Review: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

Book Review of Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman by Teri Harman, @TeriHarman, #BookReview, #amreading


Goodreads Summary
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.

My Review
This was my second attempt at reading this epic historical novel. The first time I read it, I got about 60 pages in and stopped because it just didn’t hold my attention. Most of the women in my book club love it, rave about it and my husband’s family are actually descendants of some of the historical figures in the book.  I felt a little left out having not read it. So I decided while over the Christmas break that I would give it a second try.

This time I got to 250 pages before giving up. Sorry book club friends (especially Jill)! There is no doubt that this  is a beautifully written and masterfully researched book, but for my taste, it’s too heavy handed on the historical details and the story gets lost. I don’t like to force myself to read a book and 250 of the 700 long pages was as long as I could take it.

Sorry Llewelyn and Joanna!

What are your thoughts on this book?



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4 thoughts on “Review: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

  1. i'm with you teri, we just lack the faithful harman gene to love this book. I got about half way and had enough, to long and long winded! I didn't even skip to the ending. oh no wait, I did read the ending and was grateful I didn't read the whole book for an ending like that. yawn.

  2. It's been years since I read it but I remember really liking it. The love story was amazing, and knowing it was based on a true story and that the historical stuff was so well researched really pulled me in. BUT I do remember all those details bogging me down quite a bit, I'm pretty sure I ended up skimming through a lot of that! I did learn a lot about that era though, too bad I don't remember most of it!

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