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The Good Knight

(Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,498 ratings  ·  362 reviews
Intrigue, suspicion, and rivalry among the royal princes casts a shadow on the court of Owain, king of north Wales… The year is 1143 and King Owain seeks to unite his daughter in marriage with an allied king. But when the groom is murdered on the way to his wedding, the bride’s brother tasks his two best detectives—Gareth, a knight, and Gwen, the daughter of the court bard ...more
Kindle Edition, 361 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by The Morgan-Stanwood Publishing Group (first published September 9th 2011)
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Kyria No, it's actually based on historical facts from the 12th century. It's set in Wales when it was separate and independent from England.

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Quick read, but disappointing.
✨ Gramy ✨
I had previously read this book and neglected to post a rating or review. So I just reread it. It was a captivating, historical-romantic-mystery - based in the medieval era. I enjoyed it just as much the second time.

Garth was a very honorable and worthy man. Gwen was a strong and independent woman, with more freedom than most women in that era. She was able to function well under duress and didn't quiver or complain about things. Garth and Gwen were both highly skilled and their services to Hy
Deborah Pickstone
A quick read but, sadly, awful. Poor writing that is almost childlike, wooden characterisation and dialogue. Historical howlers proliferate like......things that happen a lot :P

There were no kings in Wales. Owain Mawr does not resemble himself at all. To be fair to the poor author, if she got her information from Wiki, he gets called a king on their page on him but he wasn't one. Wiki seems to be seriously lacking in knowledge about Wales full stop but that's another issue.

Of course, the events
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
“I can accept that we can’t always live the life we imagined.” “I’ve paid for my choices, Gwen,” Gareth said. “I’d prefer not to have to keep paying.”

Excellent historical fiction. Felt like fine linen, rather than a fully realized tapestry. Got the facts straight, though it lacks the richness of Ellis Peters or Bernard Cornwell. Felt too modern both vocabulary and in character development.

“Speculation is how mysteries are solved. We ask good questions, and we see if any of the answers we find fi
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of medieval mysteries
Gareth and Gwen... I just love them.
What I like about the Gareth and Gwen Mysteries is that the two characters are really lovable and very life like. They are both intelligent, good looking but there is not one once of arrogance in them.
This time, Gareth is the suspect in the murder case he investigates rather than the detective! King Owain would hang him just because he does not like him, due to the malicious whispers from his devious brother, Cadwaladr, whom Gareth served at one time but refus
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I was very disappointed with this mystery. I like medieval mysteries, but very little rang true to me. I won't get into the history on which the book is based; I don't know enough about medieval Wales at this time. The dialogue is very modern, as are the attitudes of the "good" characters. Gwen's characterization, in particular, is not consistent with the time period. The author has her, an unmarried/unbetrothed woman, riding off alone with a former suitor on an overnight trip, and no one questi ...more
++Possible Spoilers++

This is a plot driven story where the romance is actually secondary. There is not even one kiss in this squeaky clean book and I was disappointed at what little romance there was.

I am also a bit peeved that you have to read the second book to find out what happens to the H & h romantically. Needles to say, I don't feel a burning need to find out, so my read ends here.

The story itself was pretty good if your into murder/mystery reads, but I found the whole "spy" thing laughab
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars - clean historical mystery

It is 1143 and King Owain seeks to unite his daughter in marriage with an allied king, King Anarawd. But King Anarawd is murdered on his way to his own wedding, and the bride's brother, Prince Hywel works with his two best detectives, Gwen and Gareth to bring the killer to justice.

Gwen and Gareth were separated 5 years ago when her father refused to let them get married. But a lot has changed in 5 years... Gareth is now a knight and Gwen is now a spy for Princ
Michele bookloverforever
who killed a neighboring Welsh regional king and why? the daughter of a bard and a Welsh knight come upon the scene of a massacre. their investigation uncovers treachery, intrigue, a meddling princess angling to be the over kings wife, Irish and Danes invade the land. the bards daughter is kidnapped and finally rescued by her true love. the traitor is revealed, the reasons for the murder made clear.
Clare O'Beara
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Murders pile upon ambushes and poisonings in this historical crime book. The bodies are so numerous we find the investigations blending together - as they should because they are all related.
Early in the story a young Welsh woman, Gwen, is being escorted from one castle to another for a wedding, when her party comes across an ambush site. Soon after they have investigated they are themselves set upon.

