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Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England's ruthless, power-hungry King John. Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, secures an uneasy truce by marrying the English king's beloved illegitimate daughter, Joanna, who slowly grows to love her charismatic and courageous husband. But as John's attentions turn again and again to subduing Wales---and Llewelyn---Joanna must decide where her love and loyalties truly lie. The turbulent clashes of two disparate worlds and the destinies of the individuals caught between them spring to life in this magnificent novel of power and passion, loyalty and lies. The book that began the trilogy that includes Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning, Here Be Dragons brings thirteenth-century England, France, and Wales to tangled, tempestuous life.
An absorbing historical novel of power and betrayal, loyalty and political intrigue in thirteenth-century England, Wales and France, centring on King John of England, younger brother to the brilliant Richard Lionheart, Joanna, his illegitimate but recognised daughter and Llewellyn Ab Iowerth, Prince of Gwynedd, a bitter opponent of English ways, laws and encroachment into Wales who becomes Joanna’s husband.
An absorbing historical novel of power and betrayal, loyalty and political intrigue in thirteenth-century England, Wales and France, centring on King John of England, younger brother to the brilliant Richard Lionheart, Joanna, his illegitimate but recognised daughter and Llewellyn Ab Iowerth, Prince of Gwynedd, a bitter opponent of English ways, laws and encroachment into Wales who becomes Joanna's husband.
This book completes the splendid sequence of novels on the struggle between the independent Welsh Princes and the growing English strength which began with Here be Dragons, continued with Falls the Shadow and is now completed with The Reckoning. The major figures in The Reckoning are the splendid dominant King of England, Edward I, and The Great Llewellyn II, Prince of Wales. His long love affair and eventual marriage with Ellen, daughter of Simon De Montfort, provides the strong emotional interest in the book, while the political machinations of Edward against the Welsh and the Scots, together with Llewellyn's struggle to control the recalcitrant Welsh Princes provides the political and military drama.
This novel about the struggle for power in England in the Middle Ages centres on the life of Simon de Montfort, a French nobleman who came to England to lay claim to an earldom, married the King's sister, and eventually mounted a civil war against Henry III.
"Penman's characters are so shrewdly imagined, so full of resonant human feeling that they seem to breathe on the page." —San Francisco Chronicle "Never forget, Llewelyn, that the world's greatest fool is a Welshman who trusts an English king." His father's words haunt Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, who has been ruling uneasily over his fractious countrymen. Above all else, Llewelyn fears that his life and his own dream—of an independent, united Wales—might be lost to Edward I's desire to expand his English empire. Alive from the pages of history, this is the hauntingly beautiful and compelling tale of a game poised to play itself out to its bloody finale as English and Welsh cross swords in a reckoning that must mean disaster for one side or the other. For anyone who has ever wanted to experience the rich tapestry of British history and lore, this bold and romantic adventure must be read.
With this novel Sharon Penman moves to a new set of characters and to 12th Century England and the early civil war between Stephen and his cousin, The Empress Made - A long fight to won the English throne. Stephen was handsome, unreliable and beguiling. Maude was courageous, beautiful and insanely arrogant. They fought for twenty years and devastated England. Their flair for dramatic events and immense catastrophes made sure that they were never boring.

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