The Reckoning

The ReckoningThis one was definitely the most emotional book out of the trilogy actually, it s the most emotional SKP book I ve read yet Though I always enjoy Penman s characterizations, I got so attached to the characters in this one view spoiler that I was really depressed when certain inevitabilities happened I think that s why Penman introduced Hugh and Caitlin they served as fictional protagonists that she could actually give a happy ending to But even that was kind of bittersweet, knowing all they d lost too.You know an author is great at what they do when they can take a character who tried to assassinate the main protagonist, his own brother, and convince the reader to empathize with him by the end I was so devastated for Davydd and his family at the end but then, he did do a lot of growing up in the second half of the book.I was also devastated for Wales and the Welsh, though I ve only ever been there once and have no prior attachments or associations with them, SKP makes you feel for them wholeheartedly nonetheless hide spoiler Rating 4.5 starsThe final book in Penman s Welsh Princes series is even better than the first two less political, emotional, and in the last 100 pages, totally heartbreaking Adorable little Llelo from Falls the Shadow has grown up into Llewelyn, Prince of Wales, as courageous as his namesake grandfather from Here be Dragons, and facing the same adversaries in the form of treacherous kin and arrogant kings And talking of kings, I hated Edward I in this, hated him What a dirty, double dealing, unrelenting git.The book had me in tears twice view spoiler for the tragic deaths of first Ellen and then Llelo hide spoiler The Greatest Trilogy of all time In my entire history of reading, no book s have affected me the way SKP s Welsh Trilogy has This entire trilogy was so engrossing, beautiful, heart rending and a fantastic adventure I fell totally and completely in love with Wales and her people SKP s books are so historically accurate with just enough added drama, you just can t help fall in love with these characters This particular book The Reckoning , which concludes the trilogy, has been on my night stand for a few weeks with the last 100 pages of the book still to be read When I finished I wanted no interruptions my life recently has become out of control busy for I knew I would be completely heartbroken for it to end I feel my words just don t convey the greatness of these books but, I highly recommend this trilogy to all Here Be Dragons the first is my favorite And what s not to love about that awesome title I just discovered SKP this year and she has rapidly topped my list of favorite authors. This book concludes the trilogy to a wonderful Historical novel, centering around the vying powers of Wales and England It is written in a manner where most readers can relate to the powers on both sides difficult to do especially in the second and third book, when Longshanks or Edward I, comes into the spotlight.Wales is losing ground and, for the first time, England has a powerful ruler who can take advantage of it And, he does.And, as the rulers of Wales plot against each other, Edward grows stronger He even marries off one of his cousins, hoping to make the strongest Welsh prince, come to his way of thinking but it does little good.This is where the third book starts and where it ends Fans of the Welsh side should be warned that this tale will be bittersweet to tragic.Tale is lyrical and unlike the previous novel tends to slow down in pace in certain chapters hence the four stars over the usual five in the series Still very good, though.REVISION NOTE AS OF 09 05 03 I have re read THE RECKONING so my memory if far clear The beginning of this novel is truly a conclusion to the Montfort Family from the second book As some will recall, this is the family that lost to the English King and had to retreat to France It is there that old wounds are gradually healed, the Montforts continue upward, or downard, in their lives and the family is connected back to England through a broken plight troth prince Lwellyn of Wales to Eleanor de Montfort.But unlike his grandfather, Lwellyn Fawhr, Lwellyn ap Gruffyd has brothers, who are out to fight and betray him a stronger English King who has the drive and strategy to absorb Wales into the Kingdom, and a number of incidents, resulting in bad fortune In addition, Lwellyn s bride is captured by Edward I and held for three years before she is finally freed By the time she is freed, Edward has forced Lwellyn to give up territories and privileges.So, by the time Lwellyn goes to war against Edward, a portion of Wales has already been partitioned off In addition, a fatal wound and no heir, leaves Wales in turmoil, leaving Edward I the advantage of taking over the country.Note that Edward I was also Longshanks, who was the English King in BRAVEHEART A fine movie but not entirely accurate in the Historical sense, since the French princess was 7, Edward I had many children, there was no bridge shown at the Battle of Stirling and people tended to wear helmets to protect themselves in such bloody fights Lastly and obviously, there was no bastard son born from Wallace and the princess Nice dramatic punch though.STORY PLOTTING B to B plus CHARACTERS DIALOGUE B plus to A minus HISTORICAL FLAVOR B plus to A minus HISTORICAL ACCURACY B plus to A minus LOVE STORIES B minus to B WHEN READ January 2013 3 reads OVERALL GRADE B to B plus. The Reckoning is a solid read and a better book than Falls the Shadow, so I give it four stars despite some reservations This last installment of Penman s Welsh trilogy covers the years 1271 1283, as Edward I wages war on Wales in his determination to bring the entire island under English rule Llewelyn ap Gruffyth, grandson of Llewelyn Fawr, is Prince of Wales and, in the