(For review from Sourcebooks)
Powerful Prince Llewelyn still treasures his vision of a Wales united against the threat of the English kings. The dream seems near fulfilment until Edward, vigorous, ambitious, and arrogant, takes old Henry's place on the English throne—and more than his share of power. Trouble also looms nearer home, where the youngest of the Welsh brothers, David—blue-eyed, charming, and deadly—is plotting Llewelyn's downfall. Threatened on all sides, Llewelyn looks for comfort from the beautiful Eleanor de Montfort, the jewel in his crown and the only shining star as night falls on his dreams of power.
The Brothers of Gwynedd is a book with over 8oo pages, which is daunting to some people. But, if you are a fan of historical fiction with an emphasis on the history, you will love this book. Originally published as 4 separate novels by Edith Pargeter in the 70's. Sourcebooks has published the quartet as one large book including all four parts. I have already reviewed the first two parts, "Sunrise in the West" and "The Dragon at Noonday."
The third part of the book is called, "The Hounds of Sunset."
In this part, Llewelyn is still committed to a united Wales and he works tirelessly to see that dream come to fruition. King Henry has often said if anything happened to Llewelyn that Wales would fall into disarray because Llewelyn was not married and did not have an heir. But, his love life wasn't what was on his mind up until this part of the story. Just as Llewelyn believes he has succeeded and Wales has come together under his leadership, Old King Henry is succeeded on the throne by his son, Edward. Edward is not only young and ready to take on the challenge of defeating Llewelyn but he is full of rage and revenge is in his heart as he prepares to lead England. Llwelyn turns to the young daughter of Earl Simon, Eleanor for comfort and finds much more. Meanwhile, Llewelyn's brother David continues to plot against him from within.
This book also continues the story of fictional character, Samson. Samson is Llewelyn's clerk and trusted friend. But, he has some problems of his own. The love of his life, Cristin is married to his half-brother, Godred. They met in Part one of the story, when Godred was believed dead and Samson finds him and returns him to Cristin in spite of his love for her. In this part of the story Godred is a constant companion of Samson, spending all of his free time with him. But, Samson will soon learn it is not all for good. He spies on Samson and bids his time, a snake in the grass or a wolf in sheep's clothing.
I have really enjoyed this book so far and when divided into four parts it definitely does not seem that long. Each section is around 200 pages which is very manageable. The longer the story goes on, the characters become more real to the reader and the reader gets more interested in what happens to them. Pargeter has found a way to make a very long story about the history of Wales, more interesting. I like books where you are educated as well as entertained and this book fits into that category.
The Brother of Gwynedd is available now from your favorite bookseller.
I give this section another 5 out of 5 apples from my book.