Reckoning (Welsh Princes Series #3)

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Overview

"Penman's characters are so shrewdly imagined, so full of resonant human feeling that they seem to be on the page....Most compelling is the portrait of the Welsh as wild and rugged as their landscape."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Here, 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 ...
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1992 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Like New, Excellent condition. NOTE: PSI5(Name and Date on inside) Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 608 p. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

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The Reckoning

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Overview

"Penman's characters are so shrewdly imagined, so full of resonant human feeling that they seem to be on the page....Most compelling is the portrait of the Welsh as wild and rugged as their landscape."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Here, 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.

With The Reckoning acclaimed novelist Sharon Kay Penman brings her epic trilogy of 13th-century England and Wales--begun in Here Be Dragons and Falls the Shadow--to a magnificent conclusion. As part of a monumental saga, or standing on its own, the dramatic story of England's warrior king, Edward I, and his determination to control Wales is serious English historical fiction at its best.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Spanning the period 1271-83 A.D., The Reckoning focuses on the Welsh uprisings and their prince, Llewelyn ap Gruffydd. The story begins five years after the killing of Simon de Montfort, whose story was related in Penman's Falls the Shadow ( LJ 7/88). The betrothal between Simon's 13-year-old daughter Ellen and Llewelyn, which had ended with her father's death, has been reinstated. Now, en route to meet her husband, Ellen is kidnapped by pirates acting at the behest of Edward I, who opposes his cousin's marriage to the warring Welsh lord. The scene shifts from Wales to the scattered de Montforts living in France and Italy and to Edward's court. The action involves religious and political intrigue, battles and plots. The players include well-researched historical personages and fictional characters. As with Penman's other historical novels, this one is both informative and enjoyable. Settings, events, and individuals are well drawn. Promised maps and genealogies will help sort out the geographical names and convoluted relationships. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/91.-- Ellen Kaye Stoppel, Drake Univ. Law Lib., Des Moines
School Library Journal
YA-- A captivating story about Edward I's takeover of Wales that reveals the harshness of 13th-century Great Britain. Historically accurate and well written, the book is superb, with research that is detailed and history that is thoroughly compelling. Penman brings to life the people of the day, placing the romance of Llewelyn, the Welsh prince, and his bride, Eleanor de Montford, at the heart of the story. Destiny denies Llewelyn and Eleanor a ``happily-ever-after ending,'' and condemns their relatives, including the children, to a lifetime of imprisonment by King Edward. As in her previous books, Penman reveals the times, the customs, and the people of Great Britain through intriguing characters and circumstances.-- Linda Vretos, West Springfield High School, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Third in Penman's ambitious and admirable trilogy (Here Be Dragons, 1985; Falls the Shadow, 1988) centered on the medieval maelstroms of power, passions, and terror during the reigns of England's King John, weak Henry III, and, here, that "Hammer of the Scots," pounder of the Welsh and any others threatening the supremacy of the Crown—Edward I. This is the story of the deadly reckoning, the final defeat of the descendants and allies of Simon de Montfort (whose rebellion against kingly power is chronicled in the first two novels) as well as the tale of the end of an independent Wales. The focus here, much seen through the eyes of a young squire, is on the tactics of two rulers—Edward I of England and his cousinly kin (a genealogical table—a necessity!—will be included) Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, Prince of Wales—judicious, devoted to his land and people, but not one to underestimate Edward's hunger for absolute English supremacy and his ability to achieve it. Around the two, and back and forth, is a motley group: dangerous-to-loyal kin, rumbling nobles and wily clergy, women in love and in terrible grief. Closest to Llewelyn is Ellen, daughter of Simon de Montfort, whose marriage to him is unconsummated for weary months, serving as she does as Edward's lure in a diplomatic game plan. Also, strangely close, is Llewelyn's brother Davydd, a charming, intelligent Cain, betraying again and again—although love can survive. At the close, Davydd's rash action will precipitate the final battle and the deaths of two last Welsh Princes of Wales. Penman's easy narrative and dialogue (except for a "mayhap" here and there, mainly 20th-century all-purpose) move the readereffortlessly from chill prisons to the blaze of festivals, the coziness of women's quarters and in the beauty or punishment of capricious winds and weathers. With a large cast of sturdy characters, a gripping (true) story, and research that supports, rather than impales, good storytelling: a first-rate historical novel, crowning a solid series.
From the Publisher
“A first-rate historical novel.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Packed with bold adventure, high romance, and large characters whose acts of bravery, self-sacrifice, brutality and treachery are part of history.” —James Goldman, author of The Lion in Winter

“Full of brawling and plotting, murder and revenge and betrayal. . . . Another triumph for Penman.” —The Seattle Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345378880
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Series: Welsh Princes Series , #3
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Kay Penman is the author of seven critically acclaimed historical novels, including the New York Times bestseller Devil’s Brood, and four medieval mysteries, including the Edgar-finalist The Queen’s Man.

