Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Falls the Shadow (Welsh Princes, #2)” as Want to Read:
Falls the Shadow  (Welsh Princes, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Falls the Shadow

(Welsh Princes #2)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  9,148 ratings  ·  417 reviews
This is Simon de Montfort's story—and the story of King Henry III, as weak and changeable as Montfort was brash and unbending. It is a saga of two opposing wills that would later clash in a storm of violence and betrayal, a story straight from the pages of history that brings the world of the thirteenth century completely, provocatively, and magnificently alive. Above all, ...more
Paperback, 14th, 580 pages
Published April 8th 1989 by Ballantine Books (first published April 1st 1988)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,148 ratings  ·  417 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Falls the Shadow (Welsh Princes, #2)
Krista Claudine Baetiong
Words fail me. Just leaving you with this image to let you know what I thought of this book.

With the exception of a few authors, I've found most Historical fiction to be too factual and not dramatic enough. In cases where the drama was heavy, the facts are off (i.e. look at BRAVEHEART; great film but missing some Historical points, like the fact that the princess was about 7 or 8 at the time). Anyway, I know my standards are high but that's the way it is and that's why I'm very glad I've found Penman.
This tale centers around the power struggle between Earl Simon de Montfort, a true His
This is a book of two halves. The first starts just after Here be Dragons finished, so we are reacquainted with Llewelyn the Great, his warring sons, his daughter and his awful daughter-in-law, as well as meeting his adorable little grandson Llelo. This first half tells the tale of the bitter ongoing struggle for control of Wales between Lleweyln’s sons (and later his grandsons), and the marriages of his daughter. We also meet his late wife’s siblings, Henry III of England and Eleanor (Nell), wh ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hate that I have almost read all of Sharon Kay Penman's books. I know I can always reread them, but there is no recreating the first read. I love her books. You should read them too. ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I am so happy I discovered this trilogy and author. Although this one did not move me like the first book "Here Be Dragons" it was still another fascinating read. I love how SKP stays so true to actual historical facts and adds just the right amount of drama. ...more
Like Here Be Dragons --> a remarkable, magnificent, gripping historical fiction that is the best textbook for the history you can imagine. Simon de Montfort's life, his story was amazing, I have no words to describe it. He was a man with virtues and flaws. He wasn't a saint. But he was a man with a vision (again, like Llewelyn in the previous book) and with determination to make it real. Some visions become true in a hero's life, some after years or centuries, some die... Nonetheless, people who ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
OK... I am loving this author and this Welsh Trilogy. Book Two starts up where the Here Be Dragons ends and completes the story of Llewelyn, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Joanna. The story then picks up with Llewelyn's sons and grandsons and their conflicts and turmoil as rulers of Wales. That story line runs parallel with the story of Simon de Montfort's rise to power. Simon is a French Nobleman who marries Eleanor (Nell) sister of King Henry III of England. Nell is also the Lady Joanna's h ...more
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Seldom have I read a historic novel that stays so close to the documented facts, while at the same time being thrilling and engaging on every page.
There was no point where I lost concentration or interest.
Penman really makes the characters and events come alive.
Falls the Shadow is the sequel to Here Be Dragons and is the story of two great men- Simon de Montfort, the principal leader of the Baronial opposition to Henry III, and the progenitor of representative democracy in England. It also featu
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I'll admit from the start that I read Falls the Shadow soon after The Sunne in Splendour; this book, while not bad, suffered by comparison. Besides, I can't read too much of one author too quickly without becoming annoyed by her quirks. That said, Falls the Shadow was something of a disappointment.

