Who was Strongbow? I had often wondered since seeing the magnificent painting "The wedding of Strongbow and Aoife" at the National Gallery in Dublin. I knew his name was Richard de Clare, the Earl of Pembroke and a Norman knight, I knew when he landed in Ireland and at whose invitation - but little else. I certainly did not know the story of Aoife.
I had already read Llywelyn's Lion of Ireland (the story of Brian Boru) which is excellent. Despite this being a children's book I had to read it, and compulsive reading it is too.
It is told in a biographical form alternating between accounts from Aoife and Strongbow. It works very well, you really get a feeling for their personalities. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that it is a historical novel and not a history.
I loved it. I will be seeking further information on the subject and persuading my kids to read this book too. I have also invested in a copy of her children's book Boru - hope it is as good.