A fictionalized biography based on true events in 12th-century England and Ireland, and told in alternating chapters by the principals, Richard de Clare--Strongbow--and Aoife.
Both are children of warriors who have been stripped of their titles by hostile kings. Richard and Aoife's desires to regain what has been lost bring them together in a war for control of Ireland.
The events of the tale are inherently compelling, but for a story grounded in warfare, the battle scenes are rather tepid. Llywelyn has created a book that, as an introduction to little-known historical incidents and people, is valuable and interesting.
New York-born author Morgan Llywelyn is one of the world's leading popular chroniclers of Celtic culture and history. A prolific storyteller, she has written more than twenty books over the past two decades. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.
In the words of Judith A. Gifford of the reference publication Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, "Drawing on the history and lore that are part of her own heritage, the works of Morgan Llywelyn concern themselves with Celtic heroes and heroines, both real and mythical, bringing them and the times they inhabited to life with stunning clarity." Pauline Morgan, writing in the St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, has explained, "[t]he majority of Morgan Llywelyn's books may be regarded as fictional biographies. Each book takes a person, often historical or legendary, and relates the story of their life. Most of the novels with a fantasy connection rely heavily on Celtic mythology, particularly that of the Irish.
Morgan Llywelyn now lives outside of Dublin, Ireland, and has become an Irish citizen.