same vein as his grandfather, is determined that Wales remain independent and united Other Welsh lords, most notably Llewelyn s brother Davydd, resent his leadership and make unreliable allies at best This sets the stage for a series of high stakes wars As always with Penman, I learned a fair bit of history from this book Additionally, it is much better plotted and cohesive than Falls the Shadow It helps that this one only spans 13 years, making it much easier for the reader to stay in touch with the characters lives As the book rushes toward its dramatic conclusion, the plot is focused and well paced It also helps that these characters had eventful lives there s even a pirate attack, which is very well done But while Penman is a much better character writer than your average historical novelist, this book is not the best example of her talents or I ve simply read too many of them Llewelyn is a Standard Penman Hero and almost indistinguishable from his grandfather he s totally devoted to his cause, he s brave, he s a loving husband if he has a flaw it s that he s a bit self righteous Ellen has her moments as do the other de Montforts, for certes , but she s quite similar to previous heroines, and while the build up to her eventual meeting with Llewelyn is excellent, their actual relationship seems like a mishmash of relationships in previous Penman books Meanwhile, several supporting characters, while sympathetic and with interesting stories to tell, are primarily characterized by their loyalty to the principals, making them very similar to each other and to other Penman supporting characters And Edward I makes a good villain, but he s not the complex character study that Kings John and Henry III were he s mostly just a villain, brave but power hungry, determined to believe himself a good guy even if it requires self delusion Edmund, his supportive younger brother, seemed a carbon copy of Richard, King John s supportive illegitimate son None of these characters are flat by any means, but they re not quite as complex as previous protagonists, and share too many traits with those same previous protagonists to be particularly memorable Davydd stands out as perhaps the most complex of the bunch, and his troubled relationship with Llewelyn is an apt focal point for this story The writing itself is good, aside from Penman s excessive fondness for the comma splice And while her dialogue always competent improved as of Falls the Shadow when she stopped overusing auxiliary verbs in an effort to make it sound archaic, I do find the sheer amount of banter included in this book odd, given that none of it is remotely humorous on the page To be fair, the jokes are apparently intended to illuminate the characters relationships and show that they have a sense of humor even under pressure, not to make readers chuckle still, it s a bit overdone Finally, while we do see something of the characters everyday lives, I feel a bit shortchanged when it comes to immersion in the culture in which the characters lived This may be unfair to Penman particularly as I just finished reading Anya Seton s Katherine, where the author takes a far anthropological interest in 14th century England but while this book is without a doubt solid on its historical information and psychological truths, its picture of 13th century life is sketchy England doesn t feel different from Wales or France, aside from a few references to the terrain Penman s 13th century is much like her rendering of the 12th or the 15th Italy has its own character, but the rest of the world depicted here has the same generic backdrop of castles and abbeys, servants and prostitutes Maybe the life of the nobility really was the same everywhere still, to me at least, the scene setting felt rather perfunctory I recommend this book to those who enjoyed the first two it could also be read independently, as Penman does a good job of getting the readers up to speed at the beginning, but one who started here would miss the background and the protagonists young lives The book does a solid job of finishing the trilogy the end is sad, but well done An enjoyable reading experience, if not without flaws. So far, this has been one of the best book series I ve read, and undeniably one of the most heart wrenching, too I think the last time I have allowed myself to become this dreadfully upset over a book and ended up being a monumental cry baby was after reading The Kite Runner and A Dog of Flanders I never realized I d actually foster the same sentiment for Simon de Montfort and the two Llewelyns who lived so many centuries ago, came from halfway across the globe, and did not even grace the pages of our World History textbooks This series has led me to appreciate and respect these heroes and the causes they fought for, to shed a considerable volume of tears I never thought I actually possessed as I don t cry that easily , and for that alone, Miss Penman deserves than 5 stars from me Anyway, I was supposed to write an objective review about this book, but my mind is still in 13th century Wales and brooding over the many what ifs however foolish that this book series has conjured up. Edward I, Edward Longshanks, Hammer of the Scots doesn t even get a mention in a list of Worst Kings of England The usual suspects appear along with a couple of Queens, which scarcely seems fair For me, there is no question he was the worst, the very worst King England ever had We use the word ruthless these days as if it were a concept in and of itself ruth has become an archaic concept it means a feeling of pity, distress or grief Compassion Edward had little of any of that he was ruthless.He also had a firm belief that God wanted him exactly as he pleased, which meant hammering Scots, going on Crusade to hammer infidels, decimating the Jewish population of England and