In the sixteenth century, Granuaile, the Pirate Queen, warrior and leader, was the terror of the North Atlantic and the most feared woman in Ireland. Heading a large army and a fleet of ships, she lived by trading and raiding and demanding tribute from all who sailed through her territory.
Told partly through letters written to her son Tibbot, it charts the gradual decline of the Gaelic chieftains and traditions of Ireland as Elizabeth Tudor, the 'Virgin Queen' of England, extended her power throughout Ireland by bribery and slaughter. It is a story of immense bravery and daring, as Granuaile takes on the great Norman lords, smuggles weapons and mercenaries for the Ulster Gaelic O'Donnell and O'Neill clans and finally goes to confront Elizabeth Tudor herself. Some of the great figures of Irish history feature, including Red Hugh O'Donnell, Hugh O'Neill, Hugh Dubh O'Donnell, and Richard Bingham.
'Engaging and quite accessible to younger readers.'
'At once both a lesson in 16th century history and a thrilling adventure story ... Despite its educational content, the books veers away from the didactic and remains an animated and enthralling adventure with an emancipated, audacious and inspiring heroine.'
Children's Books in Ireland
'This book, despite the well-covered subject, is outstanding ... One can smell the sea and feel the slippery boards underfoot, in this story of a passionate, strong yet wise woman, while learning much about the English and the Irish in the 16th century.'
The Irish Post
'The story is told partly in the form of letters from Granuaile to her youngest son ... and in present tense third-person accounts. This combination of partly-fictitious personal narrative and factual events blend together in a pacy story.'
The Sunday Tribune
'an amazing story of courage, determination and cunning ... Her story is set in one of the most turbulent times in the history of our country and tells of the bravery amongst a people determined to survive.'
The Irish Examiner
Teaching Resources: free to view and download