The kingdoms of Connacht and Ulster are preparing to do battle with each other. Medb, the sly and envious Queen of Connacht, is on a mission to steal the fabled Brown Bull of Cooley from the men of Ulster. The Ulstermen, crippled by an ancient curse, face defeat from her armies, until a hero emerges in the shape of the warrior Cu Chulainn: a man of superhuman strength and supernatural powers. Through guerrilla tactics and great chariot fights he manages to defend his province and hold off the Connacht army - until Medb tricks him and it seems victory may come at a bitter price.
Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast in 1948. His poetry collections include The New Estate; The Irish for No; Belfast Confetti, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize; First Language, which won the T.S. Eliot Prize; Opera et Cetera; and simultaneously, The Twelfth of Never and The Ballad of HMS Belfast (Gallery, 1999). He has written two prose books, The Pocket Guide to Irish Traditional Music and Last Night's Fun and one novel, Shamrock Tea. He lives in Belfast. Ciaran Carson was born in 1948 in Belfast, where he is Professor of Poetry at Queen's University. He is the author of nine collections of poems, including First Language, which won the 1993 T. S. Eliot Prize. He has written four prose books: Last Night's Fun, a book about Irish traditional music; The Star Factory, a memoir for Belfast; Fishing for Amber: A Long Story; and Shamrock Tea, a novel, which was longlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize. His translation of Dante's Inferno (2002) was awarded the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and in 2003 he was made an honorary member of the Irish Translators' and Interpreters' Association. In 2005 he published The Midnight Court, a translation of the classic Irish text, 'Cuirt an Mhean Oiche', by Brian Merriman.