New Feature: Series, Trilogies and Sequels, oh my!

I'd like to introduce a new feature on PTTP where I discuss my favorite sets of novels - Series, Trilogies and Sequels, oh my! I am a sucker for a good series and I just know that you'll love them as much as I did.

I've also noticed that I've been focusing too much on new releases (which isn't hard to do when there are so many good ones being released lately), and I want to showcase more of the "must reads" of historical fiction.

For the inaugural post I'd like to feature the most beloved of trilogies to yours truly:

The Welsh trilogy by Sharon Kay Penman. These are honestly the BEST books I have EVER read in my life! Penman can write battle scenes and love stories with equal passion and equal awesomeness. She is known for her historical accuracy and meticulous research. For me, Penman is the ultimate in historical fiction and her novels are most definitely "must reads" for any fan of the genre!

Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England’s ruthless, power-hungry King John. Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, secures an uneasy truce by marrying the English king’s beloved illegitimate daughter, Joanna, who slowly grows to love her charismatic and courageous husband. But as John’s attentions turn again and again to subduing Wales---and Llewelyn---Joanna must decide where her love and loyalties truly lie.

The turbulent clashes of two disparate worlds and the destinies of the individuals caught between them spring to life in this magnificent novel of power and passion, loyalty and lies.

Simon de Montfort was a man ahead of his time in the thirteenth century, a disinherited Frenchman who talked his way into an English earldom and marriage with a sister of the English king, Henry III. A charismatic, obstinate leader, Simon soon lost patience with the king’s incompetence and inability to keep his word, and found himself the champion of the common people.

This is his story, and the story of Henry III, as weak and changeable as Simon was brash and unbending. It is a tale of opposing wills that would eventually clash in a storm of violence and betrayal—an irresistible saga that brings the pages of history completely, provocatively, and magnificently alive.

“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 all else, Llewelyn fears that his life and his own dream—of an independent, united Wales—might be lost to Edward I’s desire to expand his English empire.

Alive from the pages of history, this is the hauntingly beautiful and compelling tale of a game poised to play itself out to its bloody finale as English and Welsh cross swords in a reckoning that must mean disaster for one side or the other.

Your turn, fellow HF junkies - have you read this trilogy? If so, what are your thoughts?



  1. LOVE the new feature!! I haven't read these yet, but I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that it's on my list. :-)


  2. Here Be Dragons is one of my all-time favorites and I think the best of the three.

  3. I'm going to love this new feature! I want to learn about the books that hf fans feel are the "core" of their library -- the ones that absolutely must be included!

    Great idea!

  4. I just loved this series, a must read.

  5. This trilogy is one of the best of all time. I would never have begun writing historical fiction myself if I hadn't read Sharon Kay Penman years go. And of course, I'm still reading her books! She is amazing, and these novels just drew me in.

  6. I just love this new series you're doing! And I agree that her books are always a definite must read:)

  7. You certainly start out this feature with a bang! Sharon Kay Penman rules historical fiction, and these three may be her best work.

  8. I've had all of these SKP books for quite a while and really need to make time to read them. I keep hearing about how great they are!

  9. I have owned these forever, but still haven't read. I loved The Sunne in Splendour, so no idea why I am hesitating...

  10. I love this new feature! I look forward to other posts.

    This series does sound great. I am going to put it into my TBR list.

  11. Lezlie - I know you'll fall in love too!

    Daphne - yes! And I just LOVE the way she came up with that title - so did my husband, he makes maps for a living!

    Joanne - I'm so glad you like it, I'm really trying to give my readers a well-rounded reading suggestions.

    Misfit - OMG - we agree on something! Quick, someone write this down! Heehee!

    Christy - If I were to ever bite the bullet and try my hand at writing HF, she would be at the top of my list of inspiration.

    Ms. Lucy & Judy - she is the ULTIMATE!

    Melissa - you seriously should put down whatever you're reading at the moment and immediately get lost in this fantastic trilogy! I kicked myself once I read them for waiting so long!

    Kailana - I am completely surprised you never read them! Sun in Splendour was MAGICALLY DELICIOUS!!

  12. Hey Girl! How are you?

    I have Here Be Dragons sitting on my nightstand and I just can't get to it. I have heard so many great things about it. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. Add me to the list of those who have this series but haven't read it yet. I just got DEVIL'S BROOD in the mail today, so I can finish that trilogy. Then I'll start on this one. Sharon Kay Penman is a terrific author!

  14. I have not read this, but will be on the lookout for it now!

  15. I love that series, too! Well, I admit I love the first book, enjoy the second one and can't really be bothered by the third. I didn't particularly care for either of the main characters in the third book- especially the girl, who just kept seem to be living her life in the hopes that it would turn out exactly like Joanna's in the first one.

    Great new feature! Can't wait to see it more often :-)

  16. I miss Penman. I loved the Henry II trilogy. I finally collected all the Welsh books, now I just need to find the time to actually read them.
    I told Arleigh I wasn't going to request a single book for the month of August. I only have like 25 books to read and review, and I should stop requesting all together so I can read the 200 awesome books on my shelf already. Like the ones mentioned here. Sorry for the ramble.

  17. ok... I am so going to get to these books. I have bookmarked this one :)

  18. I love this trilogy, especially Here Be Dragons. Must read historical fiction.

  19. I'm going to admit something: I have never finished this trilogy. I read the first two and then I just stopped. I found the second one so unbearably sad and depressing and at the time my brother had lymphoma and then passed away, so I couldn't bring myself to read the third one and bring more misery into my life.

    I'm determined to finish it one of these days, though. I can deal with unhappy books now, so I just have to buy them. They were library books the first time around.

  20. I'm still trying to get my hands on these. Borders never has them when I have the money to buy them... I have The Sunne in Splendour and When Christ and His Saints Slept (as yet unread).

  21. I own the first one. It is here staring at me. I love a good series too, and I'm glad to know that this one worth it.

  22. I read Here Be Dragons a few months ago and only just finished the second book in the trilogy : Falls the Shadow. I really LOVED both of them and it won't be long before I'll start the third one : The Reckoning.
    Most certainly a must read for HF fans.

  23. Amy, that is the perfect way to put it. Ms. Penman's work is inspiring. I wonder how many other writers she has drawn into the world of historical fiction with her storytelling?


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