Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr by N. Gemini Sasson

The story of Owain Glyndwr, the last Welsh Prince of Wales

In the year 1399, Welsh nobleman Owain Glyndwr is living out a peaceful gentleman's life in the Dee Valley of Wales with his wife Margaret and their eleven children. But when Henry of Bolingbroke usurps the throne of England from his cousin Richard II, that tranquility is forever shattered. What starts as a feud with a neighboring English lord over a strip of land evolves into something greater--a fight for the very independence of Wales.

After a harrowing encounter on the misty slopes of Cadair Idris, the English knight Harry Hotspur offers Owain a pact he cannot resist.

Peace, however, comes with a heavy price. As tragedies mount and temptations loom, Owain questions whether he can fulfill the prophecies and lead his people to freedom without destroying those around him.

For centuries, the bards have sung of King Arthur's return, but is this reluctant warrior prince the answer to those prophecies?

A long time fan of author N. Gemini Sasson, I was eager to read this, her latest novel. I expected to be dazzled with great story telling, and I truly was.

Known as the last true Welsh prince of Wales, Owain Glyndwr, dedicated his entire life in trying to secure Wale’s freedom from English rule. A man of honor, greatly respected, and with the heart of a lion, Owain lives a happy life surrounded by his wife and children. As turmoil with the English increases, Owain soon finds himself torn away from his beloved family, leading a rebellion, and ultimately being adorned with a crown proclaiming him prince.

The author does an outstanding job of showing us not only Owain’s finest qualities, but also his many faults, and it is this that made Owain seem real to me, for no one in this world is perfect. It is a testament to N. Gemini’s talents as a writer that Owain truly comes alive while reading this book. What I was also more than impressed with was the fact that historical fact and complicated politics are skillfully presented in simple, easy to understand prose. The author leaves no stone unturned and does not shy away from writing detailed love scenes, battles, executions, and daily hardships faced by people in turbulent eras. Highly researched and meticulously written, Uneasy Lies the Crown is a brilliant novel about a poignant hero and the sacrifices he made to fight for his country. If you’ve never read one of N. Gemini Sasson’s novels, then definitely make this your first one. And if you’ve read her other books, know that this one is just as satisfying and brilliant as her others. 

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