Read fair bright and terrible by Elizabeth Kingston Online


Wales is conquered, and Eluned has lost everything: her country, her husband, her hope. All that remains is vengeance, and she will stop at nothing to have it. Certain there is no trace within her of the idealistic girl who loved Robert de Lascaux a lifetime ago, she agrees to marry him to advance the fortunes of her son, to avoid the nunnery, and most importantly - as anWales is conquered, and Eluned has lost everything: her country, her husband, her hope. All that remains is vengeance, and she will stop at nothing to have it. Certain there is no trace within her of the idealistic girl who loved Robert de Lascaux a lifetime ago, she agrees to marry him to advance the fortunes of her son, to avoid the nunnery, and most importantly - as an easy way to gain access to the man upon whom she will avenge Wales. When Robert is asked to marry the woman he has loved for eighteen years, he never hesitates. But the lady who greets him at the altar has so little in common with the girl he adored that he begins to doubt that there is anything left of her bold and passionate younger self. Marriage to her might gain him the fortune and status his family has always wanted, but no wealth has ever mattered to him as much as Eluned has. And she, it seems, does not want him at all. Trapped in a web of intrigue, revenge, and desire, they cannot forget their past – but can they share a future? The fascinating world of medieval Wales is continued in this riveting companion novel to The King's Man....

Title : fair bright and terrible
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 34014130
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 306 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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fair bright and terrible Reviews

  • boogenhagen
    2019-04-16 19:23

    I really liked this book. What a lot of people don't know about England in the thirteenth century is that one of the big political battles during that time period was the king and co going after the noble's land. Prior to this book taking place, the Magna Carta had been pretty much forcibly shoved down the Monarchy's throat.The Monarchy, as monarchies are wont to do, did not appreciate having legal restraints on their power. Since they could do very little to limit the nobility via the law, they chose another route. This involved grabbing or confiscating as much of the noble's lands and assets as they could . Cause at this time, you can have all the legal authority you want, but if you have no money or manpower to enforce it, you don't have anything at all. Eluned is the woman who spends years training her daughter to lead an army and maneuvering to keep Wales independent of English hegemony. She is not wrong in realizing that English annexation is not going to end well for the Welsh natives, sadly she is proven correct and the opening of this book is an excellent narration of the grief one might feel when an entire way of life has been lost. Now Eluned has a new goal, she wants redress for the slaughter of her people and there is no law left that will give it to her, she is going to have to rely on other means and a considerable intelligence to find a solution to her dilemma. Eluned was absolutely outstanding in her passionate convictions and her indomitable will to have revenge for the wrongs done her. And I got that, cause what was done to the Welsh people in England's conquest for power was pretty reprehensible, and it wasn't even done in the name of making the world a better place.Edward the 1st wanted Wales to increase his own wealth and power base and sadly he and his progeny let crown favorites do horrible things in the King's name. In the years that followed, the rape of Wales by the Mortimers was comparable to William the Conqueror's Harrowing of the North- and it was all done for monetary profit. Thus was life in England and Wales in the thirteenth century. (I think another reason I loved this book was I am a huge amateur medieval historian -- it is one of my favorite time periods, so much of what we consider modern life evolved during this era, and EK nailed it on the research. She did a really, really good job and in these days of wallpaper historicals, that is a wonderful rareity.) The h and H in this story are also highly believable characters that I got seriously invested in. I already liked the h from her role in the first book, (and I was a bit pissed with the daughter who was the h in the first if you want to know the truth.) Eluned was such a strong woman, I wouldn't mind having her backbone when I grow up.She made hard decisions and she did it pretty ruthlessly, but that was very much the time period where might was definitely right. She was ruthless because she had to be, and I had a lot of appreciation for her strength of will. I think some people may be put off because Eluned is not nice, she isn't loving and she isn't long on compassion- she is very much a leader and there is no mercy in her at all. The H in this case is a bit beta, and I can see why Eluned needed that. Eluned is a Alpha woman, she is also older and set in her ways, she probably wouldn't have had a very happy union with the majority of the men in that time period - the H, tho he is a bit weak, is also the only one who can really peel away the formidable iron layers Eluned encases herself with and get her to show some actual tender emotion. Plus he is probably the only man who loves her just as she is, hard, ruthless, determined but also fiercely devoted to those she protects (and that includes a LOT of people as she has been running one area or another for a very long time. )The build up of the love story was very believable as both the H and h get to know each other and the h essentially married the H to further her quest for vengeance. The H had been in love with his ideal of the h for years. So needless to say, finding out how she really is comes as a bit of a shock.They do manage to find an enduring love tho and I liked how they both adjusted and compromised to reach out to each other and find a HEA. I also loved the scene where Eluned has to save the H - her solution is RUTHLESS, but I liked it cause is demonstrated just how committed to the H Eluned really was. If you don't like uber Alpha badass ladies, skip this one. If you like a well researched medieval with an older couple, (having older nobility still alive over 40 wasn't unusual, especially if a woman did not endure multiple pregnancies from a young age, most young medieval noble women died from childbirth or it's complications,) this might be a book for you.

