12 September, 2015

Book Tour Review: Sacrifice by Gwendolyn Beynon

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528 A.D. Cymru (Wales)

Melangell is a ‘Lifebringer’, a dragon-maiden learning to protect one of the land’s most ancient mysteries, y Ddraig. She expects to pass her years as have a score of teachers before her—sequestered, safeguarding an egg that barely moves from year to year, never using the deadly and secret skills she has been taught. But the King’s relentless pursuit of this most holy relic throws her into the middle of war and though she is not yet adept Melangell must enter captivity with the egg to defend the sleeping dragonling within.

Her abductor is Cai ap Cynyr—fierce warrior, loyal brother and sword-arm to the high Chieftain, Artwr. He has been scouring the land for the relics Artwr demands to ensure triumph against the Angles invading from the east. Cai uses the Lifebringer’s mystique to master his armsmen, but when he spirits Melangell and the dragon egg further into seclusion, she grows intrigued by her captor. But she is a Lifebringer—sworn only to y Ddraig—and Cai must deliver the dragonling to Artwr to at last drag himself out of his legendary brother’s deep shadow.

And all the while, the egg readies itself to emerge…

*Sacrifice is the first in a series of three books based around y Ddraig (the Dragon) set in sixth-century Arthurian Wales, featuring characters based on Welsh myth, literature and/or history.

Book Trailer Link: https://youtu.be/ZGzg8hebIZg


Australian author, Gwendolyn Beynon, comes from a long line of storytellers of Welsh and Cornish stock. She grew up reading romance and fantasy novels but the y Ddraig series is her first foray into historical fantasy.

The idea for the y Ddraig series came while on a pilgrimage to Wales (the land of her fathers) where she was visiting holy wells and ancient yew trees. She grew captivated with the way that the ancient stories of Welsh literature, myth and history still co-existed comfortably in contemporary Cymru, and by the atmosphere of mystery that still exists around much of Wales’ natural spaces.

An Arts graduate from Curtin University (with double-majors in Film and Theatre), Gwen has worked in communications all her life. She sold her first book in 2008 and has been writing for a living with her hounds at her feet and Celtic music as a backdrop ever since.

For more information visit www.yDdraig.com.au. Follow Gwendolyn on Facebook and Goodreads.

Series: Y Ddraig (The Dragons of Brython) #1
Release Date: 5 June, 2015
Publisher: Dark Pages Publishing
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Romance
ISBN: 9780994352712
Edition: Paperback
Review Written: 12 September, 2015

Let me state that what drew me to this book and it's tour is the setting. It's not often one finds books in Arthurian Wales, and one that isn't a retelling of the famous legends. Sacrifice was gorgeous novel that brought a new life and light to the time period and introduced the reader to a place they might not have thought about before.

The novel stars Melangell, a 'lifebringer' or a dragon-maiden who guards one of the few remaining dragon eggs of the land. For most it would be an easy job, hidden away in seclusion with only a few teachers without ever truly needing their training. Unfortunately for Melangell, her destiny is more complex as a war rages on and she soon finds herself caught in the middle. Captured by Cai ap Cynyr (Sir Kay), Melangell has to protect the sleeping dragonling from him and from his brother Artwr (Arthur). 

Throughout watching Melangell, Cai seems torn between his duty to his king and to the intrigue that she provides. The only way to pull himself out of his brother shadow though is to bring the dragonling to Artwr, but how does one truly deliver a dragon? Full of twists and turns, Sacrifice will keep the reader deeply entertained and wanting more by the end. I look forward to seeing what else comes from this series as the other books emerge.

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