Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: England and Wales in the 13th century
First Sentence: My name is Samson.
I have to say, up front, that this novel was a difficult read. The author gives our main character, Samson, a unique voice. Samson relates the tale of his life and service to Lord Llewelyn. To have Samson sound like a Welsh person of the 13th century, the author uses a great many archaic English words. She also sprinkles in a generous helping of Welsh words, place names, and character names. This makes it difficult to keep track of who is who, where they are, and where they are going.
Since this is the first novel of a four novel series, the first half of the book is heavy on exposition. There are pages and pages of Samson listing family connections and which castle belongs to which lord. While this may impress the reader with the depth of the author's research, it is tedious to read through.
In the last half of the book, the plot emerges and Samson has some interesting encounters. This part of the novel is easier to read. However, since this is the first book of the series, there is little conflict resolution.
If you are an aficionado of Welsh history, you might enjoy this novel. I may continue with the series to find out what happens to Samson. But for now, I need a break from all those archaic words.
Sunrise in the West
Edith Pargeter is the author of the Cadfael historical mystery series. This is a fantastic series. I recommend that you check it out!
Check out my Ebook.