This book is both invaluable academically - and an interesting and entertaining read. Raftery has an easy style, and brings the subject to life with a deceptive ease: however the most exacting critic could not fault the academic contribution of this work.
He sets out to sift through the enigma that is the Irish Iron Age
and in the process questions a lot of our popular assumptions, from its links to La Tene culture to the question of a celtic invasion. He provides invaluable insight into various sites (both archaeologically and in terms of their social significance at the time) although for me the chapters on the "invisable people",(ie the ordinary population) and the building of the Bog Road were especial highlights.
He has re-evaluated commonly accepted dates and re-calibrated them with new information yielded by dendrochonology, again challenging assumptions about certain sites. The text is well linked all the way through with the illustrations found on almost every page, making his observations both clear and interesting, and the photographs of sites and finds are excellent. For non-academic readers the initial impression given by the book may be a little daunting but Raftery's style soon draws one in and the book is accessible - with a very little effort - to the amateur.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Celts, Pagan Ireland, prehistory or Iron Age.