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The Reckoning (Welsh Princes #3)

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4.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,459 Ratings  ·  237 Reviews
"Penman's characters are so shrewdly imagined, so full of resonant human feeling that they seem to breathe on the page." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Never forget, Llewelyn, that the world's greatest fool is a Welshman who trusts an English king."

His father's words haunt Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, who has been ruling uneasily over his fractious countrymen. Above al
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Paperback, 608 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 1991)
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8th out of 137 books — 56 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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April
Feb 23, 2009 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My gosh. All I can say is I'm so sad it's over. This was by far the best trilogy I have ever read. Some day I will go back and read them all over again.
Penman can introduce a ton of characters and somehow she writes where you can keep them all straight in your head. She makes you FEEL for these characters until you think you actually know them. I caught myself slowing down and wanting to stop reading because I didn't want it to end! Wonderful. Everyone should read this trilogy!
Rio (Lynne)
Jul 29, 2012 Rio (Lynne) rated it it was amazing
This was the third book in this engrossing and fulfilling trilogy. In book 1 Here be Dragons we are introduced to Llywelyn the Great. He was The Prince of Wales for over 40 years. In Book 2 Falls the Shadow we see the rising of Simon de Montfort who fought for the people of England's civil rights and the continuation of the English and Welsh wars. Falls the Shadow continues the family drama of Llywelyn's children and his grandchild and namesake Llywelyn aka Llelo. In this final trilogy, without ...more
Anna
Rating: 4.5 stars

The final book in Penman's Welsh Princes series is even better than the first two; less political, more emotional, and in the last 100 pages, totally heartbreaking.

Adorable little Llelo from Falls the Shadow has grown up into Llewelyn, Prince of Wales, as courageous as his namesake grandfather from Here be Dragons, and facing the same adversaries in the form of treacherous kin and arrogant kings. And talking of kings, I hated Edward I in this, hated him. What a dirty, double-de
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StoryTellerShannon
This book concludes the trilogy to a wonderful Historical novel, centering around the vying powers of Wales and England. It is written in a manner where most readers can relate to the powers on both sides . .. difficult to do especially in the second and third book, when Longshanks or Edward I, comes into the spotlight.
Wales is losing ground and, for the first time, England has a powerful ruler who can take advantage of it. And, he does.

And, as the rulers of Wales plot against each other, Edward
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Krista Baetiong Tungol
So far, this has been one of the best book series I’ve read, and undeniably one of the most heart-wrenching, too. I think the last time I have allowed myself to become this dreadfully upset over a book and ended up being a monumental cry-baby was after reading The Kite Runner and A Dog of Flanders. I never realized I’d actually foster the same sentiment for Simon de Montfort and the two Llewelyns who lived so many centuries ago, came from halfway across the globe, and did not even grace the page ...more
Robin
This one was definitely the most emotional book out of the trilogy - actually, it’s the most emotional SKP book I’ve read yet. Though I always enjoy Penman’s characterizations, I got so attached to the characters in this one (view spoiler) ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
The Reckoning is a solid read and a better book than Falls the Shadow, so I give it four stars despite some reservations.

This last installment of Penman's Welsh trilogy covers the years 1271-1283, as Edward I wages war on Wales in his determination to bring the entire island under English rule. Llewelyn ap Gruffyth, grandson of Llewelyn Fawr, is Prince of Wales and, in the same vein as his grandfather, is determined that Wales remain independent and united. Other Welsh lords, most notably Llewe
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Misfit
What a great book. Along with an engrossing story I learned much about English history that I had never heard of before. I have to admit, some of the things that came up during the courtship/marriage of Llewellen and Ellen seemed absolutely bizarre, and then I searched the internet on these characters and they did actually happen. Edward I was and is an absolute two timing double faced snake in the grass!!