annihilation of the Welsh, who it pleased him to see as being in rebellion against him Except that they weren t part of England so it s a bit of a trick for me to see how they were rebels Howsomever.The story of the death fight of the Welsh, the fratricidal fractures that helped and the story of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd and Ellen de Montfort is told with pretty faithful adherence to the history as it is known and is certainly brought to life It is only bettered by The Brothers of Gwynedd Ms Penman is into her stride in her writing by the time she wrote this final novel dealing with Welsh history and it is a riveting read.Sadly, history seems to value the Warrior King Edward rather than vilify him as a cheating, lying, vindictive, vicious, arrogant bully He won, natch He was followed by Edward II who does make it onto the list, having been a weak king who preferred chaps and gave lots of money to his favourites He wasn t, though, responsible for the huge loss of life and general public mayhem that was his father s legacy to his own country If I could travel back in time and change on thing in history Sultan Baibers assassin would have been successful in 1272. Completing the trilogy that began with Here Be Dragons and continued with Falls The Shadow, this novel,almost impeccably historically accurate, depicts the struggle by Welsh national hero Llywelyn ap Gruffydd to maintain sovereignty for Wales against the machinations of the ruthless and unscrupulous Edward I of England.After Simon De Montfort is defeated and killed, his charter of freedoms is destroyed and King Edward reigns supreme as England s king.After his bride Ellen , the daughter of the late Simon De Montfort, is captured by pirates hired by Edward and imprisoned by the English king, Llywelyn takes the field against England and is defeated and forced to submit to Edward s humiliating terms.Meanwhile Llywelyn is hindered by the three time treachery of his mercurial brother Davydd.These events lead to eventual tragedy for Wales and for Llywelyn and his family.Dafydd Ap Gruffyd s execution at the hands of the English was very similar to that of Scottish patriot William Wallace 12 years later, also on command of Edward I.Edward I was a tyrant who crushed Welsh national self determination, tried to subjugate Scotland, and expelled the Jews from England.The book has a glittering cast of characters, and traces the lives of Simon s widow Nell, and her family, as well as Llywelyn s family, including his vibrant niece Caitlin.It is filled with action and emotion, as the author gets into the heads of the characters involved, making for a truly human drama.This is historical fiction at it s most alive.The book mends with a prophecy of the restoration of Welsh sovereignty by the Day of Judgement, that on the Direst Day of Judgement no race but the Welsh would give answer to the Allmighty for this corner of the earth. This was the third book in this engrossing and fulfilling trilogy In book 1 Here be Dragons we are introduced to Llywelyn the Great He was The Prince of Wales for over 40 years In Book 2 Falls the Shadow we see the rising of Simon de Montfort who fought for the people of England s civil rights and the continuation of the English and Welsh wars Falls the Shadow continues the family drama of Llywelyn s children and his grandchild and namesake Llywelyn aka Llelo In this final trilogy, without giving too much away a grown up Llelo aka Llywelyn The Last continues to fight the English for an independent Wales King Edward, like King John just refuses I went into all three books not knowing about the Welsh wars and knowing little about Simon de Montfort As I was told, do not google as you read, for the stories are all page turners and you want to be surprised Penman as usual sticks to a lot of historical accuracy, which is why you don t want to google until the end So many of these scenes were just incredible, but true Some characters as she mentions were real, but little was known about them Overall, most people when they think of English wars with the surrounding countries think of the Scottish wars The Welsh ones were just as interesting Read these in order to get the complete experience Fascinating reads Deep character involvement and how can you not get attached when you start with the Grandparents in Book 1 and get to know these characters from their births and experience their whole lives A 5 Star Trilogy Penman S Characters Are So Shrewdly Imagined, So Full Of Resonant Human Feeling That They Seem To Be On The PageMost Compelling Is The Portrait Of The Welsh As Wild And Rugged As Their Landscape SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLEHere, Alive From The Pages Of History, Is The Compelling Tale Of A Celtic Society Ruled By Llewelyn, Prince Of Wales, On A Collison Course With A Feudal Realm Of Edward I WIth This Last Book In The Extraordinary Trilogy That Began With HERE BE DRAGONS And Continued In FALLS THE SHADOW, Sharon Kay Penman Has Written A Beautiful And Moving Conclusion To Her Medieval Saga For Everyone Who Has Read The Earlier Books In This Incomparable Series Or Ever Wanted To Experience The Rich Tapestry Of British History And Lore, This Bold And Romantic Adventure Must Be Read

Penman received her bachelor s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she majored in history, and also received a Juris Doctor J.D degree from Rutgers University School of Law, and later worked as a tax lawyer The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Novel Society s list of best historical novels In 1996, following

[PDF / Epub] ☂ The Reckoning Author Sharon Kay Penman –
  • Paperback
  • 592 pages
  • The Reckoning
  • Sharon Kay Penman
  • English
  • 19 February 2019
  • 9780345378880

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