The Fool's Tale
Wales, 1198. A time of treachery, passion, and uncertainty. King Maelgwyn ap Cadwallon, known as Noble, struggles to protect his small kingdom from foes outside and inside his borders. Pressured into a marriage of political convenience, he takes as his bride the young, headstrong Isabel Mortimer, niece of his powerful English nemesis.
Through strength of character, Isabel w...more
What really m ...more
The Fool's Tale is set in the late twelfth century, when Wales was still independent of English rule, but was divided into a collection of small realms. And all of them are squabbling with each other, ready to murder each other instead of trying ...more
The story of a strange love triangle between a bride of political convenience, a Welsh king of good character, and his Fool--his best friend who lives in limbo, neither belonging nor an outsider to court, neither respected nor scorned, not wealthy n ...more
I wanted to love the book; it kept me reading all the way to the end (a testament to the writers ability), but the story and especially the ending, made me feel disappointed that I spent so much time with the book.
It's set in Wales at the end of the 16th century, and I got very distracted by the Welsh names. There's a pronunciation list of people and places in the front of the book, and I found myself spending too much time looking up correct pronunciations rather than focusing on the story.
This was during a period when kings and other rulers frequently kept a "fool" to keep them entertained. It was interest ...more
It's set oh, Robin Hoodish times. Late 1190s Wales. King Richard is on his Crusades and Prince John is on the English throne. He's only mentioned in this book, he doesn't actually have any speaking parts.
The novel centers around "Noble", the nickname of the King of a little Welsh "reeve" and his castle, Cymaron. Noble is everything you think you'd want your K ...more
It's on the lighter side of historical fiction, by which I mean that I strongly suspect Galland did not go far enough or ...more
But all that goes away fairly quickly. Truthfully, the hardest part to read was the Prologue. Getting through that was all it took for me to get sucked in.
I read this book in a week. No, read isn't the right word. I inhaled this book. It completely overtook me. I stayed up until 3 a.m. several nights in a row because I could NOT put it down ...more
I loved the historical aspect (my favorite type of novel) but this book had a little bit of everything - mystery, romance, pathos *and* history. It's about a medieval Welsh queen's love affair with the king's best friend—his profane, hyperactive royal fool.Not a romance ...more
Through strength of character, Isabel wins her husband's grudging respect, but finds the Welsh court backward and barbaric -- especially Noble's old ...more
This novel started off well enough. In fact, early on it re ...more
The reason I was debating a 3 is that it felt very long and, particularly for a historical novel that is less rooted in the historical as novel, it didn't need to be; it wasn't covering historical events that took years to march through but rat ...more
There's romance, but it's also not your typical setup. ...more
The author's distance ...more
I highly recommend this book if you love historical novels, if you love lovers, and especially if you love clever language. Yes, it is all a bit anachronistic, but ...more
I picked this up hoping for some strong historical fiction about medieval Wales, and the description on the back sounded promising. Alas, it was not to be.
The basic plot is that Maelgwyn ap Cadwallon ("Noble"), the king of Maelienydd in Wales, marries Isabel Mortimer, who is not only English but also the niece of his archenemy. Noble also has a best friend, a foundling named Gwirion who was raised with Noble and has become the court's fool of sorts. Isabel hates Wales, Noble hates Isabel, Is ...more
It's the story of the small Welsh kingdom. As the book opens, its King is murdered by the treacherous English baron Roger Mortimer. His son, the prince, is saved only because his friend Gwirion refuses to reveal his hiding place. Gwirion suffers torture as a result, and this act of loyalty cements the friendship forever. When Prince Maelgwyn, now called Noble, becomes king, th ...more