Question of the day.

What was the last book you read?

My answer:

Hm, lemme see… Ah yeah, Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman. I think I was mentioning in some coffee share or something like that a few months ago that I was reading The Brothers of Gwynedd quartet by Edith Pargeter, which my penfriend recommended to me, about the Welsh prince Llywelyn (or Llewelyn as he’s spelt in the book) the Last. I really enjoyed that, even just because it was the first historical novel set in Wales that I didn’t cringe at. I’m not a history buff or anything like that, not even an expert in the history of Celtic countries, but even I was able to see some – sometimes quite glaring unrealistic-ness in historical novels set in Wales that I read before, and if I can spot something like that it often peeves me in fiction, or at least certain kinds of books. But also I really enjoyed that series for a lot of other reasons and it was a delicious read, so I went on a quest to find something at least a bit similar in that it would be reasonably realistic and also well-written and just enjoyable for me. So that’s why I decided to read Here Be Dragons, which is the first book in the Welsh Princes series, telling the story of Llywelyn the Great, who is not to be confused with Llywelyn the Last whom I mentioned earlier.

That was a great book too, although I think I prefer Edith Pargeter’s writing style, well, at least for this kind of books. But I didn’t have to cringe at it either, and I liked that the characters were well-developed and not wishy-washy. It was a bit difficult to get actually involved in for me and the beginning felt very slow-paced, even though I normally have no problem with slow-paced books if I like them overall because I don’t mind relishing a book and not racing through it, because I usually feel like I read too fast anyway and that I would have liked to be able to enjoy a book for longer. 😀 This one really did drag a bit in some places. But, overall, it was a very positive experience.

You? 🙂

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – Owain Lawgoch (Owain Red Hand).

I haven’t shared anything from any of my fazas for a while so time to change it! And because I’ve just shared with you Brian Boru by Alan Stivell, here is another great song about another great Celt. Owain Lawgoch (or Owain Red Hand in English) was a Welsh hero and a soldier, a very important figure for Welsh people. What he’s probably most known for is that he fought for the French against the English in the hundred years’ war. This song comes from Gwilym’s debut album “O Groth Y Ddaear” (From The Earth’s Womb) and both the lyrics and the music are his own (I love how much genuine feeling and involvement there is in them as well as in his performance of it). Below is a translation of the song from

Gwilym’s website.

Seven centuries went by since you came to this world,

And your destiny was to travel far and wide

Yes, you sailed to foreign lands

And fought against the English

And your name became famous, from the lineage of princes

You led your company of Welshmen to arms

In many a battle, in many a country

But your intent was to return

To your rightful land and to save it

And to take back your nation from the claws of a forgotten past,

Owain Red Hand

With your path calling to you, you set sail

With your brave band of warriors at your side

But before reaching that fateful shore

There came the frustrating news

Calling you back to the battlefield in a far away land

Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand

Your killer was appointed by the English king

To bring your life to an end in a deceitful and violent way

Yes, you were killed with a blade in your back

And thus our hope was also killed

In one traitorous moment our son of destiny was taken

Seven centuries passed on this earth

And it’s witness to the fact that we’re still here

So we’ll remember your cause and your sacrifice

And we’ll rise up in unity and strength

And now, Owain, we need you

To unsheathe your rebellious sword

On your patriotic spirit we call, let’s loudly cry in unison

Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand, Owain Red Hand.