  • Caz
    2019-03-26 01:27

    I've given this an A+ for narration and an A- for content at AudioGalsFair, Bright, and Terrible is the sequel to Elizabeth Kingston’sThe King's Man, and is, like its predecessor, set in and around the final years of the Welsh struggle for independence against the military might of England under King Edward I. The book is an engrossing mix of historical romance and historical fiction; the author has obviously and extensively researched the political and military history of the time and the second-chance love story between two older and wiser protagonists – they’re both in their forties – is expertly woven throughout. But make no mistake – this is a gritty and angsty story about a proud, scheming woman who is so entirely focussed on revenge that she is prepared to sacrifice her happiness and her life if need be in order to obtain it; and her almost fanatical desire for vengeance to the exclusion of all else makes her difficult to like.Eluned of Ruardean was not a popular character in The King’s Man, in large part thanks to the way in which she had so sternly controlled her daughter’s – Gwenllian’s – life and insisted on training her to be the saviour of the Welsh people, without really considering that Gwenllian was entitled to a say in her own life. She is still not the most sympathetic of women, but she’s a fascinating character nonetheless; driven, uncompromising and self-aware, and by the end of the book I was won over and seriously impressed by the author’s ability to have made such a flawed character both admirable and likeable.You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

  • Lyuda
    2019-04-22 00:01

    Very interesting note from the author why she wrote this story. Thank you Kathie for pointing this to me. worked for me: 1. The vivid atmosphere that the author created. The history in this book is not just some theatrical prompt, or endless recital of historical facts but living, breathing, and ever changing stormy surrounding.2. Characterization of the heroine that stayed consistent with her portrayal in book #1 The King's Man.What didn’t work for me:1. Romance.2. See #2 above.I loved The King’s Man. When I learned that the mother of the heroine from The King’s Man is the heroine of this story, I was both excited and apprehensive. Excited because how many medieval romances are out there with a 40-year-old heroine? What a revolutionary concept! My apprehension was for a simple fact that I didn’t like Eluned in the previous book. I was hoping to change my mind. Well, it didn’t happen. Even though I understood Eluned’s actions and motivations, she didn’t endure me to herself as a person and, for sure, not as a heroine of romance.The novel starts where the previous one ended -a final Welsh rebellion in 1282, during which Edward I conquered Wales definitively.A fiercely patriotic Eluned is numb as she sees her countrymen being captured and killed by Edward’s troops. Her hope for independent Wales is lost forever. Her numbness didn’t last long. It was replaced by a single-minded thought of revenge and she would stop at nothing to have it. And revenge is a driving force, main motivation to everything she does and to everyone who stands in her way pretty much throughout the entire story. You noticed I didn’t mention a hero of the story, Robert. It is because his star-power is dimmed in comparison to Eluned. Her strength and determination is so powerfully portrayed that it left Robert in a supporting role despite his POV being well represented. Where the previous story also featured a strong female character, it pared her with an equally strong male. It didn’t happen here. This is one of the number of reasons why romance didn’t work for me. The other reasons? (view spoiler)[Their initial encounter 18 years ago was more of insta-love variety and it was coupled with adultery. She was a married woman at that time with two small children and a husband away at war. The adultery was not a single encounter either but numerous sneaking around to have good sexy times. The adultery is not necessary a showstopper for me but I have to see a compelling reason, I have to understand why. I have to feel sympathy. It didn’t happen here. There is also a strong hint that Robert looked for solace in servant’s arms when his and Eluned eventual marriage didn’t start that well.(hide spoiler)]Overall, I think this book would be better characterized as a study on evolution of revenge than a historical romance.

