Tangwstyl is set in the medieval town of Kenfig in the year 1399. The story centres on a prophecy made by Merlin and the birth of a girl, named Tangwstyl. Based on historical fact, Tangwstyl tells the story of King Richard and a plot to assassinate him, of Owain Glyn Dwr and his struggle for personal and national justice, and of the medieval Church and its desire to suppress all forms of heresy. Tangwstyl also tells the story of the common men and women of Kenfig, ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, events that would alter long held beliefs and reshape lives.
From an English Chronicle – The Welsh habit of revolt against the English is an old-standing madness…and this is the reason: the Welsh, formally called Britons, were once noble crowned over the whole realm of England; but they were expelled by the Saxons and lost both the name and the kingdom. The fertile plains went to the Saxons, but the sterile and mountainous districts to the Welsh. But from the sayings of the prophet Merlin they still hope to recover their land. Hence, it is that the Welsh frequently rebel, hoping to give effect to the prophecy.
From The Welsh Books Council…Mansel Jones has well imagined the details of life in the period. He obviously knows the landscape well and the evocation of this adds greatly to the book.
From Amazon…For once I found that Tangwstyl portrays a true medieval village. The weather, scenery and characters, all resemble a true Welsh village at this era in time. The divergence between the Welsh and the English, as was the case during this period, is also made clear. The characters are believable, and it shows a side to King Richard that is not often seen. The plot is brilliant, and is filled with twists, as each page reveals a new piece of it. The timeline of Tangwstyl is perfect, as it stretches over only a few days. This helps the story feel more realistic and keeps the reader’s attention throughout.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tangwstyl is foretold to be the daughter of the second Arthur. On her birth, people of Wales began waiting for their savior's return to claim his daughter and to free them from the rule of ruthless and uncaring kings. The story has little to do with Tangwstyl herself. She is a mere infant during the eight days that unravel throughout the story. Instead, it's a story about a plot to kill King Richard by those disgruntled who didn't receive the rewards the kind promised. The author successfully weaves in the lives of land-owners, peasants, and clergy to give an accurate picture of what it would have been like residing in a medieval village. It's filled with historical facts, and even the fictional aspects are so well blended in that the story itself seems real--making history come alive. Wonderful descriptions fill the book. The author takes as much care crafting the words of the story and writing the actual plot itself. It's a complex plot of murder and beliefs. It takes place in a world dominated by the Catholic church, but on the verge of reform. This is an author I wouldn't hesitate to buy another historical novel. I've learned so much.