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Eirelan (Saga of the Latter-Day Celts Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Liam O'Shiel
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The great cities of the past have crumbled to Earth. Square-rigged warships sail the seas. Battles are fought swords and longbows and catapults. Yet culture and civilization abound: towns and villages, pubs and fairs, music and poetry, history and philosophy, are all about. It is the 999th year of the Province of the Twenty Clans, founded on the shores of Lough Ennell in Ireland in 2954 A.D. In this millennial year, the Province and its Gaelic-speaking allies are threatened with extinction by an ice age overspreading Europe and by determined, powerful enemies on land and sea. This is a story of a noble people fighting for the right to live and enjoy the beauty of the world as they see it. Book I of the Saga of the Latter-Day Celts.

Product Description

About the Author

Liam O’Shiel works a 27-acre farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. When farm chores allow, he is writing the sequel to “Eirelan” entitled “In the Bleak Midwinter.” Visit his author page on Amazon for more information on Liam and background on the story and setting of “Eirelan.”

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1252 KB
  • Print Length: 799 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1463569327
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006MAGNBM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #684,686 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eirelan 27 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I approached Eirelan's near 800 pages with some trepidation. As a paperback Member Giveaway win at LibraryThing I knew I would feel obligated to complete it and make an assessment, however it felt like a book I may be interested in and I hoped it wouldn't be a chore.
I need not have been concerned; Eirelan is a fabulous page turner, epic in scope, beautifully crafted and skillfully structured to maintain the reader's attention.
It takes an enormous leap of imagination though to pitch a story 4000 years in the future and make it completely devoid of any science fiction. In fact O'Shiel has written a medieval drama and by setting it in a future era so far away from any scope of existing expectations he has cleverly avoided being burdened by any need for historical references which may bear scrutiny. We hear vaguely of 'the age of machines' yet it is left entirely to the reader to interpret how or when catastrophe fell and a new world order emerged which resembled that which we hear of in history books. Eirelan is a country we know as Ireland which is partitioned into The Province, a rural, heathen, haven, and the world outside its ramparts made up of crumbling cities to which the old Church still holds sway.
Once you get past some oddly fanciful scene setting of nautical terminology, cosy games of poker, pub lunches, Irish stew, and pints of stout, you are thrown into a world of warriors, clans, and feuds, families and lovers, politics, and fierce battles on land and at sea.
Belief suspended, the story telling comes to the fore and O'Shiel creates characters to believe in, varied and complex, human and troubled, real and easy to relate to and come to know.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read (seriously underpriced) 16 Feb. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A story set in the future but not science fiction. It achieves a good balance between a cast of well-rounded characters and a lively storyline. The fighting (of which there is not too much) is not too graphic but still believable. The reaction of the characters to the violence is believable as well. I wouldn't describe it as a classic book, but I know that it will be one I'll come back to and read again and again (a habit of mine if I like a book).
It's an easy read; the author's style is fluid and concise avoiding stereotypical characters and events that many writers fall into in a story like this. It's a long book too, worth every penny (I think it's seriously underpriced).
As to the Kindle edition, there are occasional typos but overall the layout is good and it functions well (quite a few e-books I have read don't).
I hope you enjoy it as much a I have.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, very poorly executed. 25 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I saw this book mentioned by a friend of mine on Facebook, and it looked like just the sort of thing I love - it's set in a distant post-apocalyptic Ireland, which has become a tribal society in an era after the "Age of the Machines". It's the first book in a series. I got it from Amazon as a Kindle download, and read it on my phone. The reviews on Amazon are positive, so I had high hopes.

Oh dear. Let's just say I'm never going to get the time I spent reading this book back again. It has a number of very serious faults.

For a start, this book is far, far too long. The dead-tree version runs to a whopping 780 pages. Length is fine if the content justifies it, but to be honest most very long books I've read just seem poorly edited and contain a lot of extraneous fluff that can be cut out. This book is easily at least twice as long as it needs to be, with huge amounts of stuff that just needs cutting, because it (a) states the bleeding obvious, (b) doesn't drive the plot forwards or (c) describes things in detail that don't need describing. It makes for a seriously slow and plodding read. Each chapter begins with a piece of poetry, a letter or a journal entry that just doesn't need to be there and they got really tedious to read after a while.

Loads of things get over-described or mentioned far more often than they need to be. A typical example goes something like this...

Character A thinks to himself: wow, what an amazing sunset. I'd love to write a poem about that. Character B asks character A: what are you thinking about? Character A replies: I was just thinking what a great sunset that is, and how I'd love to write a poem about it.

