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Free read The Hound of Ulster

He prophecy went and as the boy Cuchulain heard it he went forward to claim the weapons of his manhood This is the story of how he became the greatest of heroes the Hound of Ulste. A haunting tale that lives with me 15 years later and that I have re read numerous timesI don t know if a book has resonated with me as much before or sinceThis book is a must for anyone from Ulster or Ireland for that matter or anyone who wants to explore what makes us Irish the way we areI grew up on these legends in Armagh and will pass this book on to my kids and their kids God willing

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The Hound of Ulster

Will become the most renowned of all the warriors of Ireland men will follow at his call to the world's end and his enemies will shudder at the thunder of his chariot wheels So t. I think it s worth bearing in mind that this book reads very much like a retelling and not like a historical fiction novel As such I m perhaps a little too close to the subject to fully enjoy it I study medieval lit for a living Like with Sutcliff s other books I adored the way the author does her best to stay faithful to the source material and do the time period justice In many ways this novel accomplishes that My main criticisms thus stem less from my issues as a casual reader and from my issues as a scholarThings I Liked1 Prose I love Sutcliff s manner of describing the worlds of her novels The prose is poetic and understated yet I find it to carry a lot meaning I loved the way Sutcliff described the emotions and environmental surroundings in this book without overly indulging in embellishments that would have I think detracted from the story2 Style I put this under a different heading because it s a separate topic from prose I really appreciated Sutcliff s effort to mimic the literary style of medieval Irish texts themselves while still interjecting with her own inventions The Hound of Ulster reads very much like passages from The Tain which I loved because I don t think any amount of updating would have worked with something like Irish literature3 Emotion Some of Sutcliff s inventions humanize Cuchulain in a way that medieval texts really don t For example Sutcliff talks about Cuchulain s grief and reasoning for almost everything he does As a result he s a bit sympathetic than his medieval counterpartThings I Didn t Like1 Changes From Original Texts While I m not one of those people who insists that everything be 100% faithful or accurate the things that Sutcliffe did change from her source material was a bit disappointing for me In my opinion some of the details that Sutcliff changes or omits are essential to reading medieval Irish literature in a certain way so a change to the text changes the mood or implication of an action For example Sutcliff changes the Birth Pangs of Ulster to something like a mere curse to drain warriors of strength while it doesn t seem like a big change it does prevent the warriors from being feminized in the book in the same way they are in the original text2 Difficulty Having a background in medieval Irish literature I didn t find this book too hard to follow but I can definitely see it being a challenge for the casual reader There are things that are left unexplained like what a geis is and sometimes readers are overwhelmed with names that don t carry much meaning While these techniues are faithful to the original I don t think they completely work for people new to this literatureRecommendations I would recommend this book if you re interested in medieval lit and history specifically medieval Irish lit and history hero tales warrior culture and epics

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This saga of the Irish Celts is re told by Rosemary Sutcliff with a magical weaving together of passion and poetry The boy who takes up the spear and shield of Manhood on this day. Irish violent heroic pagan and in general reminiscent of Beowulf knights and stories of honor and revengeAbout half the women suffer and the other half are bad asses Maeve and the witches make some great antagonists Cuchulain himself seems to be positioned against women and they end up being his downfallA few of the episodes are definitely borrowed from other tales the Champion chapter in particular is just a recycled version of Sir Gawain and the Green KnightI m not one for a violent masculine hero tale but this was okay


10 thoughts on “The Hound of Ulster

  1. says:

    Prolific English children's author Rosemary Sutcliff perhaps best known for her novels set in Roman Britain here retells the life story of Cú Chulainn one the greatest figures of Irish myth and folklore The son of Dectera Deichtire here a ha

  2. says:

    Irish violent heroic pagan and in general reminiscent of Beowulf knights and stories of honor and revengeAbout half the women suffer and the other half are bad asses Maeve and the witches make some great antagonists Cuchulain himself seems to be positioned against women and they end up being his downfallA few of the episodes are definitely borrowed from other tales the Champion chapter in particular is just

  3. says:

    Reading Sutcliff's forward is I think necessary for a full adult understanding of the tale she's retelling Cuchulain was my favorite of the Irish hero legendsfairy stories as a child and in the intervening time I really haven't read anything about them So rediscovering the story so well written was fascinating Not to put too fine

  4. says:

    This is a retelling of the Irish legend of Cuchulain the Hound of Ulster It is well told but here Sutcliff is following the original stories as they were without embellishing or expanding I found it arid than her other books

  5. says:

    I think it’s worth bearing in mind that this book reads very much like a retelling and not like a historical fiction novel As such I’m perhaps a little too close to the subject to fully enjoy it I study medieval lit for

  6. says:

    Growing up you are surrounded by the myths and legends of the country Cuchulain happened to be one of my favourites so finding myself completely bored by this was disappointing There felt no life in the stories no heart Thes

  7. says:

    A haunting tale that lives with me 15 years later and that I have re read numerous timesI don't know if a book has resonated with me

  8. says:

    Something did not ring true about this one For a start the language felt stilted it included an unfortunate couple of twases and tweres The anglicisation of names seemed uite odd at times alsoIn Sutcliff's other Irish stories about Finn MacCool the episodic nature of the originals is acceptable for some reason but here it

  9. says:

    Great story highly recommendedI loved Rosemary’s rendition of this tale My own has taken a wholly different ta

  10. says:

    Wonderful re telling of a very strange but powerful story

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