It's Saint David's Day! Dewi Sant is the patron saint of Wales and the Welsh celebrate his feast day as national day.
So, pin on a daffodil and make some leek soup or cawl, and curl up with one of these books...
The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats. In 1293, the king offers a good deal to any English who will move to Wales to help keep the land conquered. Cecily's father takes him up on the offer and she's stuck in a strange and backwards land with Gwenhwyfar, an bitter servant who, like most Welsh, is struggling to survive.
Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones. After her brother is killed by marauding Saxons, Branwen is sent to Prince Llew to live like a princess and be kept safe. But Branwen has warrior's blood and it has been prophesied that she is the one who will lead her people against the Saxons. The first in a series, follow it with Destiny's Path.
The Wish House by Celia Rees. In 1976, Richard is on vacation in South Wales when he befriends a local artist family. He gets involved with the daughter but as he gets closer and closer, he discovers the dark and horrible secrets this family keeps.
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. It's a world where magic exists, but is dying and doesn't have much use anymore. But, Big Magic is coming. Will it save them, or destroy them all? This is Fforde's (who is Welsh) first foray into youth literature. It's a great one for younger teens. Older teens will want to check out his adult stuff.
The Poems of Dylan Thomas by Dylan Thomas, edited by Daniel Jones. Thomas is another one of those authors that I had to read in school and ended up loving. This collection of his work comes with a CD of Thomas reading some of his work.
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. The classic fantasy series, Chronicles of Prydian is about an assistant pig-keeper and his journey to be something more, and draws greatly from Welsh mythology. The second book is The Black Cauldron.
The Grey King by Susan Cooper. The entire Dark is Rising sequence is steeped in English and Welsh mythology. This volume takes place in Wales and captures both the modern and and ancient mythological side of the country. You may want to start at the beginning with Over Sea, Under Stone.
The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi. The youngest of six daughters, Dolores watches as her father loses everything to the Maltesean mafia. Set in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, the narrative shifts from Delores's childhood to her return as an adult as she tries to make sense of her family's horrors. Published for adults, teens with enjoy this.
The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl. Like I was going to cover Wales and not mention Dahl? HA! This collection of short stories scales older than the childhood classics, but not as old as his more provocative adult work.
Now, tell me, who am I missing? Surely there are more contemporary Welsh authors? Anything set in contemporary Wales? Help me out!
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