  • Ingela
    2019-04-07 23:09

    Review written June 6, 20175 Stars - Terrific! I'm stunned and thankfulBook #2The second in Elizabeth Kingston medieval romance series Welsh Blades. — Fair, Bright, and Terrible is the second book in this series and this time is it about Eluned, the mother of the warrior heroine Gwenllian of Ruardean in the first book, The King's Man (4.4 stars). Back then a novel I was both touched, stunned and very fascinated by. (Not a plot spoiler: (view spoiler)[Book #1 The King's Man, was gritty, harsh, very medieval darkish about heartbreaking tough love, many hard disagreements and with those intense very strong feelings I love in my books. Not the ordinary kind of nice historical romance regency I much often read. The King's Man was a memorable great romance but in many ways also a very well written medieval historical novel about love and war. (Recommended!)(hide spoiler)]) The always excellent narrator then, and here also, is Mr Nicholas Boulton. He did it simply fantastic in the first book. (Don't miss to try some of the audiobooks he narrates, for example Laura Kinsale's). ~ I've so much looked forward to start this pretty newly published 8:24 hours audiobook. ... And? I LOVED it. **********************************************A second chance love topic is usually great for me ... even better when with older mature main characters.1283, Wales is conquered...« When Robert de Lascaux is asked to marry the woman he has loved for eighteen years, he never hesitates. No wealth has ever mattered to him as much as Eluned has. But she, it seems, does not want him at all. Trapped in a web of intrigue, revenge, and desire, they cannot forget their past - but can they dare to share a future? »‘Even more amusing was how she had once fervently believed she would never forget a single moment of those six months, two weeks, and two days. ... And thirteen hours.’Fair, Bright, and Terrible is about a man and a woman (~ 40-45) living their lives nearly 750 years. Characters who gets a second chance for marital love and happiness in a time when honor, the power of Good's word, the church, the kings and who ruled land was most important. ... A dark time when we get to know two strong characters with suffered souls, since long broken hearts and too little true chances to romantic moments in their daily lives. ... Two adults who've seen and experienced too much blood, death, war and people's suffering. ... A man and a woman that never really had the opportunity to choose what they themselves wanted. **********************************************‘Eluned stared at the cold stars and tried to remember that brief moment in time, so long ago, when her world was a song. For six months, she had lived in that song. Six months, two weeks, and two days. “And about thirteen hours, I think,” she said to the stars. How amusing, that she could remember such a thing.’“I ask you will not forget the woman who loved you with abandon, lest I forget her too. I ask…” Her breath caught as she looked at him and saw the careful reserve on his face. “I ask too much, because you are right when you say I dream no small dreams. I am greedy beyond reason, that I should ask to be your lover as well as your wife.”**********************************************Wow!! Just wow, this author- narrator combo is hereafter on my highest wish-for-more audiobooks list.In my opinion was Fair, Bright, and Terrible a PERFECT audiobook listening. Absolutely formidable nicely written and told. Also impressively great performed by the narrator Nicholas Boulton. You'll get grand "lovers meet" moments. Heat, steam and intense emotions. The best of best kind of interesting characters, the once you can't but care and feel for. Add a historical drama set in a old fascinating dark time you don't visit that often. I wished it to never end (even if I wanted and urged for a wonderful heartbreaking HEA scene). I cross my fingers it will be more books like this one in this series (more or less standalone stories with new love couples) by Elizabeth Kingston. Of course a "high-five" and many stars from me. Oh! — My heart is still pounding after all those intense feelings in this medieval drama. Higly recommended for admirers of fictional romances that leave you with much much more than just sweet wonderful never ending grand love. Fair, Bright, and Terrible gave me exactly that. **********************************************I LIKE - marvelous good audiobook narrators doing good books even better["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Blackjack
    2019-03-30 21:03

