Review: ‘The Comrades’ by Lynne Sears Williams
Lynne Sears Williams’ beautifully told historical romance “The Comrades,” carries readers back into Medieval Wales when the post-Roman Kingdoms of Powys and Gwynedd were at odds with each other while contending with ongoing threats from the English and the Norse.
In Williams’ 9th century tale, Evan, King of Powys, responds to a nasty cross-border raid from Gwynedd by ordering his commanders to kidnap Gwynedd’s princess Morleyna to use as leverage in negotiations with the neighboring kingdom. Carefully planned and boldly implemented, the successful abduction brings consequences the king and his warbrothers aren’t prepared for: a shrewd, highly intelligent “guest” at the castle who is also blessed with The Sight.
“The Comrades” is a stirring romance, graced with memorable characters, historically accurate place settings and customs, a first-rate writing style, and a rousing good plot. The interplay between Evan and his men, his aunt, his concubine and the princess is believable and flows easily between humor, statecraft and crisis. The story unfolds as the kingdom waits for a response from Morleyna’s brothers. Will they bring an army, a ransom or both?
Williams’ decision to tell the story from multiple points of view was a wise one. Readers see castle life and the world of Powys from the from the perspectives of Evan, Morlenya and other principal characters. While that world is long ago and far away, it shines clearly and brightly in “The Comrades.”
The story is supported by a helpful map and glossary.