I won't give it away, but a scene at the end of the book was so heartbreaking I literally
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Karen Brooks
Jan 05, 2013 Karen Brooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes, it’s really difficult reading the novels of a writer whom you know takes great pains to be historically accurate while still telling a sweeping, dramatic and emotionally fraught tale. So it is with Penman who, in this last book of The Welsh Prince series, brings the story of the struggles of the Welsh prince, Llewelwyn, and the machinations of Edward Longshanks, King of England, to a close.
For those who know the history, you understand the ending is not a happy one and it’s this that
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
I can now say I've read all of Penman's novels, a baker's dozen of them, and my favorites remain The Sunne in Splendour and the first novel in the Welsh Princes trilogy, Here Be Dragons. I'd say this ranks just the next level down--a four and a half, rather than a five. Not to be counted among my favorite books of all time and it didn't move me to tears--but great as historical fiction nevertheless. I'm newly impressed with Penman's skills as a historical novelist. Her research is evident, she d ...more
Susana
Jul 06, 2014 Susana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This trilogy was a fantastic adventure! from king John and Llywelyn Fawr to king Edward longshanks and Llywelyn the last, it's been a heart wrenching experience. The magistral writing of SKP in this books achieves greatness. She takes the reader inside the story as an spectator, one can be witness of great moments in history and at the same time of the very personal lives of its characters. I came to love so many characters in this books, that almost dreaded to read the author's note were she wo ...more
Helen
Apr 15, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two things spurred me to read this trilogy after I first became aware of it - the fact that although I had read a fair amount both fiction and non-fiction on the Tudors& Plantaganets, I had not ventured to the Welsh 'side of the story' so to speak - the other was because our Mum was Welsh. A blanket statement would be that I liked the books, which in a way was almost a given because of the subject matter; more succinctly put, I like her writing style. So, putting the two together and adding ...more
Lauren
Feb 09, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of historical fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori Anderson
Mar 24, 2009 Lori Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, Diana Gabaldon fans
This book was heartbreakingly good. I've read three other books by Penman and each one is such a pleasure to read -- I look forward to my bedtime so much more (and go to bed even earlier!) because I have one of her thick books to read.

You probably already know how marvelous Penman is with her research, but she has a way of building the story that makes it seem so real -- well, real-er than a history book. I was so upset when certain characters died, so sure that they WOULDN'T die because it just
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Gary
Mar 17, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completing the trilogy that began with Here Be Dragons and continued with Falls The Shadow, this novel,almost impeccably historically accurate, depicts the struggle by Welsh national hero Llywelyn ap Gruffydd to maintain sovereignty for Wales against the machinations of the ruthless and unscrupulous Edward I of England.
After Simon De Montfort is defeated and killed, his charter of freedoms is destroyed and King Edward reigns supreme as England's king.
After his bride Ellen , the daughter of the l
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Leanne
I'm trying to come back from Wales....thirteenth century Wales, if you can believe it. I have invested my heart back 800 years due to Sharon Kay Penman's writing, and I keep blinking trying to re-focus on the big picture of history when I have been so touched by the personal side of the struggle between England and Wales.

Here Be Dragons, the first volume, remains my favorite (I think), but it was entirely worth it to read the complete trilogy. I would love Penman's storytelling even if it were
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Deborah
Mar 16, 2015 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderfully written book! Ms. Penman captivated my interest from the first page. This book was the 3rd in a trilogy written about Wales. I cannot say that I had a favorite book of the three, but this final story drew me in more quickly than the first two. I found this book to be more emotional for me than the first two as well.

I had very little knowledge of the history of Wales before reading this trilogy, and I loved the historical details that were a character in and of themselves in t
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Mary Campbell
Aug 21, 2009 Mary Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anglophiles, readers of hist. fiction
Recommended to Mary by: my brother John originally recommended Penman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathrine
Sep 25, 2015 Kathrine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Reckoning by Sharon Kay Penman was hard for me to read. I am a fan of Wales and to see them fall was hard. As it was written in the Welsh chronicler after Llewelyn ap Gruffydd died,"and then all Wales was cast to the ground." There was no way Davydd could keep it together. I found Edward mean and insufferable, He was a liar and was fickle and untrustworthy. Not a very good King in my opinion.
Helen
Dec 20, 2013 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This final instalment of Sharon Penman's 'Welsh Princes' trilogy charts the fortunes of Llewelyn (grandson of the Llewelyn of 'Here Be Dragons') and his wife, Ellen (daughter of Simon de Montfort of 'Falls the Shadow') and their struggles against the ruthless Edward I who is determined to crush Welsh independence. It's no spoiler to say that there is no happy ending as obviously we know Wales is not a separate state and that the title 'Prince of Wales' is held by the heir to the British throne. ...more
Brittany
Jun 12, 2012 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. These people lives such amazing lives! I have truly loved this 3 book series, but I didn't love the other books as much as I've loved this one! What an amazing story. I fell in love with the hero and heroin of this book. They went through so many hard things together and apart, but a lot of amazing things, too. It made it so much more fascinating to know that the main events truly happened. Thoroughly loved their love story. I felt like screaming at the injustices of things they went throug ...more
Lisa Jensen
Apr 08, 2014 Lisa Jensen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sharon Kay Penman writes about the medieval world and its people with vigor, compassion, and clarity. This concluding chapter in the trilogy that began with Here Be Dragons and Falls the Shadow picks up the drama of stubborn Welsh independence and English conquest in the 13th Century and makes it as immediate as the 6 o'clock news.

