The Reckoning Paperback
This book completes the splendid sequence of novels on the struggle between the independent Welsh Princes and the growing English strength which began with Here be Dragons, continued with Falls the Shadow and is now completed with The Reckoning.
The major figures in The Reckoning are the splendid dominant King of England, Edward I, and The Great Llewellyn II, Prince of Wales.
His long love affair and eventual marriage with Ellen, daughter of Simon De Montfort, provides the strong emotional interest in the book, while the political machinations of Edward against the Welsh and the Scots, together with Llewellyn's struggle to control the recalcitrant Welsh Princes provides the political and military drama.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 592 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 25/06/1992
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780140113259
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by soliloquies
The final book in the trilogy which sees the annihilation of the Welsh Princes. Llewellyn ap Gruffydd faces battles with his brothers (most notably Daffydd) and the English King as he struggles to retain control of Wales. Fantastic writing from Penman.
Review by magemanda
"The Reckoning" is the third book in the trilogy concentrating on the final days of Wales as a truly independent country from England. It links most closely to "Falls the Shadow", continuing the tale of the de Montfort family and the princes of Wales. In this tale - once again sweeping through years of historical events - we see Edward tightening his hold on Wales. Most of his predecessors had looked to the continent - to take control of Anjou and Poitou and Aquitaine, and the many other principalities that now form modern-day France. Edward was more than happy to consolidate his hold on the other countries that now form the United Kingdom - at the time, the Scottish King already paid homage to Edward as a liege lord and he was looking to Llewelyn to do the same.Edward uses heavy-handed methods to achieve his goals, including imprisoning Llewelyn's bride - Ellen, the daughter of Simon de Montfort - and turning Davydd (Llewelyn's ambitious and loyally ambiguous brother) against him.This was a much improved story (although I do dislike using the word 'story' when referring to historical fiction, since the events have at least a basis in fact) in comparison to "Falls the Shadow". There were strong and memorable characters, and the central love story between Llewelyn and Ellen is very sweetly written - since you end up feeling much empathy for the characters due to the way in which Edward deals with them, the very tragic ending to their relationship is all the more heartbreaking. I had some minor complaints about the story - having said how sweet the love is between Llewelyn and Ellen, it is also a little cloying at times; the characters that Penman wrote herself with no basis in fact can be easily told from those who actually inhabited history; and sometimes Davydd's motives can be hard to comprehend being as he was from such a different age.Having said that, these are very minor issues and overall this is a very strong novel from Penman.