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Here Be Dragons (Welsh Princes Trilogy) Paperback – January 1, 2008
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“A masterful picture of Wales in the thirteenth century . . . vividly pictured as grandly beautiful, its people volatile, stubborn, and mystic.” ―The San Diego Union
“There is everything in Here Be Dragons but dragons: princesses held captive in stone towers, bloody wars, princes scheming to dethrone their own brothers, castles under siege, maidens in distress, power struggles for half of civilization, rampant infidelity, lusting, mead guzzling, wine drinking, love affairs that topple kingdoms---how did England survive the thirteenth century? . . . History and fiction bound up together in historical novels have always had their own uneasy alliance. . . . Penman deftly makes the mesh work.” ―The Washington Post Book World
“Remarkable. . . . Her writing is faultless, deftly interweaving the threads of the various story lines into a glowing, living tapestry. . . . This is storytelling at its finest.” ―United Press International
“With a fidelity to historical detail, a deep understanding of the period, a lucid, felicitous prose style, a sensitivity to nuances of character, and a sure sense of drama, the new novel by the author of The Sunne in Splendour is an engrossing tale.” ―Publishers Weekly
From the Publisher
It is in these Staff Recommend sections that I kept on seeing our Penman's titles, HERE BE DRAGONS, FALLS THE SHADOW, THE RECKONING and also SUNNE IN SPLENDOUR and WHEN CHRIST AND HIS SAINTS SLEPT.
It's funny, you can sell something for years before you notice that the author has been quietly making a powerful impact on people everywhere.
I started with HERE BE DRAGONS and I have never looked back. Her trilogy of the decline of the Welsh kings ( DRAGON, FALLS THE SHADOW and THE RECKONING)is a holiday gift I give year after year, and I'm happy to say they have always been embraced and loved. From my 15 year old niece to my 70 year old mother and many ages in between, all readers are enchanted and transported to a land and an age gone forever. But Penman makes them live forever in our minds and hearts with fantastic, unforgettable characters and wonderful history. HERE BE DRAGONS is such a great title--medieval mapmakes would write those words across any part of the map that was unknown.. a wonderful metaphor for how little the Welsh and English knew of each other.
SUNNE IN SPLENDOUR--Warning: This is not Shakespeare's Richard III. In this novel, Richard is a victim of circumstance and man vilified by the Tudors, but here presented as a decent and normal man, a man of conscience.
AND he is not a murderer. Yes, those princes did die, but not by Richard's hand.
WHEN CHRIST AND HIS SAINTS SLEPT
Another wonderful title, for it refers to the 15 years of England's darkest time-the civil war between the cousins Queen Maud and King Steven. England was deserted, for Christ and his saints were sleeping. I had never even heard of these royals. Queen Maud was the legitimate heir to the throne, but a woman, and there fore not fit to rule. She is also the mother of Henry, who later married Eleanor of Aquitaine . Pretty heady stuff, more incredible men and women, another book to get totally lost in.
Although it has been years since all these books were first published, I can name 5 stores I have been in in the past 3 months that have one of these titles in the Staff Recommends section.
-Alice Kesterson, Ballantine Regional Sales Manger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
There is no doubt that Penman's novels will stand as great reads for ages to come. Her plots are always complex (because the history of these times was quite convoluted). She does an excellent job of keeping it all straight for us as she leads us through the maze of characters. If you read the history of these times you quickly come to see what a great job she does in her design of the story.
There may be a bit too much time spent on the romance of Llewelyn and Joanna, but there does seem to be a calculated story line running that proves itself as the bond between the two weaves itself into the historical facts of the complex relationship between King John and Llewelyn. Penman's true genius is the broad historical scope that is painted on top of the shimmering details of brief moments. It truely does feel as if you are living the story yourself, and it is this bringing us readers in as witnesses that stands as Penman's contribution to the art of the historical novel.
If you prefer to read in chronological order:
1101-1154 When Christ And His Saints Slept (Vol 1 of Trilogy)
1156-1171 Time And Space (Vol 2 of Trilogy)
12th Cent Devil's Brood (Vol 3 of Trilogy)- not yet released
1192-1193 The Queen's Man
1193 Cruel As The Grave
1183-1232 Here Be Dragons (Vol 1 of Welsh Trilogy)
1231-1267 Falls The Shadow (Vol 2 of Welsh Trilogy)
1271-1283 The Reckoning (Vol 3 of Welsh Trilogy)
1459-1492 The Sunne In Splendour
Knowing little about the history of the period, I allowed SKP to be my guide, stopping along the way to check facts, names and places, always impressed when I found her accuracy to be perfect. Would that all history read with such passion, such verve!
SKP writes emotion as accurately as she does history. I have experienced the loss of a loved one, myself come too close to death, and when John died, her telling of it kept me up, staring at the ceiling for nigh on thirty minutes, my own memories brought back, real and cold. That tears fell, I am not ashamed to admit. I cried for the death of the evil King John.
A shy romantic in life, I care little for romance in my fiction. Imagine my surprise when I found myself more interested in the relationship between Llewelyn and Joana than virtually anything else. History is stranger than fiction, true, and this was as unlikely a pair as could be imagined.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent story teller and student of history. Brings to life dry historic facts.Published 12 days ago by John K. Thompson
I thoroughly recommend 'Here be Dragons', a page turner to the end!!Published 20 days ago by Alannah
Again, I can say I really enjoyed reading this book. I know there are two other books...which I will have to read. Penman tells a good story!Published 26 days ago by Gregory
i love this book. one of my favorites. the story of joanne and llewelyn are enthralling. thank you, ms penman.Published 1 month ago by J. Delalcazar
Until Penman got hold of them, the characters in the Welsh/British ruling houses were a mystery. She brings them to life and helps readers to understand both their humanity and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Judith P Fabisch