I bought this book as part of my long-term research into Gaelic Ireland - my particular interest being in social matters; law, domestic arrangements, the status of women etc - and I was very hopeful. Having now almost finished reading I am a little uncertain as what to say in assessment. Some areas proved very interesting and quite useful, while others were lacking in detail or provided information directly contradictory to that which I have read numerous times in other sources. In and least one instance information given in one part of a sentence was immediately conradicted by the second part, possibly the result of poor checking prior to publication, but important nevertheless. Finally I found the author much biased towards particular geographical areas of Ireland - inland parts of Munster and Connacht as an example. If you are yourself particularly interested in these areas this may be a very good book for you - unfortunately for myself my interest is particularly in the coastal areas of the west, especially counties Mayo and Galway, the latter of which is examined a little but the former barely mentioned.
I have given this book 4 stars because there are many passages interesting and useful to an interested reader or researcher. Also, a reader with interests in the areas focussed upon could find this book valuable. It is all a matter of personal taste - for myself, parts were excellent, but others a great disappointment.
This is one of the most important and useful books academically and for the novice history buff on Irish culture and heritage pre-English legislation to make Ireland English. Clear concise and just a great read.