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Book by Sharon Kay Penman The Reckoning
by Sharon Kay Penman

The Welsh Trilogy

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England, 1271: The last year in the reign of Henry III. Five years have passed since the brutal slaying of Simon de Montfort assured this puppet king his throne. In truth, though Henry wears the crown, his son Edward rules the kingdom.

For Simon de Montfort's family, these years have meant anguish and exile. For his Welsh ally Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, ruling uneasily over his fractious countrymen, they have meant a tense, unstable truce with Edward, now casting covetous eyes on Wales. Once plighted to Simon's daughter, Ellen, but released from that troth by her father's death, Llewelyn has never married. He has named his charming but untrustworthy brother Davydd as heir, knowing full well the dangers.

And so the players are in place and the game -- if life and death, love and war can be 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.

The Reckoning is a novel about a Celtic society on a collision course with a formidable feudal realm ruled by the most predatory of Plantagenet kings. But it is also a story of broken fortunes and grim vengeance, of the poisoned love between two brothers and the rare love between a man and a woman who overcame nearly insuperable obstacles to form a bond that would never break. Above all, it is about two extraordinary men whose dreams were so large and so antithetical that they were destined to clash in a conflict that brooked no compromise.

For Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, the dream of an independent and united Wales was all-consuming and would cost him dearly. A man of courage and vision, he was also single-minded and ruthless -- as only a dreamer can be.

For Edward, hot-tempered, unscrupulous, utterly fearless, the dream was of a crown unfettered by any opposition and of an England whose borders stopped only at the edges of the sea. In pursuing that vision, Edward would become England's greatest warrior king -- and possibly its most lethal.

The Reckoning is a richly textured mantle that is woven through with strong characters and intense drama. To wrap oneself in it is to become -- for an enchanted, timeless moment -- beguiled by the spell of a master storyteller, for Sharon Kay Penman, with her superb sense of story and her sure grasp of history, makes the thirteenth century so compelling it is hard to return to the twentieth.

Published September 1991
by Henry Holt and Company
hardcover / $ 
ISBN: 0805010149
ISBN13: 9780805010145

paperback / $17.95
ISBN: 0312382472
ISBN13: 9780312382476
Published by St. Martin's Griffin - April 2009


A King's Ransom



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Sharon Kay Penman
author of Lionheart, Devil's Brood,
When Christ and His Saints Slept
and Time and Chance
from Penguin Putnam

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