Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review: The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter (Book One ~ Sunrise in the West)

Synopsis: (From the Publisher)
A Burning Desire for One Country, One Love, and One Legacy That Will Last Forever.

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...

Originally published in England as four individual novels, The Brothers of Gwyneddtransports you to a world of chivalry, gallant heroes, and imprisoned damsels; to star-crossed lovers and glorious battle scenes; and is Edith Pargeter’s absorbing tale of tragedy, traitors, and triumph of the heart.

My Review:

I am pleased to be apart of this "Summer Reading Group" that been so thoughtfully put together by Sourcebooks. Our feature book for this group is, The Brothers of Gwynedd, A Quartet by Edith Pargeter. Since the book was originally published as four separate books, we will be reviewing one book a month throughout the summer!

Book One, Sunrise in the West, focused on setting the stage for what looks to be a tale of turmoil, passion and treachery. Told from the perspective of Samson, a man with strong connections to the Gwynedd brothers, we learn who is who and the ambitions of those in power. 

At a very young age, it seems Samson is connected to Llewelyn, son of the great prince, in a vast amount of ways. These two friends are torn apart during their youths and sent their separate ways, only to find one another again by random twists of fate. Now as a grown man, Samson gives his loyalty to Llewelyn and follows him through every battle and hardship. 

As the Gwynedd brothers are set against each other, driven by greed and ambition, Wales is constantly at war with itself. After years of upheaval and uncertainty, Llewelyn accepts his brothers vow of fealty, but can a brother so easily turned be trusted completely? With England now a cretin threat to the Welsh dominance, sides must be chosen and a rightful leader crowned. Can these brothers of Gwynedd come together for the good of their country or will their actions bring everyone a grim demise...

I am very glad that The Brothers of Gwynedd is broken down into four separate books; it will definitely allow for an easier reading experience. The first 40 pages mostly focused on describing the relationships between everyone, which made for a slow and at times confusing beginning; the authors writing style probably did not help this. Once the story began to focus more on the brothers of Gwynedd, I found myself much more engaged with the story. With this first book only being 186 pages, it provided plenty of treachery and intricate plots. I think this book definitely set the stage for the next one, and I am looking forward to reading what happens next with these dramatic Welsh brothers. 

A Little Extra:
Here are the links to everyone else participating in the Summer Reading Group! 

May 17th Reviews
The Burton Review
The Bibliophilic Book Blog
A Reader's Respite
History Undressed
Linda Banche Blog
A Hoyden's Look at Literature
Renee's Reads
May 18 Reviews
Between the Pages
The Broken Teepee
Books and Coffee
Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Tanzanite's Shelf and Stuff
Passages to the Past
The Book Faery
A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore
Martha's Bookshelf
May 19 Reviews
Beth Fish
Deb's Book Bag
Book Tumbling
A Work in Progress
Stiletto Storytime
Queen of Happy Endings
May 20 Reviews
The Literate Housewife
Reading Adventures
Books Like Breathing
Kailana's Written World
Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog
Wendy's Minding Spot
Mrs. Q Book Addict
The Life and Lies of a Flying Inanimate Object
Starting Fresh
May 21 Reviews
Loving Heart Mommy
Peeking Between the Pages
Celtic Lady's Ramblings
One Literature Nut
The Book Tree
My Reading Room
May 23 Reviews
Carla Nayland's Blog

FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.

Copyright © 2010 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.


Marg said...

I enjoyed the book a bit more after the initial set up as well.

Blodeuedd said...

I googled the future, now why did I do that, can't help it ;)

Jennifer Robertson-Quirion said...

Great post! I'm very happy to be reading this as a group and in sections.

Jenny Girl said...

Look at all of these wonderful blogs and bloggers that I know! Great review Svea and kudos to you for sticking with this book. I have little patience for books like this so I'm glad I passed. I can enjoy it through all of everyone's reviews :)

Seduced By Books said...

HI! following you - check us out when you have time