First the good. As always with Penman's books, I learned a lot. I knew little about the time period and this book brought it to life. The major players are excellently drawn: Henry III, Simon de Montf
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
I don't know why I don't like these books. They're just too slow and not enough happens, which are similar but not the same thing. It's still an interesting read, but I'd prefer to read a biography of these people. They're often less dry than this. ...more
Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass
So this was an amazing read. WOW, I never cared much about Simon de Montfort and went into this read with reservations as I couldn't imagine him being the lead character. Boy was I wrong. I fell in love with Simon and was a bit envious of Nell (but I loved her too!). It was so nice to catch up with characters from Here Be Dragons. I also realized how much I detest Henry III and also hate with a passion the soon to be Edward I--although he at least wasn't a weakling like his father. I dread readi ...more
Helen Carolan
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed some of her previous books but I'm beginning to find them a bit samey samey. This one about Simon De Montfort was readable but just like her others. Simon was brutally honest with those around him even the king. He married the kings sister without consent and later was so dismayed by Henry's ineffectual rule he challenged him for the throne. Readable but average. ...more
I really couldn't go wrong with this book - Plantagenets, Simon de Montfort, Welsh princes, romance, war, tragedy . . . and, of course, Penman. I feel like I don't even need to point out that Penman creates believable, well-developed characters while staying as historically accurate as possible. Everyone who has read any of her novels already knows that, right? In this particular novel Simon de Montfort is the main character expertly brought to life with a huge cast of supporting characters (Hen ...more
Deborah Pickstone
A re-read of an old favourite. SPs third novel still carries some of the historical problems I wrote about in my review of Here be Dragons but they get less with every book. Despite these, she is a wonderful writer and creates a picture of the happening at any point that is hard to beat.

This novel is about Simon de Montfort. How could anyone fail to make this interesting? He is a glorious character, a man very much of his time but yet outside of his time. His character is saved from his own stub
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
At first, I was puzzled by the description of this book. The second in the “Welsh Princes” series, the description made no mention of Wales or Welsh characters, it sounded to be entirely about Simon de Montfort and Henry III. But I should have known that an SKP book would never be that one dimensional. The first half of the book strongly features Llelo, the grandson of Llywelyn the Great, a central character in the preceding Here Be Dragons. It pretty much picks up right where Here Be Dragons fi ...more
Lee Alexander
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I seriously struggled with this book. I loved Here Be Dragons, but I was disappointed with Falls the Shadow. Still, I'm giving it 4 stars because I learned a great deal of history.

For me, there just seemed to be far more history than story and I kept wondering why we're reading so much about Simon de Montfort in a trilogy about the Welsh princes. Although de Montfort was the first to acknowledge Llewelyn the younger as the Prince of Wales and basically made way for the British royalty to acknowl
Tamora Pierce
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Engrossing historical novel in Penman's Welsh Princes series. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite having gotten it because I thought it was about the Simon de Montfort who did the crusade against the Cathars, and it turned out to be about that man's son! The main characters were very complex and well written, the women as fascinating as the men. Also, Penman's great with battle scenes--I'd recommend her to anyone who wants to learn how to do medieval fights! ...more
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Will review more when I have some time. However...

I was a little reluctant to read this because I loved the first one so much. I needed have worried. :) Though we don't have the Joanne/Llewelyn relationship to enjoy, there are plenty of other fascinating and likable people here. The story moves quickly, and even with the usual large cast Penman did a good job keeping everyone straight for the reader.

Christie Stratos
This is a good historical fiction piece that's generally well written and has a lot of interesting parts, but does spend too long on some very dry pieces of history that I supposed even the author had trouble making interesting. Parts of it were excellent, parts were good, and parts were boring. It was a little longer than it needed to be, but still a good read. ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Welsh Prince series is well written and riveting. The brutality of the time is interesting while gritty to read. The author does a wonderful job breathing life into these historical characters and give unique insight of what might driven the people to do what is now recorded (somewhat) in time.
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sharon Penman is a fantastic novelist and a first rate historian. After you read her books you feel as if you have had an entire upper level university course in English history. I knew little about the Second Baron's Revolt and the Kingdom of Wales but now I do! Terrific reading for anyone interested in medieval historical fiction! ...more
Geoff Boxell
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Up to Sharon Penman's usual high standard. What always gets me is that de Montford was Norman, but what he tried to establish was in fact a system similar to what teh Englsh had before teh Norman Conquest. ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the first Penman novel's I read. Superb!! This is the story of the Baron's Revolt and the creation of the first real Parliament. Ms. Penman paints both de Montfort and Prince Edward vividly. ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book many times and enjoy it every time. It's the second in the Welsh trilogy. It's not as good as Here Be Dragons, but a book can be fantastic and still not be as good as Here be Dragons. ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: series
One thing I've been wondering since I started on the latter part of this book is the question of what exactly makes a book of historical fiction good. I am far too aware that, though I have enjoyed most of the books I've read in the genre, they are also few and far between, and so I find myself unable to judge by what could be considered their standard.

