Cover image for The destruction of the inn
The destruction of the inn
Eickhoff, Randy Lee.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York: Tor, 2001.
Physical Description:
238 pages ; 22 cm.
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Randy Lee Eickhoff continues the Celtic Ulster Cycle; following up his highly acclaimed retelling of The Three Sorrows , with The Destruction of the Inn . Part impacted myth, part heroic saga, and part literary tour de force; this is the tale of a king who dares to ignore the prophecy that foretells his fate.

Conaire Mór's reign has ushered in a period of great happiness and good fortune, but his three foster brothers take advantage of his position and plunder the countryside. Conaire refuses to put them to death, however, and out of brotherly love banishes them to Scotland. Where they fall in with merciless sea pirates who raid the coasts of England and Ireland, brutally slaying all whom stands against them, until finally the three brothers come back to the land of Conaire Mór.

Filled with the adventure and tragedy, and told in the style that Randy Lee Eickhoff has made his own, The Destruction of the Inn is a story of Ireland's past, and one of her most enduring tales.

Author Notes

Randy Lee Eickhoff is the author of the bestselling Fallon's Wake. He has also translated the Ulster Cycle, a collection of Celtic poems that includes the highly acclaimed volumes The Raid and He Stands Alone. He lives in El Paso, Texas

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this translation of a famous Irish epic, Eickhoff brings this rousing adventure tale to a modern audience. Tracing the family line of Connaire, the Irish high king in the last century before the common era, the story begins with his great-grandparents' courtship (he is a king and she is a fairy) and ends with Connaire's untimely demise at the Inn of Da Derga. In between, babies are condemned to death only to be raised in secret, foster brothers turn into werewolves, a bird seduces a maiden, and elves and fairies freely traipse over from the Other World. Connaire's downfall, which serves as an examination of the role of fate in a person's life, is ultimately a result of his breaking the elaborate taboos of his kingship placed on him by the gods. Eickhoff supplements the story with comprehensive endnotes, illuminating arcane Irish historical references as well as providing helpful background information on Irish mythology. Readers interested in mythology and Irish folklore will thrill to this fast-paced epic, which should please both scholar and layperson alike. Brendan Dowling

Publisher's Weekly Review

A hodgepodge of lusty elves, magical spells and powerful Druids augments this tale of greed and death the fourth installment of the Ulster Cycle translated from the Gaelic by Eickhoff (Fallon's Wake). One of Ireland's treasured legends, it traces the rise and fall of Conaire, king of Erin. Born to the granddaughter of ta¡n, a princess of the people of the elf-mounds, Conaire is fathered by a bird-man before his mother's marriage to Etersc‚l, king of Erin. At his mother's request, he is subsequently fostered by a shepherd, two warriors and herself. The benevolent king allows the sons of his most trustworthy warrior to be fostered with the prince as well. Closer than siblings, the four youths fill their days with practical jokes and boyish pursuits. Upon the death of the king, Conaire is called back to the castle by a bird-man messenger and instructed to rule his kingdom peacefully and wisely. When he is proclaimed king above his three foster brothers, jealousy rears its head, and they begin raiding the land until Conaire is forced to act, banishing them from the kingdom. The brothers join with fellow raiders from England and terrorize the countryside, always setting their sights on Conaire. Originally an epic poem passed down orally, the story loses something in the translation into sometimes awkward English prose; its shifting time frames and viewpoints disrupt the flow of the story; and the Old Irish names are too similar and far too numerous to keep track of. While the story will intrigue students of Irish history, it may prove too confusing and scattered for the general reader. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



The Destruction of the Inn Part One Conaire's Last Supper at Da Dearga's Hostel And you thought it wouldn't happen to you: the burning walls, the gasping for air, the place surrounded by a coming enemy that looks like you, and talks like you, with your same last name, armed to the teeth and shouting--all because you entered the kingdom naked, carrying a stone and were bowed down to by an admiring populace. Well think again; the curse is on you--prince, king though you are, and handsome and wise, with an arm that could kill thousands and a heart that could make them live. Didn't you know it's the severed head that speaks the loudest, the scattered remains of the dismembered hero that become the seedsof future salvation?Beware of the three red men in front of you. You cannot escape their duplicitous gaze. See them sitting at your table, eating your food, nodding their heads and smiling. They laugh at your jokes and call for wine. All the while wind is putting pressure on the door. Eat up. Be brave, be strong, be holy. Do what you must; do what you have to, when you have to. When have you ever done anything else? It is your fate, know it, and the fate of those who follow. It is only the whole green world that is watching. --Mícheál O'Ciardha Copyright (c) 2001 by Randy Lee Eickhoff Excerpted from The Destruction of the Inn by Randy Lee Eickhoff All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

A Note on the Translationp. 9
Introductionp. 11
Conaire's Last Supper at Da Dearga's Hostelp. 19
The Destruction of the Innp. 23
Appendix The Destruction of Dind Rigp. 205
Notesp. 213