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MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11237177,987 (4.17)5 / 60
“Blood and fire, gold and steel and poetry, a river’s voice in the silence of the night, and the shining strings of a harp – all these and more I have known in my time... Now they are all gone, the men and women I knew when I was young, gone like words on the wind, and I am left here in the twilight to tell you their tale. Sit, then, and listen if you will to the words of Gwernin Kyuarwyd, called Storyteller…”#xD;#xD;So begins the tale of the young Gwernin’s adventures as a wandering storyteller and would-be bard in the chaos and contradictions of 6th century Britain. Along the way he encounters allies and enemies both human and supernatural, finds love and friendship, and learns the lore -and the true meaning - of a Bard’s profession.… (more)
  1. 73
    The King's Peace by Jo Walton (lorax)
    lorax: The King's Peace is unabashedly fantasy, rather than historical fiction, but it's a pseudo-Arthurian fantasy by a Welsh author, so fans of the setting will find much to like.
  2. 30
    The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales by Patrick K. Ford (gwernin)
    gwernin: For those who want more background on Welsh mythology - one of the more accessible translations.
  3. 30
    Flight of the Hawk by G. R. Grove (cuffindell)
  4. 30
    Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff (gwernin)
    gwernin: Sutcliff's classic version of the historical King Arthur.
  5. 20
    The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (gwernin)
  6. 10
    Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache by Keith H. Basso (elenchus)
    elenchus: The layered cultural meanings in the Welsh geography due to Roman, Saxon, and Druidic history, brings to mind the sense of place described so well by Basso. Grove's evocation in Storyteller is not as direct as Basso's in Wisdom Sits In Places, but the affinity was strong for me.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
I could have sworn I'd already reviewed this.

Anyway, as others have said it's a series of interlinked stories set in post-Roman pre-Arthurian Britain. It deftly weaves mythology and history together, using it's protagonist's journey towards a career as a bard to structure the novel. Strongly recommend it! ( )
1 vote MinaKelly | Jul 18, 2014 |
Enjoyable enough fiction about a summer a wandering youth spent learning how to be a bard. Well thought out story and has a lot of excellent historic references that were fun. I found it a little boring and was annoyed with the way each chapter ended. All in all this was not a bad way to spend an afternoon in the sun. ( )
  Scoshie | Feb 13, 2013 |
I have been reading this on and off for some time now, after having received a copy through LibraryThing -- mostly because I tend to forget about books on the Kindle. But I have finally finished it -- and really enjoyed it.
It's the story of a 6th century Welsh storyteller, who hopes to become a bard; this is about one summer's travelling around what is now known as Wales. He has a less-than-perfect travelling partner, which causes all kinds of problems for both of them, but by then end of the book he has been apprenticed to a bard and is on the way to following in the footsteps of Taliesen, the legendary bard.
The story abounds with characters from British mythology and is a very enjoyable read; I was disappointed to find myself at the end of the book. But not with the story! ( )
3 vote Tropical-Library | Feb 8, 2012 |
I must admit that until I read this book I had never given much thought to what happened in Britain after the death of Arthur. I've always loved tales of Arthur and his knights and I found this book (the first of a series, I believe) to complement that love quite well. It's told from the point of view of young storyteller and would-be bard, Gwernin and recounts his early adventures. Each chapter is its own tale and each was the perfect length for bedtime reading, a time when I usually read short stories. Grove has really brought this dark time into sharp focus and has made me much more curious about Welsh myths. For some odd reason I simply could not get through the first chapter, but not wanting to give up on the book I simply skipped it and went on to the second chapter and I'm glad I did. Recommended.
1 vote yolana | Oct 3, 2011 |
ER Review.
Really enjoyed this story, after I realized it was not a stand alone book, but part of a series. I like how the author relayed the learning of the craft of the bard- the years of visual and verbal memorization, travel, apprenticeship. The author captures the difficulty of the road, and the good and bad people met. The author does an excellent job of portraying the traditional culture of Wales, the beauty and severity of it's lands.
It is amazing to realize, in relation to current society, to have a young boy travel virtually alone, getting passed off to others to further his education. At times Gwernin seemed far older than he actually is.
Current thought has the King Arthur legends centered on Wales. I liked the author's incorporation of the legends into the time frame of the story. I think the other books of the series will bring more of the legends into the main story.
Overall, and enjoyable read. The only problem I had was the darn Welsh pronunciation! Which I always have. The author kindly put a guide in the back of the book. Use it. A lot! ( )
1 vote hsudonym | Aug 24, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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"ynteu Wydyon goreu kyuarwyd yn y byt oed"

"And he, Gwydion, was the best teller of tales in the world…"

– Pedair Kainc y Mabinogi
“llym awel llum brin. anhaut caffael clid.”

“Sharp is the wind, bare is the hill; hard it is to get shelter.”

– Canu Llywarch Hen
First words
Blood and fire, gold and steel and poetry, a river’s voice in the silence of the night, and the shining strings of a harp—all these and more I have known in my time.
“Na, there will always be need for bards,” said Kyan. “If not to sing the warriors’ deeds now, then to remember those who fought before, and teach those who will fight afterwards the way of it. There is always need for songs of Arthur, and Maxen Wledig, and those who went before. One way and another, there must always be bards, as long as the earth stands, and the stars shine above, and the gray sea surrounds us. We are like the pin in the cloak-clasp,” and he touched the great brooch on his shoulder, “the smallest, plainest part, and yet without it the brooch falls away and is lost, and the cloak with it, and the man perishes from the cold. So is it with us. If the bards should ever take the druids’ road west, it would be a black day for the Cymry, for what is there to hold a people together who do not remember their past?”
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G. R. Grove's book Storyteller was available from LibraryThing Member Giveaway.

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G. R. Grove chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 8, 2012 to Oct 26, 2012. Read the chat.

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