Published: May 2010 Sourcebooks Landmark
This book consists of 4 books in one.
Book 1 Sunrise in The West
Llewelyn, prince of Gwynedd, dreams of a Wales united against the English, but first he must combat enemies nearer home. Llewelyn and his brothers—Owen Goch, Rhodri, and David—vie for power among themselves and with the English king, Henry III. Despite the support of his beloved wife, Eleanor, Llewelyn finds himself trapped in a situation where the only solution could be his very downfall.
Book 2 The Dragon at Noonday
In this gripping sequel to Sunrise in the West, Wales is gloriously united, while England is torn in two by bloody strife.
Book 3 The hounds of Sunset
Powerful Prince Llewelyn still treasures his vision of a Wales united against the threat of the English kings. The dream seems near fulfilment until Edward, vigorous, ambitious, and arrogant, takes old Henry's place on the English throne—and more than his share of power. Trouble also looms nearer home, where the youngest of the Welsh brothers, David—blue-eyed, charming, and deadly—is plotting Llewelyn’s downfall. Threatened on all sides, Llewelyn looks for comfort from the beautiful Eleanor de Montfort, the jewel in his crown and the only shining star as night falls on his dreams of power.
Book 4 Afterglow and Nightfall
A Burning Desire for One Country, One Love, and One Legacy That Will Last Forever.
I reviewed book one back in May and said that it was a heavy book to read, not cos it's so big, but because the language is a bit dry. And the first book lead up to things where Llewellyn finally got his throne.
In the second book there was more strife, and then the third book become more interesting. And this was my favorite part of this book. Llewellyn decided that he would marry Eleanor of Montfort, and he waited almost 15 years for her. 2 or 3 years of their married life she spent in the kings care when he did not want this marriage. But then they finally got to meet, and she had waited too. That is the part I like, they knew they should be together. I wondered if history would have looked differently if he had married 20 years before and had a bunch of kids, one getting away in the end and raising the banner later.
I also enjoyed his brother David's story, he was truly handsome and all the women loved him, but at last his grey little mouse for a wife caught him and he loved her fiercely.
I think what i would have liked is to see the story through Llewellyn's eyes, instead it was through Samson's eyes, and as the prince's secretary he tells us this story. A rather dry story that seems like a chronicle from the Middle Ages, which is the point, but I would have loved to read a story instead. Now it is rather textbook like at times, well not when Samson mourns the woman he wants.
I think this book is for the hardcore Welsh fans, because here you really get the whole story. The brothers fighting each other, fighting the English and then sadly the fall of Wales. The dragon no more. We all know it will end like that, it is no spoiler, there is no principality of Wales. And Llewellyn is called the Last for a reason.
I would have liked a family tree, that I do confess, I did a lot of googling while reading this book, trying to see if anyone survived or how many kids they got.
For me it was too dry, I couldn't loose myself in the story like with other historical books, and I do love Wales, I mean I smiled big when they mentioned Mur-y-castell. But others do seem to enjoy these books, and they are one thing for sure, rich with a colorful history.
Blodeuedd's Cover Corner. You should see the silly hat on one of those guys ;)
Reason for reading: From sourcebooks
Final thoughts: An epic story about the struggle for Wales, and a prince that will be remembered forever.