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The Reckoning


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About the Author

Sharon Penman is one of the most popular historical novelists writing today. Her bestselling story of Richard III, The Sunne in Splendour, was published in 1982 and her acclaimed Welsh trilogy, Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning, was similarly successful. Time and Chance is the second in a trilogy that opened with When Christ and His Saints Slept (1994). Sharon Penman has travelled widely on both sides of the Atlantic researching her work. She lives in New Jersey.


Spanning the period 1271-83 A.D., The Reckoning focuses on the Welsh uprisings and their prince, Llewelyn ap Gruffydd. The story begins five years after the killing of Simon de Montfort, whose story was related in Penman's Falls the Shadow ( LJ 7/88). The betrothal between Simon's 13-year-old daughter Ellen and Llewelyn, which had ended with her father's death, has been reinstated. Now, en route to meet her husband, Ellen is kidnapped by pirates acting at the behest of Edward I, who opposes his cousin's marriage to the warring Welsh lord. The scene shifts from Wales to the scattered de Montforts living in France and Italy and to Edward's court. The action involves religious and political intrigue, battles and plots. The players include well-researched historical personages and fictional characters. As with Penman's other historical novels, this one is both informative and enjoyable. Settings, events, and individuals are well drawn. Promised maps and genealogies will help sort out the geographical names and convoluted relationships. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/91.-- Ellen Kaye Stoppel, Drake Univ. Law Lib., Des Moines

YA-- A captivating story about Edward I's takeover of Wales that reveals the harshness of 13th-century Great Britain. Historically accurate and well written, the book is superb, with research that is detailed and history that is thoroughly compelling. Penman brings to life the people of the day, placing the romance of Llewelyn, the Welsh prince, and his bride, Eleanor de Montford, at the heart of the story. Destiny denies Llewelyn and Eleanor a ``happily-ever-after ending,'' and condemns their relatives, including the children, to a lifetime of imprisonment by King Edward. As in her previous books, Penman reveals the times, the customs, and the people of Great Britain through intriguing characters and circumstances.-- Linda Vretos, West Springfield High School, VA

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