Gaah!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfully Compelling Work of Alternate History 23 Jan. 2012
By White Eagle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to admit, up front, that I am usually not inclined to read fiction. But I am interested in history. "Eirelan" combines elements of historical narrative with an intriguing premise into a thought-provoking and entertaining story that will thrill any reader. The characters are masterfully developed and interconnected within an unusual setting that allows for exciting combat, political intrigue and romance. The author's writing style is clear and fluid. The end of each chapter tends to entice the reader to the next. I encourage all to buy "Eirelan" and enter a new realm of reading enjoyment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eirelan 27 Mar. 2012
By Deke Dastardly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I approached Eirelan's near 800 pages with some trepidation. As a Member Giveaway paperback win at LibraryThing I knew I would feel obligated to complete it and make an assessment, however it felt like a book I may be interested in and I hoped it wouldn't be a chore.
I need not have been concerned; Eirelan is a fabulous page turner, epic in scope, beautifully crafted and skillfully structured to maintain the reader's attention.
It takes an enormous leap of imagination though to pitch a story 4000 years in the future and make it completely devoid of any science fiction. In fact O'Shiel has written a medieval drama and by setting it in a future era so far away from any scope of existing expectations he has cleverly avoided being burdened by any need for historical references which may bear scrutiny. We hear vaguely of 'the age of machines' yet it is left entirely to the reader to interpret how or when catastrophe fell and a new world order emerged which resembled that which we hear of in history books. Eirelan is a country we know as Ireland which is partitioned into The Province, a rural, heathen, haven, and the world outside its ramparts made up of crumbling cities to which the old Church still holds sway.
Once you get past some oddly fanciful scene setting of nautical terminology, cosy games of poker, pub lunches, Irish stew, and pints of stout, you are thrown into a world of warriors, clans, and feuds, families and lovers, politics, and fierce battles on land and at sea.
Belief suspended, the story telling comes to the fore and O'Shiel creates characters to believe in, varied and complex, human and troubled, real and easy to relate to and come to know.
The people of The Province have endured attacks for centuries which have reached a critical point at which survival of their way of life is threatened for good. Concurrent battles need to be fought and won against foes at home and abroad, and for which old adversaries are needed to be become allies to withstand the onslaught from common enemies. O'Shiel uses a deep knowledge of maritime matters to good effect without alienating a reader rooted to the land and whose only experience of the sea around Eirelan is the 'vomit comet' trips from Holyhead to Dublin, 1960s style.
In O'Shiel's Eirelan women and men are equal in the family, in politics and in armed service. It is the women in the main that command the warships, and women fight skillfully and doggedly amongst the Blades and the Bows. No guns here, only swords, armour, pikes, maces, and arrows which are used to brutal effect.
The stories and relationships within the story are well woven and flow seamlessly such that it would be easy to imagine Eirelan as a blockbuster movie or serious TV drama series.
At no point in the near 800 pages did I find myself struggling or wishing the book to end, indeed I am looking forward to the author's promised second installment and to enjoying the company of Connor, Oran, Feth, Mairan, Aideen, and their families, friends and comrades once again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Work of Fiction 17 Jan. 2012
By MarylandMom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I stumbled on this novel it while searching for books on Celtic subjects and decided to give it a try (print copy). Enjoyable from beginning to end. It takes awhile to get oriented in the story - using the books's website ([...]) proved to be a big help. It's a complex tale set in a world very different from today. People have less and expect less out of life. But they value things like poetry and music and friendship. Many strong characters, more than half of them women, which appealed to me. Nothing ugly or explicit so it can be read by younger readers. Highly recommend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great storytelling! 20 Jan. 2012
By rufusrun - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Eirelan quickly absorbed me into its world of many characters. It is a great story. The reader begins to feel a part of this world and wants to know what will happen next. I am recommending it to my teen age son. Although long, it reads quickly and draws the reader in, somewhat like current reality shows, while learning about another world and culture and at the same time, thinking about what the future might bring.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eirelan 18 April 2012
By Leo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Credit for Eirelan should go to the muse of fire that ascends the brightest heaven of invention. O'Shiel's book is ambitious and astonishingly imaginative. He takes us to a world two thousand years in the future but to places very real today---Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany among them. The author is well-acquainted with the maps and charts. His Eirelan people are fighting a deteriorating climate and growing enemies with technology they remember from the distant past, deliberately excluding gunpowder. Men and women fight together against Eirelan's enemies, relying on spears and long-bows. At sea the women of Eirelan command and sail the ships. Patrick O'Brian would approve their battles against storms and enemies, though he would miss Jack Aubrey's ship-shattering broadsides. Eirelan is longer than War and Peace but in some respects can bear the comparison. The book's many characters are fully developed, and the persevering reader begins to care about them. O'Shiel must be something of a gourmet. Occasionally he over-describes dinners and banquets, but the same criticism has been made against Dickens.
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