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Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
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Here Be Dragons (1985)

by Sharon Kay Penman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,112524,470 (4.33)184
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» See also 184 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
My husband says it's overly romanticized, and he's no doubt right, but it's such a great read. I could barely put it down yesterday. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
A pretty good novel set in the Welsh borders, and wherever the capital of England happens to be at the moment. It is a sprawling family saga, and that's what you expect from SKP. John Plantagenet dies, and this is a transition from the familiar character set SKP has established, but Henry III's court has a certain level of "Game of Thrones" going on. (Spoiler!)
All the dragons are figurative. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Aug 18, 2017 |
One of the things I like about Sharon Kay Penman is her ability to write about history in a clarifying way, without making it confusing. I also appreciate her skill in fleshing out the characters of our past, making them much like people we know today.

Here Be Dragons is one of this author's first works, written about 30 years ago, and it's a keeper. In this first of a trilogy (they can be read separately), we are immersed in the Angevin dynasty politics and intrigue, based mostly in 12th and 13th century England, Normandy, France, and Wales, and come to know the powerful people of that time. At first, King John is a somewhat sympathetic character, as Penman paints his picture through the eyes of his illegitimate daughter, Joanna. After a marriage of political benefit to a prince of Wales, Llewellyn, Joanna's eyes are opened more to the differences between the Norman conquerors and the Welsh, whose ideas of marriage and inheritance appeal to her.

Riveting, a hard-to-put-it-down book of more than 700 pages, though it does not read as a typical "chunkster". Highly, highly recommended. ( )
2 vote fuzzi | Dec 28, 2016 |
My husband says it's overly romanticized, and he's no doubt right, but it's such a great read. I could barely put it down yesterday. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
An enjoyable tour through the late 1100s/early 1200s in England, France and Wales, but with a focus on Wales. An interesting fictional look at political allegiances, way of life, beliefs and laws under the cover of historical fiction. The intermarriages and complexities of family are well described. ( )
  devilish2 | Aug 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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Prologue: Theirs was a land of awesome grandeur, a land of mountains and moorlands and cherished myths.
Book One: Chapter 1: Shropshire, England, July 1183: He was ten years old and an alien in an unfriendly land, made an unwilling exile by his mother's marriage to a Marcher border lord.
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Book description
Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England’s ruthless, power-hungry King John. Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, secures an uneasy truce by marrying the English king’s beloved illegitimate daughter, Joanna, who slowly grows to love her charismatic and courageous husband. But as John’s attentions turn again and again to subduing Wales---and Llewelyn---Joanna must decide where her love and loyalties truly lie.

The turbulent clashes of two disparate worlds and the destinies of the individuals caught between them spring to life in this magnificent novel of power and passion, loyalty and lies. The book that began the trilogy that includes Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning, Here Be Dragons brings thirteenth-century England, France, and Wales to tangled, tempestuous life.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345382846, Paperback)

"A masterful picture of Wales in the 13th century...vivdly pictured as grandly beautiful, its people volatile, stubborn and mystic."
THE SAN DIEGO UNION
Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England's ruthless, power-hungry King John. Then Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, secures an uneasy truce with England by marrying the English king's beloved, illegitimate daughter, Joanna. Reluctant to wed her father's bitter enemy, Joanna slowly grows to love her charismatic and courageous husband who dreams of uniting Wales. But as John's attentions turn again and again to subduing Wales--and Llewelyn--Joanna must decide to which of these powerful men she owes her loyalty and love.
A sweeping novel of power and passion, loyalty and lives, this is the book that began the trilogy that includes FALLS THE SHADOW and THE RECKONING.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:07 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A thirteenth-century Welsh prince called Llewelyn the Great tries to wrest his country from England. Standing in his way is King John who marries his daughter to Llewelyn in hopes of taming the rebellious prince.

» see all 7 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Sharon Kay Penman is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Author Chat

Sharon Kay Penman chatted with LibraryThing members from Aug 10, 2009 to Aug 21, 2009. Read the chat.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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