Emperor of the Irish

Morgan Llywelyn
Brian Boru

An enthralling account of the life of Brian Boru, who grew to become High King of Ireland before dying in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.


Bisto Book of the Year - Best emerging children's writer (1991) - 1991


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160 pages
196x130 mm

Also available as an EPUB


Illustrated by Donald Teskey

This internationally best-selling author, winner of many awards in adult historical fiction, now turns her hand to historical fiction for children with a personalised account of the life of Brian Boru, from his childhood in the midst of a large warrior family to his final role as High King of Ireland.

'A life full of battles, intrigues, alliances and betrayals, which make a stirring tale told in realistic detail'. The Irish Times

Historian and novelist Morgan Llywelyn was born in New York City, but after the death of her husband and parents in 1985 returned to Ireland to take up citizenship in the land of her grandparents and make her permanent home there.

After making the shortlist for the United States Olympic Team in Dressage in 1975, but not making the team itself, she turned to writing historical novels exploring her Celtic roots. The most successful of these was Lion of Ireland - The Legend of Brian Boru, which was published in 1980 and has sold into the millions of copies.

She received the Novel of the Year Award from the National League of American Penwomen for her novel The Horse Goddess as well as the Woman of the Year Award from the Irish-American Heritage Committee for Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish. The latter award was presented to her by Ed Koch, then-mayor of New York City.

Morgan is also the author of A Pocket History of Irish Rebels for the O'Brien Pocket Books Series.

In 1990 Morgan Llywelyn turned to writing for the young reader, with the publication of Brian Boru, Emperor of the Irish, a biography in the novelistic style, by The O'Brien Press, Dublin. For this book she won an Irish Children's Book Trust Bisto Award in 1991. Her second book for the young reader is Strongbow, The Story of Richard and Aoife (The O'Brien Press) 1992, for which she won a Bisto Award in the Historical Fiction category, 1993 and the Reading Association of Ireland Award, 1993. Her third novel for young readers, entitled Star Dancer, (The O'Brien Press) was drawn from her experience of the world of showjumping and dressage. She has also written The Vikings in Ireland, an exploration of what actually happened when the Norsemen landed in Ireland.

Morgan's latest book for children is Pirate Queen, the story of Grace O'Malley, told partly through letters from Granuaile to her beloved son. It is a thrilling tale of adventure that brings this unorthodox and inspiring historical figure to life.

'A life full of battles, intrigues, alliances and betrayals, which make a stirring tale told in realistic detail.'

The Irish Times

'Morgan Llewelyn has a tough and compelling style which makes this a really good read.'

Cavan Leader

'Rare indeed is it to find in such a book a clear sense of history, researched impeccably and written in a style which I can only describe as compulsively readable ... Fascinating details of life in Ireland 1000 years ago are interwoven in an ingenious way throughout the story.'

Woman's Way

'One of the choices one makes in writing a book about history is that of deciding what to leave out. We all tend to fall in love with our research ... In Brian Boru I tried to tell children what they would like to know about the man and his time. If I have succeeded, when they are older some of them will investigate him further. They will not feel cut off from their past but will think of it as an exciting place and of Brian Boru as a real person.'

The author writing in Children's Books in Ireland
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Other books by this author
  • Strongbow
  • Star Dancer
  • The Young Rebels
  • Granuaile: Pirate Queen

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