Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England's ruthless, power-hungry King John. Then Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, secures an uneasy truce with England by marrying the English king's beloved, illegitimate daughter, Joanna. Reluctant to wed her father's bitter enemy, Joanna slowly grows to love her charismatic and courageous husband who dreams of uniting Wales. But as John's attentions turn again and again to subduing Wales - and Llewelyn - Joanna must decide to which of these powerful men she owes her loyalty and love.
The turbulant clashes of two disparate worlds, and the personal destinies of the people caught between them, are magnificently interwoven in this sweeping novel of power and passion, loyalties and lies. The book that began the trilogy that includes Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning, Here Be Dragons brings thirteenth-centruy England, France and Wales to tangled, tempestuous life.
"This day we fight for justice, for Christ's poor, for the weak of England, for the promises broken and the trust betrayed..."
This was Simon de Montfort at his best, on the eve of the famous battle of Lewes. A man ahead of his time, he was a disinherited aristocratic Frenchman who talked his way into an English earldom and into marriage with a sister of the English king, Henry III. A charismatic, obstinate leader, de Monfort became outraged at Henry's incompetence - and his inability to keep his word. Simon the Righteous soon found himself the champion of the common people, earning the undying hatred of the king who demanded blind loyalty.
This is Simon de Montfort's story - and the story of King Henry III, as weak and changeable as Montfort was brash and unbending. It is a saga of two opposing wills that would later clash in a storm of violence and betrayal, a story straight from the pages of history that brings the world of the thirteenth century completely, provocatively, and magnificently alive.
Above all, this is a story of conflict and treachery, of human frailty and broken legends, a tale of pagenatry and grandeur that is as unforgettable as it is real...
"Never forget, Llewelyn, that the world's greatest fool is a Welshman who trusts an English king."
His father's words haunted the Prince of Wales, five years after his ally Simon de Montfort had lost his life and his cause to the English Crown. Now Llewelyn feared that his own dream - an independent, united Wales - would be lost to Edward I's desire to expand his English empire.
Here, alive from the pages of history, is the compelling tale of a Celtic society on a collision course with a feudal realm. 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.
He was the last-born son of the Duke of York and the last Plantagenet king. He was Richard III, a complex man living in tumultuous times...
Caught in the vicious power struggle that history has called The War of the Roses, Richard had been raised in the shadow of his charismatic brother Edward. At nineteen and against all odds, Edward had defeated the House of Lancaster and claimed the English throne for York. Famous for his sensual appetites and his preference for the expedient over the correct, Edward nonetheless found in his younger brother Richard and unfailingly loyal ally.
Richard himself was repaid for his allegiance; he was dening nothing, except the one thing he wanted most in life - the right to wed the woman he adored, Anne Neville. Their love would haunt them both, and add to the tragedy of Richard's eventual defeat at the hands of the Tudors.
In this stirring historical novel, Sharon Kay Penman redeems Richard III from his villainous role in history as the hulking, evil hunchback. This dazzling recreation of his life if filled with the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and lore of 15th-century daily life, the rigors of court politics, and the passions of the highborn. Most of all, it brings to life a gifted man whose greatest sin was that he held principles too firmly for the times in which he lived, and loved too deeply to survive love's loss.
A.D. 1135. As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's beautiful daughter Maude, Countess of Anjou. But before Maude could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned.
Sharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacular medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come - the glorious age of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets that would soon illumine the world.