    4.5 or A-The companion novel to The King's Man is every bit as well-written and absorbing as the first in the series and shares similar concerns in its examination of iconoclastic women surviving and even thriving in such a hostile historical period. While both novels are heroine-centric, Fair, Bright, and Terrible is probably even more so given Eluned's larger-than-life persona as well as Robert's fairly astonishing desire for her to be the hero of this story. There are plenty of romances today that foreground equality as a central feature of a romance, but few and far between are those that feature a hero so utterly comfortable standing to the side. I had my own biased moments that really forced me to think about constructions of gender when I wondered if Robert was too weak for Eluned, too lacking in ambition and drive even. The novel flips gender expectations in many ways by constructing Eluned as ambitious, to the point of ruthlessness at times, while creating a cheerful and somewhat passive man who is more content pondering what makes a fine wine than he is scheming over territorial acquisitions. I thought it was particularly striking that early in the novel in flashback we witness Robert falling in love with Eluned at the moment when Eluned challenges him in public to find a passion worth dying for. That Robert falls in love with her inner strength is such a stark contrast to the majority of romances that focus on conventions of beauty and desire. These conventions are certainly there in the novel but they are wonderfully overlaid by more complex ideas about what makes a woman and a man desirable. I decided in the end that allowing Eluned to shine was actually a sign of Robert's own strength, and I ultimately loved him so much for it. It’s hard not to contrast this book with the first in the series, as they seem to bookend each other in important ways around constructions of female desirability. While Gwenllian reigns over men as a warrior, she is also deemed “unwomanly” in her world. Eluned scoots around that problem by faking “womanly” behavior but secretly scheming brilliantly and constantly in private. She is a bit of a Rorschach test for most of the men in the book who see what they expect to see in her. Robert is the exception in that he is depicted many times waiting for Eluned to reach out to him. I had to think a bit too about the flaws in Eluned that made her an unlikely heroine, particularly her selfishness in molding Gwenllian into a warrior out of her own desires for power. Part of this flaw in Eluned’s character is mitigated by a clearer explanation in the second book that Eluned feared for her daughter’s safety and wanted her to be a woman who feared no man. However, Gwenllian was still also meant to be a savior for Wales, and that mother-daughter struggle rendered Eluned by far the selfish one. I wanted so much to like Eluned unreservedly but in this respect, she remains flawed and complex, and I ended up deciding that it’s okay for a main character to be complicated, even when some complications are negative.There were two aspects of the book I did not particularly care for, though they might speak more to my own preferences as a reader. The first is that Eluned is consumed by a thirst for revenge, and that is a negative motivation that drives much of the novel. (I really feared for her at one point in the book, and if I had been reading this in paper rather as an e-book, I know I would have flipped ahead for reassurance!) Also, the second-chance romance aspect was the other issue that I did not enjoy nearly as much as the romance of The King’s Man. Second-chance romances carry so much weight, and it takes a good part of the novel for Eluned and Robert to find their way to each other. So, slight deductions on what is otherwise a beautifully written book. I admire Kingston for tackling tough themes. Our world continues to struggle with acceptance for powerful women, especially women who are politically ambitious, and so I especially have to applaud the author for creating such a dynamic heroine that asks readers to think about what expectations and biases we bring to this story.

