REVIEW ñ The Hound of Ulster

FREE READ The Hound of Ulster

Od on this day 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 whee. 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

FREE READ ï TOBERMOREDRIVEWAYS.CO.UK ñ Rosemary Sutcliff

The Hound of Ulster

Ls So the 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

Rosemary Sutcliff ñ 1 REVIEW

This saga of the Irish Celts is re told by Rosemary Sutcliff with The Hound eBook #180 a magical weaving together of passion and poetry The boy who takes up the spear and shield of Manho. Prolific English children s author Rosemary Sutcliff perhaps best known for her novels set in Roman Britain here retells the life story of C Chulainn one the greatest figures of Irish myth and folklore The son of Dectera Deichtire here a half fairy woman the boy Setanta is sent to be raised by his kinsman Conor Mac Nessa and gains his true name C Chulainn the Hound of Cullan through an act of boyhood bravery in which he slays a fearsome dog The narrative follows him through his wooing of Emer his youthful training with the woman warrior Skatha Sc thach and his many battles and heroic deeds The book climaxes with the great war between Ulster and Connacht in which C Chulainn the champion of Ulster kills his own son Connla before realizing who he is The story concludes with the death of the hero at the hands of the three Witch Daughters of CalatinAlthough uite familiar with the character of C Chulainn who is the hero of the ancient Irish epic The T in B C ailnge The Cattle Raid of Cooley which has been described as the Irish Iliad and which chronicles the events of the ancient war between Connacht and Ulster I had never read anything that took all of the stories about him and tied them together into one narrative of his life I was therefore pleased when Sutcliff s The Hound of Ulster was assigned as a text in the course I took on the history of children s literature while getting my masters particularly as I had already read and greatly enjoyed her historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth I found this telling immensely engaging and was interested to see Sutcliff s take on this famous tale I do wish that she had discussed her specific sources in her too brief foreword but leaving aside that criticism this is one I would highly recommend to any middle grade reader or older reader of middle grade books who enjoys fantasy andor mythology


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 half fairy woman the boy Setanta is sent to be raised by his kinsman Conor Mac Nessa and gains his true name Cú Chulainn the Hound of Cullan through an act of boyhood bravery in which

  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 bo

  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 a point on it but everyone's kind of an asshole in these stories which is great b

  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 a living Like with S

  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 These tales were originally oral And I would suggest that maybe they need to remain so in order to get the true beauty of the saga But that said what is literature if it can't make a story epic? The Hound of Ulst

  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 as much

  8. says:

    Something did not ring true about this one For a start the language felt stilted it included an unfortunate coup

  9. says:

    Great story highly recommendedI loved Rosemary’s rendition of this tale My own has taken a wholly different tack but that does not detract from Rosemary’s version With no written records of the time it is difficult to imagine how things might have happened Great read

  10. says:

    Wonderful re telling of a very strange but powerful story