Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Shop Suki Ad Campaign Pieces Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
A Different Kingdom and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Different Kingdom Hardcover – 1 Jul 1993

8 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£167.38 £9.14

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Save £20 on with the aqua Classic card. Get an initial credit line of £250-£1,200 and build your credit rating. Representative 32.9% APR (variable). Subject to term and conditions. Learn more.

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; First edition edition (1 July 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575055057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575055056
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,651,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


" loved the book...Paul Kearney's plain but poised prose makes this majestic fantasy in the Mythago Wood mould all the more magical. Twenty-odd years on from its first publication date, and long since out of print, A Different Kingdom remains "a tale [...] worthy of savouring. It is a thing to be embroidered and dived into. It is a thing to be mined and smelted and reforged with every telling." I can only hope this much prettier edition reaches the leagues of new readers it rates." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Paul Kearney was born in Northern Ireland. He studied Old Norse, Middle English and Anglo Saxon at Oxford University, and subsequently lived for several years in both Denmark and the United States. His first novel was published at the age of 25 in 1992. He has been a professional writer ever since. He lives in County Down, in a croft with a boat by the door. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 8 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Growing up on an Antrim farm in the 1950s, young Michael Fay has an idyllic but hard-working life. However, he soon discovers that the woodland beyond the farm is a doorway to another place, a place of wonders and stark terrors which has a strange hold on his family and where he must travel to right an old wrong.

A Different Kingdom was Paul Kearney's second novel, originally published in 1993 by Gollancz. It's a stand-alone, although it shares a thematic link with The Way to Babylon and Riding the Unicorn in that it features a person from our world who is drawn into a fantastical one. Those more familiar with Kearney from his later work, such as the excellent Monarchies of God series or his recent accomplished fantasised historical, The Ten Thousand, will find the book a surprise and a revelation. This is a work that is steeped in earthy Celtic mythology and is riddled with the sensibilities of Ireland. During early sequences on the Fay farm you can almost taste the soda bread and buttermilk, whilst later sequences in the fantastical 'other place' are rooted in the earth, the musty smells of the forest and in the palpable terror of the hunted.

A Different Kingdom reaches into the same taproots as works such as Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood, a comparison most books would not weather well, but this novel stands up to it with gusto. It's extremely well-written, with Fay a troubled and complex central character, and features an unusual structure where the story proceeds in three different periods in Michael's life and the story moves between them as he has prescient visions of his future journey into the forest as a boy, flashbacks to it as an adult and then we see it during the present.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wolf VINE VOICE on 11 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
A bald description of the plot makes it sound like too many children's novels you might once have read - a boy in his early teens finds a way into an alternate world at the bottom of the fields where he lives - but in fact this book has much more to offer.

For one thing, this is not a book for children. It does not shy away from sex and sexual desire - indeed it provides a central motivation. The magical secondary world in which the hero finds himself is not one purely of fairy tales; it is just as hard and gritty as the real world sections of the story. And, if the fantasy parts can offer realism, the real world parts, set in rural Ulster not-so-long ago, offer a lyrical and elegaic vision of a vanished life.

The book has obvious similarities to stories such as Mythago Wood; Little, Big; The Broken Sword and, even, Cider With Rosie, but it is more than capable of standing on its merits. It has real magic - dirty and hard-edged - as well as fairies, goblins and ogres. It has a well drawn sense of place in the real world sections and a touch for compelling detail in the fantasy world. And - unlike so many similar stories - it has a believeable portrait of a young man changed by his experiences in the secondary world.

Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "Seregil of Rhiminee" on 16 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
It's great that Solaris Books has republished Paul Kearney's A Different Kingdom, because it has been out-of-print for a long time (only certain bookshops and online bookshops have sold second-hand copies of it). It's a fantasy novel that deserves to be republished, because it's one of the richest fantasy novels ever written.

Before I write more about this novel, I'll mention that Paul Kearney is unfortunately a lesser known fantasy author than several other authors. This is a real shame, because he's an excellent storyteller and writes interesting novels. A Different Kingdom is a good example of how good an author he is.

It's also good to mention that A Different Kingdom is a fantasy novel for adults, because it contains sex and violence.

As several experienced fantasy readers are probably aware of, there are plenty of novels in which characters enter magical realms. A Different Kingdom differs from these novels by being a more serious and ambitious novel. The author explores such themes as adolescence and sexual desire in a deep and mature way (the protagonist's awakening sexuality is handled in a mature way).

A Different Kingdom invites comparison with Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood novels. It also invites comparison with a few fantasy novels by Charles de Lint. I think that readers who have read these novels will easily notice the similarities. Fortunately Paul Kearney doesn't imitate these authors, but writes his own kind of mythic fantasy.

I was very impressed by A Different Kingdom, because Paul Kearney has infused the story with several different elements from rural life in Ireland to mythic beings (he has combined Irish myths, Celtic mythology, realistic farm life and coming-of-age story in a fluent way).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
It is really good to be able to recommend a book unequivocally. Even giving a book five stars, I sometimes have reservation (perhaps I should be tougher) - but "A Different Kingdom" is dazzling both in concept and in execution. Not always an easy read, it still draws one in, not only to see how everything will turn out, but also to marvel at the sheer quality of the writing, the layers of story, and the characters.

As the story opens, we meet young Michael Fay, eight years of age, growing up on his family's farm in Ireland (Northern Ireland, that is) in the 1950s. Conflict is on the horizon, and Michael's parents have been killed in a car bomb (not as common then as they would later become) yet his childhood as described by Kearney is apparently idyllic: the descriptions of life on the farm - also, we sense, about to change, but still largely run according to the old ways - reminded me of Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie or HE Bates's Sugar for the Horse.

Yet there is a serpent in this Eden - as events outside Michael's little world darken, so tension comes to his loving family. At the same time, something... wild... seems to be reaching out for him from the fragment of ancient wood that borders the farm. There is another world in there, a fairy tale world of castles and knights. Of course, Michael can't wait to be away and adventuring and he find himself a maiden, and a Quest. But nothing ever turns out quite as we expect.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again