  • Maria Rose
    2019-04-09 02:23

    When I finished listening to the audiobook of The King’s Man by Elizabeth Kingston, an enthralling tale of medieval Wales, I was immediately ready to dive into the next story in the Welsh Blades series. Fair, Bright, and Terrible, while having a separate standalone romance, continues where the King’s Man left off so this review may contain some spoilers if you haven’t read it first. (Go now and read it, then come back). Fair, Bright and Terrible is the story of Eluned, mother of Gwenllian who found a fitting partner in Ranulf, King Edward’s hired mercenary, in The King’s Man. It’s also the story of a forbidden love affair, revenge, reckonings and second chances.Wales is lost. Eluned is numb with all the grief she’s experienced in the last several months, from the desertion of her daughter, to the failed uprising against King Edward and the gruesome and public deaths of her friends and allies leading the rebellion. Her husband’s bones have been returned to her from the Holy Land, proof that his years long crusade was no match for the gods of war. Her teenaged son is ready to assume his rightful place as leader of Ruardean under Edward’s watchful eye. She has two choices – join a nunnery to live out her days, or marry again. And when a marriage match between her and Robert de Lascaux is proposed, she accepts.Robert can’t believe that after 18 long years his dreams of reuniting with Eluned will come true. Their love affair had been a secret one. Everything about Eluned had enchanted Robert and even though they had known nothing good would come of it, they hadn’t stopped themselves from indulging in their passion for each other. The ending had been bitter, and eventually Robert had taken himself off to France to nurse his broken heart. Eluned had kept up the fight for Wales, until there was nothing left to fight for.Now Eluned and Robert are together again. But their motivations for the marriage are very different. Eluned had exorcised Robert from her heart, and her only goal is to use her new position and Robert’s alliances to gain revenge on the English Lords who had done her Welsh countrymen grievous harm. Robert, a romantic at heart, wants to recapture what they’ve lost. But the woman who is his wife now is nothing like the one he knew before. Is this really a second chance for them, or a cruel trick of fate?Once again, I’m left quite in awe of the historical details that flavor this story with intensity and drama. Like The King’s Man, the audiobook of Fair, Bright, and Terrible is narrated by Nicholas Boulton and his superb voice acting makes it come alive (plus, let’s be honest, it means I don’t have to try to pronounce any Welsh words in my head).There is a good portion of the story that details what happened when Eluned and Robert first met and how they fell in love, as well as the fallout of their relationship and the consequences of their actions. Even though you know that they won’t stay together, it’s hard not to be drawn into their romance. During their many years apart, Robert stayed relatively the same. He’s an easygoing, smart and affable man with a big heart. He put Eluned on somewhat of a pedestal in his memory, but he soon realizes that his memories of their relationship are not as accurate as he’d like them to be. It makes him question everything about their time together, especially when Eluned behaves towards him like a stranger.Eluned is the one most changed during their separation for many valid reasons. She’s the one who was married and had to deal with a religious fanatic for a husband. She’s the one who had to protect her daughter at all costs. And she’s the one who ran Ruardean on her own for years, mistress of the estate, while helping plot the Welsh rebellion. She had no time for foolish dreams. Now, being with Robert again makes her aware that she could find some modicum of happiness with him, if she’ll only break open the case around her heart. I loved seeing her and Robert work through the challenges that separate them until they finally get their happy ending. But it’s not without a lot of heartache first.Of course, their story is told amid the broader history of the time, and the workings of the English court, the loyalties and betrayals all move the plot towards a dramatic and gripping conclusion. This is one of those stories that will keep you up late at night as you won’t want to stop reading (or listening) until the end. The King’s Man and Fair, Bright and Terrible are equally compelling, and both will be on my favorite reads list this year.This review also appears at a copy of this story was provided by the author for review.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-12 20:06

