The Secret of Kells The Novel by Eithne Massey


The Secret of Kells The Novel by Eithne Massey

History, myth and legend collide in this inspiring animated feature film. Twelve-year-old Brendan's life in the monastery at Kells is not very exciting until Aidan arrives. Suddenly life is one big adventure. In the forest Brendan is rescued from wolves by Aisling, a mysterious green-eyed girl. In the cave of the Dark One, he risks his life to steal the eye of the serpent god, Crom Cruach. Meanwhile Aidan is keeping a secret that will become Brendan's biggest challenge, and the Vikings get nearer and nearer ...The first animated feature film ever produced in Ireland, The Secret of Kells has won praise from critics and audiences alike.


'full of eye catching, imaginative illustrations'

'an exciting adaptation of the Cartoon Saloon's film ... the line illustrations are an interesting mix of the realistic and the imagined with a strong emphasis on pattern and design'

'a well-crafted novel ... beautifully illustrated ...a rich, exciting and distinctive narrative that should greatly appeal to young readers, especially those aged 10+'

'this was one of the best books I have read ... I would give it 10 out of 10'

'an entertaining children's book.'

'lavish illustrations'

'stunning double-page illustrations'

'A book to amaze and amuse any age ... the blend of strong Celtic design with cartoon-like figures merge seamlessly together in this imaginative presentation of old legends.'

'lavishly illustrated ... a very stylish adaptation'

'whirling illustrations, which blaze from the page'


'Refreshingly different precisely because its look is so profoundly retro, 'Brendan and the Secret of Kells harks back not just to older animation styles but to pre-medieval illuminated manuscript tradition. With its jewel-bright colors and intricate use of lines, the result is absolutely luscious to behold.'

About the Author

Eithne Massey is the author of a number of books for young readers which intermingle history with fantasy. Her adaptation of the award-winning movie The Secret of Kells is set in the time of the early Viking raids; The Silver Stag of Bunratty and Where the Stones Sing are set in Norman Ireland and Blood Brother, Swan Sister at the time of the Battle of Clontarf. All blend together historical detail with myths, legends and folklore, resulting in stories which will appeal to: young readers who enjoy an adventure with well-rounded characters and a touch of magic and history. ( Eithne is also the author of retellings of Irish myths for younger children and a book for adults, Legendary Ireland. Cartoon Saloon is a Kilkenny-based animation studio formed by Paul Young, Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey in 1999. They are best-known for their Academy Award-nominated feature-length animations The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, but have also done a wide range of television programmes and some lovely illustration work for O'Brien Press books.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


192 pages
Interest Age: From 10


Eithne Massey
More books by Eithne Massey


Publication date

23rd February 2009



Publisher Profile

O'Brien Press Ltd is an imprint of O'Brien


The O'Brien Press is Ireland's leading general publisher of both adult and children's books. Our list covers a huge range, including biography, humour, photography, history, art, fiction, politics, cookery, sport, music, memoir, true crime and travel and we are constantly expanding into new and exciting areas.

Publisher's Website

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

I love Lovereading4kids because I get an opportunity to put my opinion forward and to try new books

Elosie Clarkson – age 11

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

Lovereading 4 schools