The Wicked and the Just

The Wicked and the Just

by J. Anderson Coats
4.3 9


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The Wicked and the Just 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Morgan_S_M More than 1 year ago
Extremely well researched and a harrowing look at a time period I don't read much about. I liked the alternating POVs but this book was a harsh read. I really disliked Cecily. She was awful but I understood why because unfortunately I think she was reflective of many English women of her time. I'm not sure I enjoyed reading this but I learned a lot, the writing was excellent, and the story had me turning the pages. A more serious read for historical fiction fans.
JessicaCoffee More than 1 year ago
4.5 but I rounded up! Great story, absolutely loved the Ms. Coats' voice in The Wicked and the Just. Cecily was great, and I laughed out loud many times at comments she made and her (incorrect) understanding of things. Of course, as she matured, she learned that things aren't always as adults tell you they are. This book made me feel a plethora of emotions, especially when things happened between her and Gwenhwyfar. Not to mention, reading about Wales in the 1200's was really interesting. Great, great find at the library--one I am definitely now going to buy in hardcover to read again and again LOAN loan out to as many readers as possible. Can't wait to read more work by Ms. Coats!
JoanneLevy More than 1 year ago
Poignant, brutal, heartbreaking and not sugar-coated at all, this was a really compelling read about two girls whose lives intersect when Cecily and her father move to Wales to pursue a new life. Gwenhwyfar, the Welsh girl with problems of her own becomes Cecily's servant, bringing the girls together. The story is told in the alternating viewpoints of the two girls as tensions mount outside the walls of Cecily's townhouse even while she is oblivious and selfishly focused on her own life within her home. Told in wonderful language and having a lot of wry humor, this book was a very gripping read right to the very last page. Highly recommended to those who enjoy historicals.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
If you’re a fan of historical fiction novels, then you’ll absolutely love The Wicked and The Just. Set in 13th century Wales, this book is a well-researched, vivid account of daily life for the rich and the poor in Wales when it was occupied by England. What makes this book brilliant and unique is it’s historical correctness, and its main characters. This book is told from the alternating points of view of rich English girl Cecily and her servant, Welsch Gwen. Cecily is a stuck up brat. She’s not entirely terrible, because she doesn’t intend to hurt people’s feelings by treating everyone she comes across as her servant, but it’s close. I had the feeling that more often than not she was just too preoccupied to worry about other people’s feelings. But Cecily is also pretty hilarious, although she doesn’t try to be. She’s clumsy, downright idiotic at times, and her idea of right and wrong is so messed up I couldn’t help but laugh at her expense. She’s not a likeable character, but I applaud the author for choosing an unlikeable heroine. I didn’t grow to like her by the end, but that still didn’t take out how good this book was, or how much I enjoyed the story. It wouldn’t have been the same if the main character had been someone I could easily like. It’s brave when authors use unlikeable protagonists, but it’s astonishing when they succeed in writing an awesome book featuring said protagonist. The other main character, Gwen, is the polar opposite. Forced to work for every penny, focused on surviving life day by day, she is hardened by poverty, and has a grim and bitter look on life. But who can blame her? When she’s forced to work as a servant for the stuck up English girl, Cecily, Gwen’s life goes from bad to worse. When the girl’s life begins to interweave, my initial thoughts were they’d become friends. Although they learn to accept each other somewhat along the way, they never make it to friendship and I’m actually relieved. It would’ve been a bit too far-stretched. And not every book needs a happy ending where everyone’s besties and the bad guys have been defeated. What I enjoyed most about this book besides the story, which is surprising and interesting and has a large number of twists and turns that keep up the pace, is the writing style. It’s spot on. Never too descriptive, never too lyrical, but always spot on. Then why the four and not five stars? At times, I felt like the story dragged on a bit. I would’ve liked more action and drama. But overall, this is a great read, with awesome characters and a historical setting that’s not overused at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I liked having the privilege of seeing the point-of-view of both Cecily and Gwinny. It made it so much easier to understand why they acted and reacted the way they did. I never hated Cecily…just felt sorry for her. She seemed to always battle with her initial feelings and the way she was supposed to feel, according to the burgess standards. Although she was undoubtedly a brat, I sensed a glimmer of kindness at the moment she set aside the coffer of her most treasured possessions to make room for Salvo in the wagon on their way to Caernarvon. I admired Gwinny for her determination and bravery throughout the entire story. I’m glad her understanding of Cecily’s plight in the end overrode her hatred for the English…which is pretty phenomenal in my eyes. I hope there is a second book to follow.
Lachlan49 More than 1 year ago