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Reading Group Guide

“Penman’s characters are so shrewdly imagined, so full of resonant human feeling that they seem to breathe on the page.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Never forget, Llewelyn, that the world’s greatest fool is a Welshman who trusts an English king.”

His father’s words haunt Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, who has been ruling uneasily over his fractious countrymen. Above all else, Llewelyn fears that his life and his own dream—of an independent, united Wales—might be lost to Edward I’s desire to expand his English empire.

Alive from the pages of history, this is the hauntingly beautiful and compelling tale of a game poised to play itself out to its bloody finale as English and Welsh cross swords in a reckoning that must mean disaster for one side or the other.

For anyone who has ever wanted to experience the rich tapestry of British history and lore, this bold and romantic adventure must be read.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 30 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 21, 2013

    I read all three of the books. The Reckoning was by far the most

    I read all three of the books. The Reckoning was by far the most moving of the trilogy. I really appreciate all of the historical detail that Penman includes throughout the book. I feel , at the end of reading any of her stories, that I have learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed a story. The novels are based primarily on true historical events. It is amazing things that happened once upon a time in the world. But Penman can tell the story beautifully. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    Wow..compelling...a must read

    Amazing conclusion go the Welch princes trilogy. I so loved Llewelyn and Ellen... their story was do tragic...their time together too short. I so wanted a happy ending but it was not to be... at times I wanted to kill Davydd with my bare hands..This series is a must read if you like historical romance. It will not dissapoint.. just be prepared to cry as much as you laugh...enjoy the journey.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Another awesome read!

    Llewyellen, the grandson, and his adventrues resisting English domination of his homeland. The story is very interesting and captivating with family friction to rival the greatest Shakesperian drama.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Reckoning -- A Powerful Finish to Penman's Welsh Princes Series!

    I easily gave Penman's 3rd book in the Welsh Princes Series five stars. The first 2 books in the series captivated me and introduced 16th and 17th century Wales to my historical fiction library in a romantic yet dramatic way. When starting the 3rd book, I was a little skeptical that the new characters being introduced (Ellen de Montfort and Caitlyn) would catch my interest as much as Joanna, Llewelyn Fawr, or Simon de Montfort--these new characters definitely were easy to relate to and made the book fly by.

    After the last page, I was relieved to find out how some of the characters met their fates, both good and bad. I only wish there could be a 4th or 5th book to the series to see the continuous fate of Wales.

    I would recommend the entire Welsh Prince Series, as well as any historical fiction book that Sharon Kay Penman has written!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Penman is the best...

    Someone's previous review said "gripping"....that's just one word to describe this entire trilogy. I simply did not want it to end. Penman gives each of the historical people in her novels such character - brings them to life. Reading the Eleanor of Acquataine trilogy and the Welsh princes' triology gave me such a better understanding of the people and events during that time. I strongly recommend both trilogies....Penman has an excellent writing style that places you at every seige, betrayal, battle and bedchamber - I would re-read all of these books in a heartbeat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2006

    The best of the Welsh Trilogy

    Here Be Dragons was good. Llewelyn was a good hero. Falls the Shadow was even better. Simon de Montfort is an exciting character, a man of action, intelligent and honorable. I'm 160 pages into The Reckoning, and I can honestly say that it is the best of the series. Right now Ellen, Simon's daughter, has just been taken prisoner on the high seas of the coast of Cornwall by pirates commissioned by the newly crowned king Edward. Wow, so much has happened, so much action, tragedy, joy, betrayal! This is the best book of a remarkable series. Enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2003

    Gripping

    Penman's "The Reckoning" has got to be one of the most thrilling historical novels I have ever read. The last of her trilogy (1st two: Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadows), this is the final conclusion and tells with such mastery the aftermath of such an enduring age. There were times where I was absolutely beside myself with laughter, and other times that I could not stop crying, so real were the tragic characters portrayed that my heart broke for the real historical people who's lives were so dramatically touched. Anyone who reads The Reckoning will not help being drawn into it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2001

    not the average cut throats

    When i picked up this book i thought that it would be another dry history but i really got into the whole scene and the charachters loyalty, i.e. Hugh to the de Montforts, and how some of the characters seem to overcome the people who hold them back. I ended up getting attached to a some of the characters(Ellen, Caitlin) which rarely ever happens when i am reading. This book keeps the history real and makes you feel as if you are involved in their lives.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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