of the Irish victory over the Norse at Clontarf weir outside of Dublin in 1014 A.D. Sword of Clontarf is full of the romance and poetry of the "warrior bard" and laced with a beautiful look at Catholic Ireland in the Middle Ages. This book is my favorite of the Clarion book series published in the 50's and 60's.
Niall, a boy of fifteen who lives in Iceland, finds out in one moment that his father has been murdered and that his mother, who had never spoken in his entire life, can speak and is in fact the daughter of an Irish Chieftan. The reason she never spoke is that when she was first captured by Norse raiders, she had a treasured talisman of the Norse and hid it in her mouth. Niall is charged with delivering the talisman (Thor's ring) to Brian Boru, High King of Ireland and finding his Irish grandfather. Many adventures intervene, but eventually Niall is presented to Brian Boru and takes part in the Battle of Clontarf. The story draws out the virtues of courage, loyalty, compassion, honor and integrity, and forgiveness.
The cover art is a painting by Douglas Girard called Brian Boru and can be seen with his entire collection at www.battleart.com. The cover was designed by Ted Schluenderfritz who never fails to capture the tone and flavor of a story when creating his designs. The book was laid out by my dear friend Mary Jo who is really a saint; I wish to tell her story someday.
For a great listen while you read, check out Maurice Lennon's CD Brian Boru, available from Dara Records . It features some traditional music as well as Lennon's original compositions to highlight the life of Boru. At the end there is a reading of macLiag's poem Kincora, a lament for Brian Boru. You can read the entire text of macLiag's lament here. We only print a little part of it in the book. Visit this site to read more about the artist and the production.
I am bubbling over with excitement at realizing the dream of bringing this book back in print.
A study guide will be available soon!
Posted by Hillside Education at 12:55 PM