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Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet [Paperback]

Edith Pargeter
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 9.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New Ed edition (17 Aug 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747232679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747232674
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 12.9 x 5.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Edith Pargeter, who also wrote as Ellis Peters, gained worldwide praise and recognition for her crime fiction.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic, fascinating, historical epic 18 July 2001
By A Customer
Anyone who enjoys historical novels should definitely read this compilation of the Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet. If you are not familiar with the history of thirteenth century Wales prepare yourselves for family rivalry, battles, politics, and tragedy and send you mind back to the past. Written from the viewpoint of an observer closely associated with the royal house of Gwynedd the reader will not only learn from the accurate factual side of the book, but also experience a fantastically good story. I ended up being 100% on the side of the Welsh as you chart their battle to keep their kingdom in tact against the relentless force of the English, but also fight against factions that divide the family itself and the conflict between the major characters. Wales also has what I feel is one of the most tragic love stories as part of its history, and which this book reveals, that between Llywellyn the last prince of Wales and Eleanor of Montfort. Betrothed for many years, she gave up hope of marrying her Welsh prince once her father had been killed, but many years later he summoned her. She set sail from France but was captured by her cousin Edward I who kept her confined and used her as a bargaining tool to get further gains from the Welsh. Finally she was allowed to marry Llywellyn, only to tragically die in childbirth a year or so later. Soon after the Welsh royal family was forced into capitulation by Edward I - so much tragedy!
Please read this book!!!!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 21 Feb 2006
By A Customer
If you like historical fiction with a well developed plot and very well developed characters then you'll love this book. It is the story of the sunset of Welsh self rule, Kings and Princes battles over empire, determination, betrayal, love, and just life in the late 13th century in general. After reading the book I did a little research on the author and history of the Welsh in that time period and was pleasantly surprised at how accurate the details are. And of course Edith Pargeter is a well respected Midlands writer and was born near to where the stories take place.
My only small complaint would be that it sometimes got bogged down in to much detail, but that's easy to skip over.
All and all a very wonderful read, the story will weave a spell around your life for awhile. A book to get lost in!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars overshadowed by Sharon Penman 15 April 2008
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Part of the problem with this book is that the story has been told much better by Sharon Penman in her Welsh trilogy. Pargeter is usually a better writer technically (especially in the sublime Heaven Tree trilogy) but her style is all out of kilter here. By choosing to make this a first-person narrative by the boy Samsun, the tale is told by someone who is inevitably excluded from much of what happens. Too much of the story is therefore in the 'A told B that C was planning and then D did...'. In short we're told everything through the view of Samsun rather than having the story enacted or dramatised in front of us.

Other reviewers clearly didn't mind this, but for me this was a major drawback, especially is such a large quartet. In the end it was just too distancing, especially when the same story has been told so much better, in my opinion, by another author.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written and well researched but ....... 29 Mar 2007
By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I just couldn't get into this book. I was familiar with the story of Llewellyn the last and his Eleanor from reading Sharon Kay Penman's Welsh trilogy (LOVED IT!!). This book, or rather these four books in one tell a similar tale as SKP's Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning, but I found this version to be a bit dry and dragged in many places.

Part of it may be from telling the story in the first person, thus limiting the story telling to what is observed by that person, loosing a lot of character development. I think also because these were originally written as four smaller books, they might stand better alone with some breathing room in between. Looking at it as one book it could well have stood some serious editing. Also suffering due to the first person account is more about Eleanor except for when Samson the clerk is there, so much of the magic of the tale of Llewellyn and his Eleanor is not told here.

Maybe it's just me, although I usually devour large historical fictions about this time period without hardly taking a breather. This one I could always put down, found myself skipping a lot of pages and praying for the book to end -- how many times did we need to have demonstrated in such great, lengthy detail about the legal manipulations of Edward I?

That being said, my heart still breaks for what was lost forever to Wales and the Welsh people at the hands of that despicaple, two timing, double dealing, lying snake in the grass Edward I.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Historically accurate 27 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another excellently researched and written book from this internationally acclaimed author, I did however find it a little ponderous in places though but would still recommend it.
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