1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
13th century Welsh/English border historical novel,
This review is from: The Heaven Tree: Number 1 in series (Paperback)
The book: Two foster brothers and apprentice stonemasons grow up together in 1200-1215 on the Welsh/English border, near Shrewsbury, and get into trouble together with a powerful border lord. They have to flee England and learn their craft in France; one of them becomes a master mason and is asked by yet another strong personality on the Welsh border area to build him a church. But more than building comes into their lives - love, and the complicated politics of the Welsh princes and King John.
The writer: Edith Pargeter (1913-1995) was a Welsh/English writer of historical novels and detectives, and is particularly known for the Brother Cadfael stories she wrote under the pseudonym Ellis Peters; she also wrote straight detectives under other pseudonyms.
My opinion: Very well written historical novel, with very real-feeling personalities and interactions, against a real historical background - well-researched, but not in an intrusive way. The politics, and pretty complicated ones, only come in as a faint (but important) background influence. There is adventure, drama, art and emotion; and a lot of humanity. I thought there was a slight 'sag' in the middle, but it is a powerful story, and well told.