    There are a lot of books I could've chosen for July's TBR Challenge, "Series Catch-Up," given how prevalent series are in the romance genre (and, well, given my well-known penchant for reading entire series in order regardless of how much I want to read individual books). However, it was an easy decision to go with this book. The preceding book, The King's Man is hands-down one of the best historical romances I've read in a very long time. While I didn't like this book quite as much as the previous one, that's not to detract from how good the writing is here. It's just that I loved it so much.This book is described by the author as a "companion novel" (rather than a sequel), but chronologically, it does take place after The King's Man. I think this can be read as a standalone, but I wouldn't recommend it because Eluned is a very memorable secondary character there, and it made this reading experience much richer for me. Others may disagree; she is such a polarizing character that I could understand the appeal of not coming into this book with preconceived opinions. I suppose the ultimate question for readers who have read both books is: Did Kingston pull off making Eluned the main character of her own book? In my opinion, the answer is a resounding "yes!"Over the years, I've really come to value complex female characters in their many different forms. Kingston writes wonderfully multilayered female characters. This is equally true of Gwenllian and Eluned, and it's even more impressive with the latter. The reformed rake-turned-hero is a longstanding archetype in romance. But turning a completely unlikable female character into a heroine is much rarer.Eluned, who is Gwenllian's mother, could safely be called an antagonist in The King's Man. The way she behaves towards her daughter is so difficult to read, and it takes a lot of skill to turn that type of character into the protagonist of her own book. Kingston managed to do this without turning her into an unrecognizable character. If I go back and read The King's Man now (which I plan to do at some point), I suspect I may feel more empathy for Eluned, but it won't change my disgust at her behavior or the way she treated Gwenllian.This book picks up after the final conquest and annexation of Wales by Edward I. Eluned has been completely demoralized by the long rebellion. She is no longer close to her daughter, who is living with her Norman husband, a favorite of Edward I; her favorite uncle and cousin are dead; and she cannot even grieve the dead or show too much anger over the fate of Wales. She has already clashed with Edward I when her daughter married Ranulf (the other protagonist in The King's Man and an anti-hero himself), and despite being married to a Norman, Eluned could easily come under suspicion for aiding the Welsh cause if she makes one wrong move.As the book opens, she's staring at the severed head of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, full of anguish and rage but not able to show it outwardly. Her son, raised by his uncle as a favorite of the hated king, returns to her home to report that her husband (a religious fanatic who has been off in the Crusades) has died. Although her husband has been absent for so long, this still produces a very strong reaction in Eluned. In one of my favorite scenes, she spits on her husband's bones, the ultimate final act of contempt for him. But with Walter's death come changes. Eluned has managed the estate in her husband's absence, but she realizes now that she must hand it over. Her son gives her a choice: marry again or go to a convent and live out the rest of her life. Enter Robert, our hero. (I thought he was a great character, but honestly, Eluned is such a strong presence that he sort of pales in comparison to her.) We learn that Robert and Eluned had an affair one summer 18 years ago when staying at the same estate. Eluned, who married when she was 13(?) was already mother to a young girl when they met in their 20s. Given life expectancy in this time period (late 13th century), meeting and marrying again at/around 40 is pretty remarkable. (I also love protagonists who are a bit older, so this was refreshing.) They intended to keep the affair going after Eluned returned to her own estate, but when Robert came to visit, she ended it abruptly because her husband unexpectedly returned (having heard rumors about her affair, despite how discreet they thought they had been).Robert is a romantic and never stopped loving Eluned. He has never shown any inclination to marry partly because of this, even though no one in his family knows about this affair in his youth. Though he was heartbroken when Eluned ended it, and bitter when he learned that she bore a son a couple of years later--meaning she would've slept with her husband again--he still romanticizes that summer together. He remembers Eluned as full of life: passionate, intelligent, outspoken. When he learns about the marriage offer to Eluned, he cannot help but feel optimistic that they can rekindle their romance again.But this isn't to be. Eluned appears to him physically very much the same, but emotionally completely different. She treats him as if he's a stranger and doesn't want to talk about their affair. She basically makes him believe she never really loved him--that it was just infatuation. And the thing is--Eluned has made herself believe this. I would say she's cynical, but it's more than that. She has internalized a lot of ugly experiences and let these make her very bitter. This is the Eluned we met in The King's Man and the Eluned Robert meets when they are married. As the book unfolds and we see flashbacks to their affair, we learn how much Eluned appears to have changed and what caused this before her estrangement from her daughter, which also gives more context to her behavior in the previous book (beyond just being loyal to Wales, which seems to be the motivating factor in all of her decisions). Eluned's late husband was cruel and abusive--not just physically but emotionally. Even though Eluned didn't admit to the affair, Walter (her husband) made Eluned believe her soul was damned and forced her to spend days repenting. She came to view that affair as both her worst and her best sin. Given this, it's understandable that in the present day she is impatient with Robert when he wants to relive the past, basically calling him naive and foolish. But though Eluned appears cold and emotionless when Robert first meets her again, we know she's not. Eluned is full of anger over the events leading to the annexation of Wales, leaving little room in her heart for Robert. Her motivation for marrying Robert is to get close to some of her enemies at the king's court. One in particular, Roger Mortimer (a real historical figure), Robert also hates because his family holds Robert's best friend's son hostage. Eluned spends a good portion of this book plotting to kill Mortimer. She is very calculated about this, revealing her plans to no one, going over the various methods in her mind whenever she starts to have any tender feelings for Robert, because those feelings are a distraction for her.This book is rich with historical detail, and it almost reads as historical fiction in parts (I can easily see Kingston writing in that genre). It is a unique and well-researched historical setting. It would be easy for the romance to take a backseat to this, especially since so much of Eluned's mental energy is devoted to revenge, not love. But even though Eluned is the more interesting, well-drawn character, I still felt her relationship with Robert was integral to bringing her peace again. She doesn't magically change overnight. It's a slow process, gut-wrenching at times. And Robert doesn't "save" her.What I loved about their relationship is Robert's belief in Eluned's innate goodness. He still believes the Eluned he once knew is buried deep inside, and no matter how many times she rebuffs him, he holds out hope that she'll come around. This was one of the most compelling parts of the book for me. As Robert tells her:“The first thing ever you said to me was that it mattered less which belief I held, than that I believed in a thing enough to die for it. And I chose then, in the moment you said it, what I believed...It is you I believe in, Eluned. Even when you do not."If this book and the preceding one are anything to go by, Kingston is a force to be reckoned with in the romance genre. (And that's saying something, because I feel like a lot of romance's best writers mostly write historical romance.) I really look forward to future releases from her!

