I am getting firmly in to the October spirit with the book I am sharing today. I find that I tend to read a number of vampires books in October and November and this year is no exception. I got an early start by reading Time’s Convert in September and then after a quick detour into the Vicious and Vengeful I made a start on The Penllyn Chronicles.
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The Penllyn Chronicles is a set of three novellas which act as a prequel to the Cup of Blood Series. And whilst The Penllyn Chronicles doesn’t have a lots about vampires in, it’s incredible and definitely worth a read as it lays a wonderful foundation for the main series, in which the protagonist is a female vampire called Maria.
Title: The Penllyn Chronicles
Author: Troy A. Hill
Synopsis: Arthur is dead, and a dangerous game for Britain’s soul begins
Modron, Sovereign goddess of Britannia must a new champion. One that will protect Britain as well as the ones before, like Arthur, Bran and Mabon.
But a shadow that has lurked at each death is revealed and begins a challenge for the very soul of Britain. One that may destroy not only the people and land of Britain but the very essence of the goddess. She must play a game for control of the land. A game where she must choose a new champion.
That choice will determine where and when the climax of the game will occur. But, if her opponent had a hand in the death of each previous champion, can she make the obvious choice? This collection contains previously published works, and additional content.
Past work includes:
Penllyn: In Dark Ages Britain, the consequences of her choice begin to bear fruit. Young lord Bleddyn must choose who to wed. Neither choice is what he envisioned for his future bride. But he must choose a lady that is best for his people and his land.
Penteulu: Neirin, Bleddyn’s brother returns from a decade in Europe, where he trained with the best swordmaster in Europe. Lord Neirin is to become Penteulu, war leader of their land. But, his greatest fear is a repeat of what happened to his first family. Death. Are his skills enough to protect The Lord of Penllyn and the rest of his adopted family?
Cursed: Ruadh is on the run in the Scottish highlands. He shares the curse of his father and brothers. The angry bears within them must emerge each full moon. But, someone has killed his father, the Clan Chief. Then Ruadh’s only trusted ally meets the same fate as his father, murdered by one of his other brothers. Ruadh knows that he will be the next target in the fight to control the clan, and take the Chief’s chair. But, who is that mysterious Fae woman pursuing him?
Those three previously published novellas, along with the new Tempting Fae novelette, as well as new interludes and a chapter that reveals the choice of the goddess for her new champion are included in this compilation volume.
This collection ties together the prequels of the Penllyn Chronicles and sets the stage for the events that will unfold in The Cup of Blood series when Britain faces her greatest threat.
Categories: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy,
Publication Date: 12th August 2018
Rating: 5 stars
Content Warnings: Threat of sexual assault, brief discussion of childloss/stillbirth
Review: The Penllyn Chronicles is made up of three novellas and contains some bonus content which includes a short story and chapters that tie the three distinct novellas together. I loved every page of The Penllyn Chronicles and would give each of the three stories 5 stars. If I had to pick a favourite I would go for Cursed: Ruadh’s Story but only by a narrow margin and probably because of the three stories, it featured the most magic.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about plots for the three novellas as I don’t want to spoil things. There are things which tie these separate stories together, including some characters and the time period. The first two novellas are separated by only a decade and feature the same family. The added chapters which tie these stories, and the Cup of Blood series together are set in the Otherworld and really help to add to the epic fell of the tales.
The Penllyn Chronicles are filled with a cast of vivid and unique characters. I love that there are some bold females included in these stories, including Rhian and Lady Gwen. What’s great is that Troy has kept things believable, Rhian is under no illusions about marriage as a high born lady (nor is her husband) – it will be for duty rather than love. Yet despite adhering to both traditions of the time, and her father’s wishes, she still manages to show her steely nature and I really warmed to her over the course of the first two novellas. I hope that she features in the Cup of Blood series.
The character I find myself most drawn to is Emlyn – he is such an enigmatic character and I can’t wait to read more about him in the later books. It was so fascinating to read about his early experiences and his motivations. I love that The Penllyn Chronicles are a chance to get to know more about these characters, and act as an introduction to the world as it was back in the 7th century.
The writing style is so engaging, and I found it so difficult to put the book down. Troy has struck the perfect balance between information and plot in these novellas. There is the perfect amount of magic and mystery woven in to these stories, which pulls you along together with the plot. There are so many threads woven in to these stories, adding a depth to the stories. I found myself so intrigued by the politics in these novellas. I love that Arthurian Lore also features heavily in these stories as I have read, loved and studied some of these stories over the years and it really adds a richness to the worldbuilding of The Penllyn Chronicles.
It’s clear to see the amount of research that has gone into crafting these novellas and reading them is such an immersive experience. I have high hopes for the Cup of Blood series, which I plan to start reading later this evening. With engaging plots, incredible writing and likeable and unique characters The Penllyn Chronicles are a wonderful read and I would recommend them to fans of historical fantasy fiction.
I will be sharing my thoughts on Cup of Blood later this month, so do please check back if you like the sound of The Penllyn Chronicles or are a fan of vampires! You can also find out more about the books over on Troy’s Website. The Penllyn Chronicles is available in both paperback and ebook formats over on Amazon*.
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I received a copy of The Penllyn Chronicles for the purpose of this review, however all opinions and words are my own.