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The King of Ireland's Son

Padraic Colum

Book Overview: 

The King of Ireland's Son is a children's novel published in Ireland written by Padraic Colum, and illustrated by Willy Pogany. It is the story of the eldest of the King of Ireland's sons, and his adventures winning and then finding Fedelma, the Enchanter's Daughter, who after being won is kidnapped from him by the King of the Land of Mist. It is solidly based in Irish folklore, itself being originally a folktale. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .And Art after a while said, "I will tell you more about the coming of the King of the Cats into King Connal's Dominion. And as before I say

"To your father's Son in all truth be it told "—

The King of the Cats waited on the branch of the tree until the moon was in the sky like a roast duck on a dish of gold, and still neither retainer, vassal nor subject came to do him service. He was vexed, I tell you, at the want of respect shown him.

This was the reason why none of his subjects came to him for such a long time: The man and woman he had spoken to went into their house and did not say a word about the King of the Cats until they had eaten their supper. Then when the man had smoked his second pipe, he said to the woman: "That was a wonderful thing that happened to us to-day. A cat to walk up to two Christians and say to them, 'Tell the ashy pet in your chimney corner at home that the King of the Cats has come to see him.'"

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Community Reviews

This is a children's book that I'm not sure was really meant for children. In here are a series of loosely interrelated stories that are at times adventurous, chivlarous and exciting while at other times cruel, frightening and frankly sad. If you like the old fairy tales, not the Disneyfied crap...more

Brilliant. Padraic Colum writes a bewitching tale filled with Kings, Giants, Cities, Hags, Enchantments, Witches, Gigantic Cats, Eagle Lords, and Fortune. In this story Fate reigns supreme leading a prince along a difficult trail filled with challenges supreme and problems deadly. Fate and Fortun...more

I only started this because my son was reading it in school and was so excited to tell me about the stories from the book. They're turning it into a play as well. I just couldn't get through it. Seems I'm not a fan of stories that jump from one thing the next without flow. I'm reading about the P...more

Apr 2 ~~ Review tomorrow, unless I can't sleep tonight.

Apr 5 ~~ Gee, my tomorrows got away from me a little bit, didn't they?!

Another from my Encore List, this was a fun jaunt through Ireland, along with the Kings oldest
son, who ". . . grew up so wild that in the end the King and the King's Counc...more

My infatuation with Ireland and obsession with fairytales prompted me to pick up this collection of Irish folklore. I had not heard of these stories before, and a lot of them were actually pretty amusing -- although there seemed to be a trend of "this trial has x-number of obstacles you must over...more

This book is a nesting doll of tales, all of them beautiful, charming, sometimes very funny (especially the King of the Cats or the tale of Gilly and the Churl) and always full of enlightenment. The center story is the quest of the book's namesake, but perhaps the real hero is the elusive Swan of...more

The story of this book was actually quite good, but there were so many subplots to keep up with that I almost lost my mind! I was led this way and that throughout the whole book, it felt like someone was playing tug-of-war with my arms.
The main character was kind if pushy, which turned a nice rom...more

I first read this book as a child, and have lost track of the number of times I've reread it. Coming back to it as an adult, I am stunned at the beauty of Colum's language and at his handling of plot. There is a story within a story within a story, with smaller tales that reflect on the main ones...more

I only read this book because it was part of my son's Waldorf homeschool curriculum. I really didn't care for the book that much. I found myself constantly thinking of other things as I was reading the book and having to consciously make myself pay attention more; the story and characters didn't...more

This is a beautiful book of unforgettable imagery. I read it just before traveling to Ireland, and the country, which is magical enough as is, was so much more so because of this story. the interconnected fairy tales of The King of Ireland's Son make it a great bedtime story for children as well,...more

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