The novel begins in 1271, when the struggle for Wales has been passed down like a holy relic to the third generation of players from the three royal houses most concer
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Fergie
Mar 14, 2016 Fergie rated it really liked it
** 3 1/2 - 4 stars ** The last novel in Sharon Kay Penman's Welsh princes trilogy, The Reckoning takes the reader through to the final days the Welsh were able to claim any sense of sovereignty from the English crown. Through marriages and the resulting bloodlines, the medieval rulers of Wales would find themselves irrevocably tied to the kings of England. They would soon discover, however, that these binds would not evoke any loyalty from their more powerful neighbor to the east. The first book ...more
Donie Nelson
Jul 14, 2016 Donie Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the Wales trilogy and I was in tears by the end--even though I knew the end. And if I hated Edward I for what he did to William Wallace (Braveheart), then I hate him all the more for what he did to the Princes of Wales. I learned that hanging, drawing & quartering was not a routine punishment for treason UNTIL Edward I decided that this was the best way to discourage treason--and he made the decisions about what was treasonous. His courts were too intimidated by his ...more
Heather
I was closer to giving this book three stars, and then I realized I can't rate a historical fiction novel based on the unfortunate nature of the history it's relaying. This is not a story with a happy ending, and there isn't a whole lot of joy in it. It sucked me in anyway, and as you can see I spent just a few days finishing it.

I do have more criticisms of this book than the other ones in the Welsh Princes series. I wish I had gotten to know Llewelyn better. I don't feel like the author convey
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Richard Wise
Apr 26, 2010 Richard Wise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval
Sharon Kay Penman has done it again.

Very compelling and oh so educational. Everything I know about the 13th Century I learned from Sharon and it didn't hurt a bit. Is this series a bit more romance and a bit less history? Not sure, I have not followed her books chronologically so it is difficult to say if that is her current direction. Well, I am a guy and love that ole blood & guts.

My only regret, I have almost run out of her novels.
Pauline Toohey
Apr 20, 2011 Pauline Toohey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last of the Welsh trilogy.
I can't do better than Penman when looking through the local librray. She adheres strictly to chronicled facts - meticulously researched, and the past is portrayed in beautiful prose.

I picked up one of her books ten years ago - recommended to me - and became an avid fan from then on in.

I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for Penman's next novel.

Erin McDonnell-Jones
LOVED everything about this series (except for the ending, but there's not much that I can do about that). This is definitely ranked as one of my favorite series.
Amy
Nov 27, 2014 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
My favorite part of this book was the Afterword and Author's Note at the end.

I read the first two books of the series about 15 years ago. The facts are fascinating! And reading about the facts in fiction form makes them much more palatable and memorable. However! I do not care for Sharon Kay Penman's character 'voices'. I tire of the forced dialogue. What I love is the research she puts behind her characters. Who knew that King Edward had a softer side! And her research backs it up.

I'm glad I'
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Dave
Mar 25, 2014 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written... for certes. ... This is one of my few adventures into this type of historical fact-fiction. (I couldn't finish a different one where some other author wrote a prose fictional-historical chronicle of Macbeth... just had to put that one down... ) This one: Immensely sad at the end. Backtracking: Whoever wrote the blurb on my edition had it correct, in that the characters were all so humanly felt (and written) that they leapt off the page in their vividness as individual huma ...more
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Historical Fictio...: Group Series: The Reckoning- Book 3 25 183 Jan 28, 2013 01:33PM  
  • The Brothers of Gwynedd (Brothers of Gwynedd #1-4)
  • The Conquest
  • I Am the Chosen King (The Saxon Series #2)
  • Within the Fetterlock
  • Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4)
  • The Seventh Son
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Penman received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she majored in history, and also received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law, and later worked as a tax lawyer. Penman suffered from an eighteen month bout with mononucleosis.

The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Nov
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More about Sharon Kay Penman...

Other Books in the Series

Welsh Princes (3 books)
  • Here be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1)
  • Falls the Shadow  (Welsh Princes, #2)

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“I’ll admit that my garden now grows hope in lavish profusion, leaving little room for anything else. I suppose it has squeezed out more practical plants like caution and common sense. Still, though, hope does not flourish in every garden, and I feel thankful it has taken root in mine.” 31 likes
“During the day, memories could be held at bay, but at night, dreams became the devil's own accomplices.” 4 likes
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