King Anarawd of Deheubarth, murdered, leaves chaos in the wake of his untimely death. He was t
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found the novel surprisingly engaging and I actually had trouble putting it down. It's not 'great literature' by any means, but it has a fascinating story and interesting characters. I am a fan of historical mysteries and this book had enough twists and turns to be satisfying. Another interesting aspect is that it takes place in Wales about the same time period as the Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters, one of my all time favorite series. Cadfael is a Benedictine monk of Welsh descent who h ...more
Roland Clarke
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This well-researched and cleverly plotted historical fiction mystery deserves a longer review. Interesting characters with well-drawn motives, and Welsh settings which came alive. Okay, I lived for a time where this is set - but centuries later. I've already decided to read the next book in what promises to be a great series.
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The murder mystery was captivating enough and the medieval setting was really good in my opinion.
Based on historical facts I found it rather accurate in its description without been encunbered by too many detailed historic accounts, with a well balanced mixture of mystery, romance and scheming.

Maybe I would have given some of the characters more depth. My romantic side would have enjoyed a bit more action, but this is first of all a mystery novel not a romance.
I be
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
As historical mysteries go, this is a pretty good one. It comes with a map of Wales and a pronunciation guide, and it's based on real historical events from the 12th century. The murder mysteries and various political plots are researched by a bard's daughter named Gwen who has raised her little brother since her mother died in childbirth and her old beau, Gareth, sent away in disgrace five years ago by an angry lord whose sadist order he refused to follow, but who turns up unexpectedly when a p ...more
The book gets a little frustrating around the half way mark with too many unknowns and the main characters always a step behind. I still don't understand the benefit of the to-be Queen to get involved and the abrupt personality change of the King was a bit strange. However, the involvement of the Danes definitely picked up the story that continued on until the unexpected (though not surprising) end. It's one of those books where you know nothing truly bad will happen to the main characters so th ...more
Bev Walkling
I am not a huge fanof mediaeval mysteries but this one looked interesting so I gave it a try and was quickly hooked. I have read some reviews that critique the accuracy of the forensic details and the historical weaponry, but any such errors didn't leap out at me or interfere with my enjoyment of the story. The author did use a recorded murder as the basis for this story which came out in the end notes for the book. Gareth and Gwen were her own creations however, and Gwen, a bard's daughter does ...more
a coop
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unusual but enjoyable take on medieval mystery.

The heroes and heroine are star crossed lovers thrown together in the hunt for a murderer amongst the nights and princes of a disfunctianal kingdom. A nice, easy read.
Barbara Langlois
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A good read. I really hated the way it ended. No spoilers here. But it does match somewhat to history.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is the first in a mystery series that takes place in medieval Wales. The characters are interesting, and I always enjoy books where the protagonist is a woman. The secondary characters were well characterized and had sometimes outsized personalities. The author is clearly extremely knowledgeable about the time period and setting. The plot was quite clever, with a last-minute twist that was both unexpected and plausible.
My only issue (but it's a big issue) is with the writing. The dial
May 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is the kind of writing that makes reading a chore. A long hard well written book can be a chore because it challenges the reader to become better at reading and understanding. This book made me wonder why the author hadn’t done her homework. Did she think that she didn’t need to?

In the beginning there is a murder. A king has been ambushed and killed. The two main characters examine the body and declare that he was not killed in the heat of battle he was killed somewhere else and dragged to
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Okay, I read this book as part of my summer reading challenge as a book written by an author who shares my initials:

The book then; King Anarawd of Deheubarth is murdered, at first it seemed as part of an ambush by Irish Danes, but upon closer inspection, by an assassin known to Anarawd. Gareth, the eponymous Good Knight, and Gwenlian ap Meilyr, bard's daughter and spy for Prince Hwyel investigate.

The writing pulled me straight into the environment of 12th century Wales, and hooked me quickly, I
Elisabeth Wheatley
This was a deviation from my usual reading material in that it is neither Young Adult nor Fantasy. Nonetheless, it was free for Kindle and had “knight” in the title. I decided to give it a shot and what I got was certainly worth the read!

The plot:
This is a mystery set in medieval Wales with enough twists to keep me guessing. There’s a dash of romance, a good dose of action, and enough historical fact to make it authentic, but not overwhelming. Despite this being a little different from my normal
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am at a loss as to how many stars to give this book. I would probably give it at least three if I had read it and not listened to it. While I liked Gareth and Gwen, the main characters, I did not fall in love with them. Perhaps I need to get to know them better.

My biggest beef here was the least one of her voices sounded more Middle Eastern than English and another almost American. I know it must be difficult to keep the voices separated as each character speaks but I wou
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent medieval mystery story. The characters are easy to like and understand. The nobles in the story(kings and princes) are surely a crafty bunch - and their actions deeply affect their subjects, including Gwen and Gareth. Gwen is a bard's daughter, brought to the castle with her father and brother for entertainment at the wedding of a princess to a king. On the way to the castle, the groom-to-be is murdered and suddenly we find that Gwen is a spy for a prince. A second helper fo ...more
Sue Owen
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was written just for me. It had me in it as the heroine. A nobody that made a name for herself and got the man of her dreams eventually. A hero that was dashing, daring, and a damn nice guy and a really bad villain that no one guessed was bad. It had all the right ingredients for a super incredible book. I loved it from beginning to end.

