Monday, May 17, 2010

The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter

The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter
ISBN: 9781402237607, In Stores May 2010!

“A richly textured tapestry of medieval Wales.” The Sunday Telegraph

Set in 13th Century Wales at the time of the Plantagenets, The Brothers of Gwynedd is an ambitious and absorbing saga about Llewelyn, the grandson of Llewelyn the Great, enveloping readers in the guts and glory of medieval Wales. Llewelyn dreams of one Wales, united against the threat of the English. But first he must tackle enemies nearer home. His brothers vie with him for power among themselves and with the English king, Henry III, and their willful infighting threatens the very soil of their fathers. Despite the support of his beloved wife, Eleanor, Llewelyn finds himself starting down his own downfall, a tragic death he might not be able to prevent, and a country slipping out of his grasp.

“Those who fancy historical fiction with an emphasis on the history will savor this convincing tale.” Publishers Weekly

Originally published as four volumes, this quartet includes Sunrise in the West, The Dragon at Noonday, The Hounds of Sunset, and Afterglow and Nightfall.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edith Pargeter (1913-1995) has gained worldwide praise and recognition for her historical fiction and historical mysteries, including A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury, which Sourcebooks will be releasing in Fall 2010. She also wrote several novels of crime fiction as Ellis Peters. She was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire).

Special Feature:  A chat will be hosted by Amy on http://www.passagestothepast.com/ on Monday, May 24 from 7pm-9pm EST.  We'll be kicking around some discussion questions and would love for you to join us. 

My Review: I'm very pleased with this book at this point. Of course, I've only read the first volume, Sunrise in the West, and still have three more volumes to go. It's not light reading and is heavy on the historical side. However, that adds to the appeal for me because I love history. I strongly suggest taking extra time for this read, firmly placing the many characters, dates, and political environment in an understandable order. This extra time in the beginning will make the rest of the read so much easier to follow. 

The story is told through the eyes of Samson, a contemporary of Llewelyn. Though not born to the same station in life, Samson gives us such interesting perspectives into Llewelyn and other characters.  His own struggle, to fit the role he finds himself given, enriches the story.

I really was drawn into Llewelyn's life, when at the age of 12 he was forced to make a terrible choice, one that took courage, loyalty, and a maturity far beyond his age. From that point I'm now determined to complete this journey. To see what course he and his brothers will take. And to follow Samson as he continues to give us the inside track.

There is something here for everyone; the mystery and romance of medieval Wales, love, family loyalties, political intrigue, treachery, secrets, ambition, and honor, just to name a few. 
I'll be back next month with my review of the second volume of this four-part story, The Dragon at Noonday.


3 comments:

  1. Thank you Lynda. I have never heard of this book or author. It sounds very interesting. I have read romantic historicals & enjoyed then but; not ones like this that were heavy on history.
    Sue B

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Lynda,

    That was a great review. The books sounds intriguing, and I enjoy this genre.

    I have also bestowed the Creative Writer Award upon you. Click on the link if you like for more details. I am also hosting a give away.

    http://eviealextheobsessivewriter.blogspot.com/2010/05/creative-writer-blogger-award.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am determined to see this one to the end as well.

    ReplyDelete