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Editions. Here be Dragons . Sharon Penman · Paperback. Buy from Buy from – arrow icon. Hive · Waterstones · Amazon. An absorbing. Set in the 13th Century, Here Be Dragons is the story of King John and his England. A paradoxical man, he was charming, generous, clever — and he was. Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England’s ruthless, power-hungry King John. Then Llewelyn, Prince of North.

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I loved this book deagons one of my historical heroes Llewellyn Fawr when I first read it but on this re-read I was much irritated by the writing forsoothly, by the repetition of all the worst gossip about John and by the manifest acceptance of Richard I as a homosexual when there is no actual evidence that this was so nor did the concept of sexual orientation exist in the Medieval world. You can always see the situations through everyone’s eyes, so you can s This is hands down my favorite book.

Llewelyn ap Iorwerth makes an uneasy truce with King John of England by agreeing to marry John’s illegitimate daughter Joanna, who is initially reluctant to marry Llewelyn and go to a land dgagons which she knows nothing. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Book Review: Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

We cannot but wait for Davydd and Gruffydd to come to arms against each other in the name of Wales, but first Davydd must grow up. Even though the narration shifts around from character to character, it mainly follows Joanna’s life as she grows from poverty to being recognized as daughter of the English king and then married to a much-respected Welsh prince.


This book is so big and informative that I feel like I read 3 books! I have read it quite a few times over the years. Of course, Papa would only consent to such an alliance, because Penmqn Whoever was taken hostage by Evil Guy.

Here Be Dragons : Sharon Kay Penman :

His mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, had eyes “”that pinned him to the wall”” and father Henry II, weary of power grabs, promised much, delivered little. Wife to Llewelyn, whom she came to love, daughter to John, whom she worshipped, Joanna was trapped in the crossfire of their implacable enmity.

Penman writes in the third person omniscient point of view which, admittedly, is probably the best choice for a novel involving a great many characters and a large chunk of history—she is able to show us the inside of the heads of any character she wishes at any point in time. Description Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England’s ruthless, power-hungry King John. Other books in the series.

There was one aspect of successful kingship, however, that John had always utterly lacked – luck. The book tells the story of Llewelyn, the Prince of North Wales, and his rise to power and fame as Llewelyn the Great and his great love, Joanna, the illegitimate daughter of King John. Tags Why I Blog. But, of course, Gruffydd will not step aside for his hated half-brother.

And it takes one hundred and eighty three pages to get started.

Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of I thought Penman very appropriately defined the difference between Welsh and English traditions with only occasionally sounding as if she were explaining history and not just following a story. I am sitting at work and I cannot concentrate for my mind keeps going back to these characters, one minute I am smiling the next tearing up.


Here be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1) by Sharon Kay Penman

But how would I even know without studying the period hwre By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. She recommends not jumping around when writing. This is ksy fourth Penman book, and although The Sunne in Splendour is my favourite, Here Be Dragons has had the most fluidity for me so far.

But it is the first I’ve read to this scale, and it left me a bit This novel might have worked better as an entire trilogy!

Then Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, secures an uneasy truce with England by marrying the English king’s beloved, illegitimate daughter, Joanna. Although somewhat anachronistic in tone and diction, Penman’s book neatly untangles a portion of the crisscross politics of the time.

This is storytelling at its finest.

If they were to make a TV series I can’t say enough good things about this book. This blog began in as I needed a spot to record my thoughts after a tragedy. In the meantime, I’m dtagons I read this smart, complex and excellent book.