Loosely based on historical events, the story takes place in the early 12th century, when the Normans were trying to extend their conquest from England to Wales. King Gruffydd is walking a fine line between the two parties in order to keep his kingdom semi-independent, but rebellious princes and English lords are constantly fomenting trouble on both sides, and the beautiful Welsh princess Nesta is desired by Welsh and English alike. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of history knows how this eventually ends, but in the short term there is still hope for the Welsh cause, and the reader can’t help but hope that they will win at least a few battles, if not the war.
Although this is historical fiction, it’s not weighed down by excessive detail, or characterization, or anything else that might get in the way of the breathless gallop from action scene to action scene. While I personally would have preferred a little more backstory and character development, and much of the book is written in a modern vernacular that I found a little jarring, there’s no doubt that this is a page-turner. Readers hoping for the kind of weighty tome that you’d normally find in the historical section of the bookstore may be disappointed, but anyone looking for a thrilling romp through medieval Wales are likely to find a lot to enjoy here.
My thanks to NetGalley for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.