  • Wendy
    2019-04-23 19:17

    In my opinion, Elizabeth Kingston is one of the best - if not THE best - newly published author writing in the historical genre. Fair, Bright and Terrible, the second in her Welsh Blades series ticks every single box on my list of requirements for a stimulating, entertaining and engrossing read/listen. With narrator Nicholas Boulton added into the mix I was quite literally in book heaven - enthralled from beginning to end. This story follows directly on from The King's Man and covers the true and bloody period in Welsh/English history where the last Welsh Prince Llewelyn is ruthlessly disposed of in the most barbaric of medieval methods.In book one of the series, we met Eluned of Ruardean who was a strong driving force in the life of her daughter, Gwenllian whom she relentlessly controlled. I disliked Eluned intensely and she didn't grow on me one iota, so when I realised that Fair, Bright and Terrible was Eluned's story, I approached it with trepidation and some pre-conceived prejudices. I carried on disliking her, especially after she marries the compellingly likeable and adorable hero of the story, Robert de Lascaux. How, I wondered, could this gorgeous man have loved this woman for eighteen years? And this is where Elizabeth Kingston shows her immense talent for character development - because by the end of the story I understood, respected, and actually liked and admired Eluned.As the story begins, Eluned's dreams of a successful uprising to bring independent sovereignty back to Wales is in tatters following King Edward I's ruthless suppression of the recent rebellion. Coming hard upon the heels of this defeat is the news that her long absentee husband has died in the Holy Land and her son is eager for her to remarry in order to augment his lands and standing. Her husband-to-be is none other than Robert de Lascaux, with whom she had a passionate affair some eighteen years earlier. She put this behind her long ago, but Robert is delighted and immediately agrees to the match, hoping to take up where they left off. Throughout the story, Eluned appears as a woman who does nothing without good reason; she always comes across as cold, calculating and controlling, and her marriage to Robert is no different. Overjoyed at being re-united with his former love, he is destined to be disappointed as he quickly realises that the love he has nurtured is not returned. It quickly becomes apparent that Eluned has a hidden agenda, her goal being admittance to the court of Edward and his inner circle.I continued to dislike Eluned, especially as she treats the sweet natured and utterly honourable Robert with such cold disdain. But, slowly and cleverly over the course of the story, Ms. Kingston peels away, layer by layer, Eluned's prejudices and shows her reluctant and hidden love for Robert, well buried under the baggage her life has acquired over the past eighteen years. Ironically it is the appearance and actions of her despised Norman son-in-law, Ranulf (The King's Man), which finally knocks down the walls she has erected and we are finally allowed to see the woman she really is. Bravo Elizabeth Kingston - what a compelling, clever story and the fact that you persuaded me to like and admire this woman whom I had disliked for the best part of two books is quite remarkable.As to the narration - what can I say other than that as usual, Nicholas Boulton gives a faultless performance and shows what a first rate actor he is? His voice is smooth, pleasing and utterly addictive to the listener; anything with his name on it is always going to get my attention. My initial dislike for Eluned was perpetuated by the exceptional manner in which he portrays her cold disdain, the emptiness and hopelessness she feels and can't change... but then, as her defences begin to crumble, he effects a subtle softening of tone; her voice still recognisable but transformed from cold disdain into loving warmth. Mr. Boulton is one of only a handful of narrators who is equally good at portraying men and women. I particularly enjoyed his rendition of Robert - at first buoyant and happy as he meets his beloved after eighteen years apart, but then as he realises his love is not returned, quiet, wary and subdued. And of course, a particular favourite of mine is the fierce Norman lord, Ranulf Ombrier - a fierce man brought to his knees by the love of his warrior wife, Gwenllian and their two little boys. I can't recommend this book highly enough and I hope that this isn't the last in the series. Hopefully we may get to see what happens to William, Eluned's sixteen year old son.

