The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter
May 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first publication October 1990)
Paperback, 720 pages
“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.
Originally published as four volumes, this quartet includes Sunrise in the West, The Dragon at Noonday, The Hounds of Sunset, and Afterglow and Nightfall.”
Sourcebooks Summer Reading Club is off and coming to the close of Book One of Edith Pargeter’s The Brother’s Gwynedd. The Summer Reading Club is comprised of a collection of Book Bloggers who will throughout the summer review each book in the new volume. The book is now available for purchase and I encourage lovers of historical fiction to follow along with us this summer. In addition to regular reviews of each book, we will also have a chat for each book hosted by one of our fabulous participating Book Bloggers.
Chat for Book One will be hosted by Amy at Passages to the Past on Monday, May 24 from 7pm-9pm EST.
Book One: Sunrise in the West of The Brothers of Gwynedd
It’s been awhile since I have really sunk my teeth into any real historical fiction I must admit. While I truly enjoy it recently I have been required to do lighter reading and later period historical fiction. However I was a little hesitant when I received this new collection in the mail. It’s size scared me…at over 700 pages it’s quite the tome even in paperback. When I began reading I also got a little nervous because it soon became clear this would be no easy read. Period dialect, names I could not imagine how to pronounce and an England so far before my “comfort” zone were all things I was a little nervous about contending with….
However I must say the language of the book is spot on and therefore about 13th century in nature (not something one can peruse easily). Still once I settled in and began to to try and keep track of the characters and what was happening I found the story taking on its own life and I settled in quite nicely. Our narrator Samson is wonderfully chosen. As a member of the Royal household and yet not Royal himself, he is well selected to bear witness. Samson is part of the story and yet not so we receive his view but also everything important to the book itself and the main characters. While this is not going to be a beach read so far I am very intrigued by Book One and ready to continue.
Sunrise in the West is definitely a stage setter for the rest of the books. We get background, family histories and meet our main players. The history of England and Wales is not something I know much about for this period and historically this book seems to be extremely accurate and so I am enjoying learning as I am swept up in the saga of the story. I look forward to Book Two: The Dragon at Noonday and hope you will join us in our reading.
Summer Reading Club Review Schedule for Book One