I think what I liked most about this book is the ease it was to read. It didn’t have any fancy speech, no huge words that I had to look up and no terms
Verity Brown
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fan of Brother Cadfael

This book turned out to be much better than I hoped when I picked it up. The main flaw is that the "detecting" (and the overall "feel" of the book) is a bit more modern than it should be (Ellis Peters set the standard for believable medieval detective work, and this book doesn't quite meet it). But the mystery is solid and has a nice twist in the end.

I was also intrigued to realize that this book covers the same historical events as Peters' The Summer of the Danes, which I will now have to go ba
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, history, mid-evil
I need to give it 2.5 stars. I did finish it and liked the story line, but the execution I had problems with. There is a lot of history in this book. A lot about the Welsh, sadly it was presented in such a way that it made it hard to understand. I felt like it was written for people who already knew what was going on not for a newbie unfamiliar with the time period and what happened then. This was a big issue at the first, it worked itself out more towards the end. The romance is a side characte ...more
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
Good story, intriguing mystery. Left me guessing until the end. It seemed like several people had motive and means to the murder. The romance between Gwen and Gareth leaves you hanging, so I was a bit disappointed. However, this leaves the author open to write more books in the series, which she has done. My only frustration was attempting to decipher the Welsh language (people's names, places, etc.); it slowed down the reading as I struggled to keep the names and places straight. A language gui ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I started this a bit hesitantly because one reviewer had likened it to my old favourites, the Cadfael books. I can almost say I was prepared to be very critical. However, I found it's not really like Cadfael at all, it's a very good tale in its own right. It has a bit of everything, a murder mystery, a romance, adventure, fights, without anything being over the top. As I have had the pleasure of being seasick in the Menai Straits, there were pages where I had a huge amount of sympathy for Gwen, ...more
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was a bit hesitant about buying this one as mystery books are not among my favourites. But having bought all of Sarah Woodbury's other books and thoroughly enjoyed them, I clicked on the button.
I did enjoy reading it, in fact it jumped the (long, long) queue of waiting books and now I am waiting for the sequel to appear as I definitely want to read more about Gwen and Gareth.
( Ideally I would have givin it 4.5 stars as only favourite books normally get 5, but 4 would feel mean as it is simply
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With over a million books sold to date, Sarah Woodbury is the author of more than forty novels, all set in medieval Wales. Although an anthropologist by training, and then a full-time homeschooling mom for twenty years, she began writing fiction when the stories in her head overflowed and demanded that she let them out. While her ancestry is Welsh, she only visited Wales for the first time at univ ...more

Other books in the series

Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Uninvited Guest (Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries, #2)
  • The Fourth Horseman (Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries, #3)
  • The Fallen Princess (A Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mystery)
  • The Unlikely Spy (Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries, #5)
  • The Lost Brother (Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries, #6)
  • The Renegade Merchant (Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries, #7)
  • The Unexpected Ally (A Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mystery Book 8)
  • The Worthy Soldier (Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries #9)
  • The Favored Son (Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries #10)
  • The Viking Prince (Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries. #11)

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“A Brief Guide to Welsh Pronunciation c a hard ‘c’ sound (Cadfael) ch a non-English sound as in Scottish ‘ch’ in ‘loch’ (Fychan) dd a buzzy ‘th’ sound, as in ‘there’ (Ddu; Gwynedd) f as in ‘of’ (Cadfael) ff as in ‘off’ (Gruffydd) g a hard ‘g’ sound, as in ‘gas’ (Goronwy) l as in ‘lamp’ (Llywelyn) ll a breathy ‘thl’ sound that does not occur in English (Llywelyn) rh a breathy mix between ‘r’ and ‘rh’ that does not occur in English (Rhys) th a softer sound than for ‘dd,’ as in ‘thick’ (Arthur) u a short ‘ih’ sound (Gruffydd), or a long ‘ee’ sound (Cymru—pronounced ‘kumree’) w as a consonant, it’s an English ‘w’ (Llywelyn); as a vowel, an ‘oo’ sound (Bwlch) y the only letter in which Welsh is not phonetic. It can be an ‘ih’ sound, as in ‘Gwyn,’ is often an ‘uh’ sound (Cymru), and at the end of the word is an ‘ee’ sound (thus, both Cymru—the modern word for Wales—and Cymry—the word for Wales in the Dark Ages—are pronounced ‘kumree’)” 0 likes
“Owain stepped past her father’s chair to reach her for her hand and raise her up. Cristina tipped her cheek for a kiss. Applause echoed throughout the room. Owain seated Cristina again and went back to his chair. Gwen turned to smile at the young man next to her, to comment on how lovely the scene had been, only to find him unsmiling. And then he pulled a blade from the sheath at his waist and started forward.” 0 likes
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