The Wicked and the Just – J. Anderson Coats

The story takes place in Wales around 1280 when King Edward I of England conquered Wales.  He sealed his control of the Welsh by granting lands to loyal Englishmen and moving them into newly built town houses within castle walls.  The Welsh were treated harshly, with no rights and heavy taxes.  Spoiled English girl Cecily is miffed with her father when he decides to seek his fortune and move them to Caernarfon in Wales, one of King Edward’s new castles.  She treats the Welsh servant girl, Gwenhwyfar, rudely and punishes her severely.  The story alternates to Gwenhwfar’s voice and her struggles to survive, now as a servant to the cruel English in lands she was raised to rule.  The Welsh rebel and take bloody revenge on their English masters.  Now the roles are reversed.

I finished this book a week ago and have been trying to gather my thoughts before writing this review.  This story has lingered with me, hovering in the back of my mind while I read two other excellent books.  The historic background is woven into the story through the well-drawn characters to truly immerse the reader into the story.  Highly recommended.

NetGalley Review  Publication date 4.17.12

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