The Kings in Winter by Cecelia Holland

It was a time of legend, a time of strugle, a time when the Kingship of the hero Brain Boru is being contested by men of other clans, and by the Danish invader who had come in their longships to take hold of Ireland and make it their own. All through a long winter of strife, Muirtagh struggles to balance his own honor and that of his clan, against his divided loyalties to the three would-be Kings of Ireland.
First published in 1968, The Kings in Winter is considered by Cecelia Holland’s fans to be her finest work. The book is set in Ireland during the Danish invasion around 800 A.D.. Set against this background is a clan feud that consumes the majority of the plot.

Cecelia Holland has been writing since she was 12, and spends a good deal of every day writing. She chose to write historical fiction, because, being 12, she had precious few stories of her own, and history seemed to her then, as it still does, an endless fund of material.

She was encouraged to write by the poet William Meredith and the short story writer David Jackson. Her first novel was The Firedrake, and it was published by Atheneum in 1966. Since then, Cecelia has written a lot, read a lot, and raised three daughters. She lived in northern California, in the country. Once a week, she teaches creative writing at Pelican Baystate Prison in Crescent City, and, every day, she takes care of a small menagerie of little animals.

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