Turnabout is fair play! Like Scorpio Races, great to see more books about the Gaels & their suppression & conflict with their British neighbors. This interesting historical novel hinges around meeting of two girls from the English & Welsh perspective in 1293-94, taking place under the last rising of the Welsh Wars... under Prince Madoc. The historical note is well worth the read about King Edward I (aka Longshanks) who learned from this 1294 rebellion, investigated local mismanagement by his peers & rectified the situation to a greater extent than happened elsewhere, e.g., Ireland, though in the interest of assuming the former Welsh lines major holding that became those of the British Prince of Wales! It's amazing to recall how far back suppression of the Gaels, whether in Scotland, Ireland, Wales or Cornwall went!
TiffanyReads More than 1 year ago
The Wicked and the Just is an amazing historical novel that I just absolutely adored. Anyone who's been following me for awhile will know that I love dual perspective. In this book we have alternating points of view between Cecily and Gwenhwyfar. Cecily definitely took awhile for me to warm up to. Cecily is English and therefore has a very pleasant life. Being so privileged she came off very bratty and she acted like everything should just be handed to her. However, Cecily loses a lot and faces a lot of hardship throughout the book. I eventually started to feel sympathy for her and by the end of the book I was actually really proud of the person she became. She learned some hard but important lessons, she became stronger, and most importantly she became a better person. Gwenhwyfar is someone I felt sympathy for right away. Gwenhwyfar is Welsh and her life is a lot harder than Cecily's. She works for Cecily and does a lot of hard work and struggles just to get by. While I liked Gwenhwyfar a lot at first I started liking her less and less as the story went on. Some of her actions really surprised me and she could be very cruel at times. On the other hand though I can understand why she acted the way she did. The relationship between Cecily and Gwenhwyfar is very rocky. They start out hating each other, then kind of becoming friends, then that friendship gets completely destroyed after certain events, then at the end of the book while I wouldn't say they're friends I definitely think they came to an understanding. Cecily and Gwenhwyfar are so different and while they are at each other's throats for most of the book I really liked their relationship at the very end of the book. I think after everything they went through they learned a lot from each other and became better people from having met each other. I love historical books with a passion so of course I adored this one as well. I haven't read many books that take place in the Middle Ages so I really found this one to be so unique and different. The descriptions of everything and the writing really sucked me in and I had such a hard time putting this one down. I won't say much about the plot as it seems very easy to spoil but I will say there were quite a few things that took me by surprise so I was very happy about that. I'm not sure if this is a stand alone book or the first in a series, it really seems like it could go either way. The ending was nice but there is probably room for another book. I grew to love Cecily and Gwenhwyfar so I'd love to read more about them. Final Verdict: I adored The Wicked and the Just and I definitely think it's a book that everyone needs to read, especially historical fans. *This review is also posted on my blog and my other social media profiles.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
Oh Cecily, what a spoiled brat you are. I had a hard time getting past how rude Cecily was, even when she did something that was nice for someone else. Mostly everyone is horrible to someone else at some point in the story, so it makes sense about what happened towards the end of the book. The plot line that slowly develops is based on the takeover of the Welsh land – that was something that was easy to get lost in and understand how these people thought. I liked the idea of Cecily trying to find her way in this new land and that Gwenhwyfar is struggling with the changes in her home as well. I just wished that there would have been more good in the characters to grab onto. Instead I latched on to the bad attitudes and hoped for change to come and bring everyone together, but in my hope I was let down. The one character that I wish was expanded on more is Gwenhwyfar’s brother as he was the most interesting of the lot. Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
The blurb on the front of THE WICKED AND THE JUST goes like this... "I am gobsmacked by this astonishing story. A remarkable achievement." --Karen Cushman I'm here to tell you that GOBSMACKED is the only word that adequately sums up this tale of both cruelty and generosity of spirit. I am always amazed at how truth can be so much harder to wrap your mind around than fiction. Combine that with the imagination of a very talented author, and you come up with a book that just blows me away. THE WICKED AND THE JUST did exactly that. I may have mentioned before that I don't tend to gravitate towards historical fiction, but when it finds me, it's usually for a reason. I am so happy that this book made it's way into my hands. I want to sit here and wax poetic about what life was like in Caernarvon in 1294 but I'd just be blathering on and on about the meaning of life and change, history and evolution, humanity and inhumanity. It would just be easier if you read the book and then we talked. And I hope we do. I love to discuss books that are this good. But I can't pass up the opportunity to talk about the characters in this story. I have NEVER loved and hated two characters as much as Cecily and Gwenhwyfar. I was so vested in the lives of these two girls that it was painful at moments. J. Anderson Coats has a gift for writing characters that leave a mark on you--that change who you are and how you see the world. She does this with out preaching or manipulation. It is her mastery of the nuances of people and their behavior that makes this story exquisite. I am proud of the company I keep in the Class of 2k12 and without a doubt, I will be reading this amazing book to my boys.