Tuesday 28 July 2009

Review: Flint by Margaret Redfern

Flint by Margaret Redfern

"Sometimes love runs deeper than blood or duty"

Genre: Historical
Publication date: 11th August 2009
Pages: 208
Published by Honno Welsh Women's press

Will and his brother Ned are on the long march from the Fens to North Wales, commandeered into the army of ditch-diggers heading west towards Flint, where they will be preparing the ground for the foundations of Edward 1's new castle. They are nervous and rightly so – for not only is Ned a mute, whose abilities as a horse-whisperer and herbalist make him suspicious in the eyes of their English overseers, but they have been close to the enemy. Ned had been secretly taking lessons in music from Ieuan ap y Gof, an exiled bard, when the Welshman disappeared one night without warning not long before Edward's officers came 'recruiting'.

The boys find themselves a long way from home, virtually friendless and then captured by the 'enemy', suspected of treason and near killed before they are able to escape. Finally, when all appears lost, Will learns that love is sometimes harder to understand and to come to terms with than death itself…

This was a good book, and a sad book in a way. Or maybe I as the reader was sadden by it. She has a good way of writing, a very easy style, that says much but at the same time not. I like the style, and it does draw you in.

It's a story about two boys, Ned who is sometimes looked down upon cos he is not right in the head, and his younger brother Will who looks after his brother. Or perhaps it's just the other way around. The story is told by Will as an old man, looking back at what happened back then. We get to see the march towards Wales and sometime things that happened before the march. This time told in another way. He is sent with them to be at his brother's side, and Ned longs to meet the Welsh bard again who visited their village. Ned is a master at playing, and his music echoes though out the book, and I wish I could hear it too. It's supposed to bring tears to your eyes.

Now why did I get sad at times, well I do like Wales, the name says it all. And here Edward I is hunting down Prince Llywelyn, and he will meet an sad end. The people is suffering. Then there are the diggers, English men from all over who has to prepare the grounds and build the castles the king wants. Horrible conditions and taken way from those they love. Always at risk since there is a war going on.

I like Will, he is a strong child, and even if he is scared at times he puts on a brave face. There are other memorable characters as well in the book. Some good, some rather bad. Some we meet just for a moment before they are swept away.

The book is short, but there is a nice conclusion, but I do wonder about Will afterwards. He seems to have lived a memorable life. I would like to read more, at the same time the book have to end where it does so he can grow up. As for Ned, everything is seen trough Will's eyes, and I sometimes wonder what goes on in his head. perhaps there is just the sweet music of the bard. I am so happy when he gets to play.

This is a historical book, set in a turbulent time. We don't get to see noble men fight and so on, instead we get to see what those behind, far, far behind are doing while people are fighting and negotiating. Life at the other side.

I liked the tone of the book, her easy way of writing. It's a book that can be read by all, no age limit either, well there is one bloody scene but people are used to everything these days. The language flows easy also.

received a copy for a review


  1. Oh, sounds lovely. Great review!

  2. I agree--that sounds lovely, and I really want this book now!

  3. I am really quite taken with the cover. I love black and white prints and this is a superb one. I would buy just for that.

  4. I have only read one Historical novel that wasn't romance :). I have a few on my shelf. Someday I'll add this genre to my reading :).

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts!

  5. Thanks Linda!

    A nice read, hard to explain it :)

    Scrao girl,
    Oh I love the cover, then again give me anything that resembles just one wall of a castle and I will love it.

    Only one...wait...hm, now when I think about it most mine has romance in them. I do read many non romance too but those romance will always be more.
    Good with a change now and then

  6. I think this sounds like an excellent read!!

  7. I'm starting to read more in the historical genre. Flint sounds great; thanks so much for bringing it to my attention.

  8. Oh Blodeuedd, your reviews always enlighten me in the book world!! You bring such diversity to this place!! Come to think of it, I have not read a non romance book in a very very long time. I admire that you do that. I am not sure if I can do that.. lol!! The inner hussy in me won't let me. I think she would literally try to bite my fingers off if I picked up something without a HEA in it!! LMAO!!!
    But I am glad to see that you kept us informed in your review with your honesty!!!
    I hope you have a wonderful day!

  9. Staci,
    It was interesting, and I do love all things Welsh so it was nice to see them there

    How fun, I hope you find many good historical books to read then. I do love this genre.

    Hi Cecile,
    I seem to go for so many genres don't I. But it's fun, I like to broaden my horizons and read about a lot of things (of course if there happen to be some romance thrown in the better ;)

    Aha so the inner hussy is binding you to romance ;) Hehe, I can understand that.

    I realised that I was starving for some great romance so right now I am reading a contemporary and one historical. HEA promised together with hunky alpha males. My inner hussy is trying to claw herself to the top cos they are excellent and they make me so happy.

    Have a great day! Even though you are surely sleeping when i write this

  10. Great review! I see you're in a Welsh mood lately :)
    I like easily readable books.

  11. Jenny,
    Yes I am :) Too bad no more Welsh books in sight at the moment

  12. This does sound interesting. I do like historical books that have women as key characters though so I'm not sure this would be one for me or not.

  13. Great review! This is the first time I stop by your blog. I got your link from your post on historical fiction fans on Book Blogs. I'm glad I stopped by- it's wonderful.
    Come visit my blog if you'd like- it's all about historical fiction. I'm having a giveaway right now.


    thanks:) Lucy

  14. ta ra!!! a book from the welch side of things! this sounds like a good'un! must add to wish list!

    ths for the review!
    spvaughan yahoo

  15. Well, Blodeuedd, I always love coming here to see what you have to read. You give me different things to look at!!!

  16. This sounds really good! I fell in love with the Princes of Wales in Sharon Kay Penman's Welsh trilogy. Well- I only REALLY loved the first one, the other two weren't quite as good, in my opinion. But I highly recommend Here Be Dragons if you want more Welsh in your life!

  17. Dar,
    I do tend to respond to those books the most too. But this one was good, I didn't even think that it was an 11 year old boy who was experiencing it.

    Hi, and thanks for stopping by. Lovely blog you have btw.

    Glad to see you around.
    A very nice book indeed.

    Aye, that is what I am know for, oh and my obsession for R.Armitage ;)

    I will have a look at those books :D
    Thanks Aarti. Cos I do love all things Welsh, and especially the Welsh princes. I even named a cat after one, lol

  18. A fabulous review for a fabulous book. I've had the pleasure of reading it. Truly amazing! Thanks!

  19. Hi Blodeuedd!

    Sounds like an excellent little read, different and interesting.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Dottie :)

  20. Hi Dottie,
    It was, and thanks for stopping by



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