Princes & Kings: A Rose In A Thorn Bush
By Sydney Williams
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
In the year 1240 AD, the land of Gwynedd Wales found themselves without a leader when their king, Llywelyn the Great, died at a ripe old age. The natural successor to the king was his son Dafydd, who took on the job of ruler after his death. Soon after taking on the job he was forced to sign a treaty with the king of England and send his brother Gruffudd and his nephew Owain to England to be imprisoned in the Tower of London in exchange for keeping his land and title. His other nephew, Llywelyn, became the new head warrior after his father’s imprisonment, travelling the country and patrolling the borders to the north and the south. After four years imprisonment in the Tower of London, Gruffudd died while attempting to escape from his tower cell, and his son Owain was released by the king himself. He wanted Owain to help him start a civil war in Gwynedd. Meanwhile, after finding out about his brother’s death from a letter sent by his nephew Owain, Dafydd declared war on England, prompting Owain to escape Winchester Castle, where he had been recovering from his time in prison to find his brother Llywelyn and help him in the war between England and Gwynedd. During the course of the war, Dafydd was killed in battle, leaving the Welsh army without a leader. Being the brave and noble man that he was, Llywelyn called the men to him and, with his leadership, they managed to send the English packing. With the new weight of responsibility thrust upon his shoulders, Llywelyn rode home at the head of the army to find that his world had changed. Now not only was his father gone but his mother as well, and the land of Gwynedd was once again without a leader. It became clear that the best man for the job was Llywelyn himself, and he decided that there was nothing else to do but become the new ruler. He would do anything to keep his people safe, even if that meant taking on a responsibility that he felt he was too young for. He would never abandon his people for anything and let the English take everything from him.
Chapter 2: Sanctuary in Flight
The town of Aberfraw Castle in the Valley of Clwyd Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Wales in the year 1240 AD
Feeling the need for a hot bath, and a good meal, he started walking down the hallway towards his room. It had been a hard day, but he didn’t plan to stay at home for long. In the morning, he decided he would head into the Welsh countryside to get away and clear his head. Whenever he was troubled, he would take his horse, Arling, and ride off, he didn’t care where, sometimes for weeks at a time until he felt clear enough in both body and mind to return home once more. He had always found the fresh air a balm to his nerves when he was upset over something that had been said or done that he had no control over. He had learned a long time ago that when he was feeling like blowing up it was better just to leave and go away for a while until he felt like himself again. Owain talked about him being reasonable and diplomatic, but in reality he was just as angry and confused as his brother most of the time. He just chose to take himself away and work through his feelings rather than let them burst out of him in anger
He smiled at the thought of his horse. Arling was his pride and joy. He had raised her from a small filly and had trained her himself. Now she was one of the best warhorses in the land, never shying away from danger, and Llywelyn trusted her to carry him through any battle. She was always a brave companion wherever he went, and he always grateful to have her by his side.
Reaching his bedroom door, Llywelyn opened it and went inside. Sitting by the fire was his man-servant Olan, busy cleaning one of his many surcoats. A smallish man, Olan made up for his lack of height with a muscular body. His short black hair, and deep-set lake blue eyes, seemed to see everything, giving him an-other-worldly appearance. This ability to see through any situation had come in handy more than once over the years. He looked up when the door opened and saw Llywelyn standing there dripping wet from the rain. Upon seeing him, Olan put down the surcoat and stood up, giving him a small bow. Llywelyn smiled at him.“Very funny Olan,” he said. Olan smiled back.
What drew me to historical fiction?
By Sydney Williams
History has always been an interest of mine. In school it was one of my best subjects. I have always loved how it tells a story about people and events in the past, sometimes in just a few words on a page. From the events of World War II to the Viking invaders and so on, I can always find something interesting to read about. I also like how history can be portrayed in so many different ways; documentaries to historical fiction novels and their big-screen adaptations.
I think what drew me to historical fiction is the chance to look at history from a different point of view. As a historical fiction author, I have the opportunity to take a character or historical event from a few words on a page and bring them to life once more. I first fell in love with the genre when I was introduced to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I loved how she brought her characters to life. I also liked how through her writing I felt like I was back in time with the main character.
In grade 12, I came across my main character’s story during a history class. Being Welsh on my father’s side, I found his story very entertaining. I felt like it was a possible starting point for me to one day become an author of historical fiction. It took several years for me to finely figure out how to write the story, but now having written and published my first historical fiction novel I don’t know how it could have taken me so long. It was the most fun I have had in a long time and I can’t wait to delve into the stories of so many other historical figures in the future. When I wrote my book I felt like I was getting to know my characters and understand their world. 13th century Britain was such a different place to live in than anything we know today. They didn’t have electricity back then, and so, instead of flicking a switch to turn on the lights, they had to rely on sunlight and firelight. People had to be tough back then as well, in a way we don’t need to be now. When I am writing my books I start to think about what it must have been like to live back then and I am always very grateful that I live in the world now. I think if I had a time machine I would go back and visit, but I wouldn’t want to get stuck there.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sydney has a big imagination and has been writing and performing from a young age. After going blind from Leukemia at the age of three, she found release from the medical part of her life through her music and her writing. In high school she excelled in English and history and after she left school she continued to write and to create her music. She formed her band, The Undercurrents with her best friend and drummer, Alex Nacci at the age of 22 and has been playing music with the band ever since.
Her book, Princes and Kings, is her first professional novel and it is book one of the historical fiction series she is writing titled, A Rose in A Thorn Bush about the last king of Wales. She was introduced to her main character in high school and with the encouragement of her Business Abilities coach she finely decided to write his story. Splitting the story into three books. Sydney has always enjoyed reading historical fiction and has found it an interesting genre to write in. After her series is finished she plans to continue writing about different historical British characters for as long as she can. Being Welsh on her father’s side and Scottish and English on her mother’s Britain is a place that interests her greatly and she has enjoyed writing about one of its characters. Giving her a chance to explore her heritage in a fun and exciting way and she looks forward to sharing her passion for the genre and the history of the British Isles with the world.
CONNECT WITH SYDNEY
Sydney Williams will be awarding $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js