The Secret of Kells

The Secret of Kells

Written by Eithne Massey, Illustrated by Cartoon Saloon

See the movie that has wowed audiences around the world for yourself: Irish history and mythology reimagined for a new audience, and animated to the very highest standards.

Paperback: €8.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Size:196x130 mm
ISBN: 9781847171214

E-Book (ePub): €5.99
Also available as an E-Book (ePub)
ISBN: 9781847173904

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.


Eithne Massey

Eithne Massey has written many books for both adults and children, mainly based on the legends of Ireland. 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’ (

Cartoon Saloon

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.

'full of eye catching, imaginative illustrations'

Books Ireland

'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'

Books Ireland

'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'

Evening Echo (Reader Review)

'an entertaining children’s book.'

The Irish Catholic

'lavish illustrations'

Books Ireland

'stunning double-page illustrations'

Primary Times

‘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.’

Irish Examiner

'lavishly illustrated … a very stylish adaptation’

Books Ireland

'whirling illustrations, which blaze from the page'

CBI Bookfest 2009


CBI Bookfest Guide 2009

'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.'

Variety Magazine
Rights Held: Ireland & Britain, English only

Also by Eithne Massey:

Best-Loved Irish Legends
The Silver Stag of Bunratty
Where the Stones Sing
Blood Brother, Swan Sister
Michael Collins

Go to author page...

Also by Cartoon Saloon:

The Story of Ireland
The Secret of Kells

Go to author page...

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