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What is a Lass to Do? - an Editorial Review of The Welsh Traitor's Daughter

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Book Buy Link: Coming soon!

Author Bio: Coming soon!

Editorial Review:

Does it not seem to you, the Norman appointed Welsh guardian of Gwynydd, that what is happening here is an appalling travesty of justice?”

Angharad is a fine lass with a good head on her shoulders. As the lone daughter of Lord Owain’s keep in the 11th Century, she is sheltered and protected as the prize of the castle. Surrounded by four virile brothers and a protective patriarch, she’s aware of the world around her yet still so very removed from it. At least she was, until Gruffydd came to town.

Aunty, you are wicked. I haven’t time to be noticing young men.’

Suddenly, I have grown up, so quickly. Now everything is difficult, and people are conspiring against each other. Making the right choices about what to do is difficult.’

What’s a lass to do when her family straddles the noble line of protecting the Welsh? You see, Gruffydd is a bit of a rabble-rouser, and looking to stir up the Normans. Shake up the status quo and threaten the peace surrounding the keep. It’s quite difficult to be a young lady and run the manor. Be the voice of feminine reason in a den of lions.

Bold words,’ said Gronwy slouching in his chair, sharp eyes narrowing out of a fat, suspicious face, ‘but what advantage is it to us?

Oh, Gronwy ­– certainly not the brother to be speaking ill of anyone. Not the over-indulgent, carousing rakehell who got one of the tenant’s daughters in the family way. Trust Aunt Nest to spill the beans and add that worry to Angharad’s overly full plate.

Don’t worry so much, Angharad. Things always work out in the end”

Lady Angharad, I would be more than happy to take you hawking if you have the time and want to gain confidence with your bird. It is important to fly them regularly because otherwise they become stale.”

As far as 11th Century pick up lines go, this seems to be the way to go. Compliment the lass on her falconry, gain her trust. Gruffydd may be ready to stir up political controversy, but he also has an eye for the jewels of the keep. That bonding over the falcons opened up the door for a blooming romance between the two.

Was he the one she was meant to be with?

Could Angharad dare to dream of some small happiness for herself? A fierce and loyal protector of her own? Someone who would take care of her for a change.

So, we are truly fighting the Normans?’

Ah yes – the fierce battles. The ones to test the loyalties of the land and determine who has your back and who would care to stab you in it. Lest we forget, Gruffydd is a warrior and justice seeker. Raising troops to fight along with the cause – including poor Angharad’s father. Too bad that dear Uncle Uchdryd has chosen the opposing side.

Gronwy will make the decisions and you take your lead from him.

Well, that just happened. Of four brothers to leave in charge, Gronwy is quite obviously the very worst choice. Seeing those words sets up the story for what is sure to come, and whatever is coming can’t be good.

There is not one detail of you that I have seen, my Lady, which is not fixed in my memory.’

Okay – there actually was something good. Did you think Angharad would get away from Gruffydd? Certainly the war hero must come home to claim his lovely bride. Of course our hero and heroine marry and fulfill their love for one another. If only those pesky uprisings would stop and leave them to their honeymoon.

No Father. I am not merely my husband’s messenger…”

There is quite a bit of uprisings, actually. Angharad’s story doesn’t just set up the love story between her and Gruffydd, but also reminds you that the practical and pragmatic lass from back on the keep is alive and well. It seems that Gruffydd has no desire to temper those traits and instead offers a respect to her thoughts on matters surrounding them. Quite a novel marriage for the time. But what to do when your husband becomes the ruler of all around him and your family won’t fall in line?

I want you to negotiate with the Normans on our behalf, Father. I want the restoration of Northern Wales to the Welsh to be because of you.”

Things change. Uneasy peace reigns, but at what cost? Stress from family pressures add to the only constant: change. Change in the way people grow, and marriages grow. It’s not always easy to be the King’s Queen, and stresses have a way or mounting.

Doesn’t Corinthians tell us that when we love we do not take into account a wrong suffered?’

Angharad’s tale comes to an end as many, with questions. Easy questions such as what is next for the battle-weary Welsh? Will Angharad and Gruffydd continue to grow in their marriage and survive seeds of doubt? The ending seems to abruptly stop on a precipice; an already winding tale could supposedly continue on further. It may not be the happy-ever-after a reader looks for at the end of a story, but it does offer an interesting view of the shaping of a young woman during a decidedly important time in history.


The Welsh Traitor's Daughter” receives four stars from The Historical Fiction Company


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