Instead, I find myself approaching the issue from a different angle. I find myself wondering whether this book would have held any appeal whatsoe
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
If you enjoy fact-based historical fiction written with beautiful words and fantastic imagery then this book is a must read, but first you need to read the first in the trilogy 'Here Be Dragons'. This book 'Falls the Shadow' is the second. Sharon Kay Penman is a master at her craft.

This book focuses on the 13th century's Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, his wife Nell (who happens to be King Henry's sister) and his brood. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit I had never heard of Earl Simon before r
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is very involving by the end. It felt like the beginning, which is largely about the end of Joana and Llywelyn from Here Be Dragons, and the coming of age of their grandson (also Llywelyn), was somewhat of a false start, as the story ultimately clarifies and begins to move better when it becomes more about Simon de Montfort and Ella. But I still think that Penman is one of the best at balancing the military aspects of history, the royal intrigue, and the relationships. I can recommend her h ...more
Was a bit disappointed in this book. I really enjoyed the first one bit this, it took me forever to get through. I dunno why but I just struggled so much. I think with about two hundred or so pages left I got more invested in it. I can see why this was the second book but for the Welsh Prince’s story for a good 60% of the book they aren’t even in Wales. I’ll read the third one of course.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You know that moment when you’re finishing a masterpiece and you find yourself struggling to turn the page and you have no idea why till you realize your tears and emotions have ruined your motor skills. This novel is perfect in every way. Every word.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Buddy Read for Falls the Shadow (Welsh Princes, 2#) 10 13 Mar 18, 2019 07:39AM  
Historical Fictio...: Group Series: Falls the Shadow- Book 2 20 201 Nov 01, 2013 05:46AM  
rights 3 40 Feb 14, 2013 04:44PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Greatest Knight (William Marshal, #2)
  • Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman l Summary & Study Guide
  • Katherine
  • Falls the Shadow by Sharon Kay Penman l Summary & Study Guide
  • The Scarlet Lion (William Marshal, #3)
  • The Time of Singing (William Marshal, #4; Bigod, #1)
  • A Place Beyond Courage (William Marshal, #1)
  • Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles
  • To Defy a King (William Marshal, #5; Bigod, #2)
  • The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
  • Sarum: The Novel of England
  • Shadow on the Crown (The Emma of Normandy Trilogy #1)
  • London
  • Shadows and Strongholds (FitzWarin #1)
  • The Falcons of Montabard
  • Sidroc the Dane: A Circle of Ceridwen Saga Story (Circle of Ceridwen Saga, #0.5)
  • The Irish Princess
  • Forever Amber
See similar books…
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.

The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Novel Society's list of best historical novels. In 1996, following

Other books in the series

Welsh Princes (3 books)
  • Here Be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1)
  • The Reckoning  (Welsh Princes, #3)

Related Articles

Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology.  “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
191 likes · 22 comments
“Men kill for many reasons, they steal but for one-greed.” 11 likes
“He looked upon this verdant, blossoming spring, a spring Joanna would never see, he looked upon a field of brilliant blue flowers- the bluebells Joanna had so loved- and at that moment he'd willingly have bartered all his tomorrows for but one yesterday.” 6 likes
More quotes…