  • Em
    2019-04-14 01:09

    Fair, Bright, and Terrible is a companion to The King's Man, the first of Elizabeth Kingston’s Welsh Blades books. It’s not absolutely necessary to have read that book first, although I found it helpful and would certainly suggest doing so to anyone interested in reading this one. Fair, Bright, and Terrible tells the story of Eluned of Ruardean, who has lived a life of compromise and sacrifice in service of her beloved Wales. With the country now conquered by the English, and her daughter, Gwenllian (heroine of the previous book) happily married and expecting a child rather than fulfilling Eluned’s dreams of leading the Welsh people to freedom, Eluned is consumed by bitterness and a desire for vengeance.Fair, Bright, and Terrible opens with Eluned emotionally devastated by King Edward’s ruthless suppression of the Welsh rebellion and learning shortly afterwards of her death of her husband, who spent most of their married life crusading in the Holy Land. When her son, William, visits her at Ruardean and asks her to marry Robert de Lascaux in order to strengthen William’s position at King Edward’s court, Eluned sees it as a last chance for vengeance on her enemies. William’s intention to claim Ruardean – after Eluned has spent the whole of her married life as its de-facto leader – leaves her with limited options.When Robert de Lascaux is asked by his scheming father to marry Eluned of Ruardean for her lands and connections, he barely hesitates before agreeing to the union. Eighteen years earlier, Robert had fallen desperately in love with Eluned, and despite knowing she was married to the volatile and powerful Walter of Ruardean, Robert found he could not stay away from her. Flirtation gave way to stolen kisses and it wasn’t long before they were sneaking away for passionate afternoons alone together. Months later, when Eluned was compelled to return to Ruardean and her husband, she and Robert finally confessed their love for each other but parted in anger. Robert begged Eluned to come away to France with him, and Eluned argued that she couldn’t leave her husband, but that she would find a way from them to be together at Ruardean, if only Robert would follow her. Robert, still hopeful Eluned would leave Walter and unable to stay away, arrived at Ruardean a few short days later. But instead of the happy reunion he hoped for, Eluned abruptly ended the affair and implored him to stay away. Bewildered and devastated, he honored her request, though he never stopped loving her or dreaming of the chance to be with her once again. Marriage to Eluned is an answer to his most fervent prayers.Up until Robert and Eluned marry, Fair, Bright, and Terrible is mostly a dark, sombre and bitter reflection of all Eluned feels she’s lost in her pursuit of an independent Wales. Now a closed off, cold stranger – even to herself – Eluned’s entire focus is on vengeance, and there’s no room for happy reminiscing about Robert or the bright, beautiful love and desire they shared long ago. The mood is dismal and the narrative chilling as we learn of the choices and sacrifices she’s been forced to make in her life since turning Robert away years ago.But once Ms. Kingston introduces us to Robert – happy, eager, thrilled to be with Eluned again – small sparks of light start to glimmer through the story, despite Eluned’s anger and remoteness. This is a long, fraught middle stretch, with Eluned and Robert at a court filled with intrigues and gamesmanship, married – yet strangers to one another – and overwhelmed by memories of their doomed, youthful love affair. These romantic and sensual flashbacks, juxtaposed against Robert’s naïve and frustrated hopefulness and Eluned’s profound unhappiness, are bittersweet. Robert clings to the memory of the passionate Eluned he never stopped loving; Eluned struggles to resist her desire and her memories, and remain committed to her plans for vengeance. Oh reader! This love story will break your heart.Ms. Kingston wisely doesn’t rush the middle section, instead using these chapters to gently fan the embers of love between Robert and Eluned, and detail the intrigue and scheming behind Eluned’s murderous plans for revenge. Her plans are complicated by her long suppressed love for Robert, his relationships at court, and the repercussions of her actions on his future. I admit I found keeping up with the large cast of characters and all the scheming/plotting a bit difficult at times, and I struggled along with both principals to recognize friend or foe – but Ms. Kingston rewards the effort. Just when all the intricate plotting seems to coalesce, and I was convinced all hope for Eluned and Robert was also lost, an unlikely savior makes a surprise appearance and the story abruptly moves out of the dark and into the light.I fell hard for Robert (Robin to his closest friends, and deep in Eluned’s heart). He’s a wonderfully nuanced hero whose enduring love for Eluned (and his friends) is a pleasure to read. Gentle, affectionate and oh, so vulnerable to her and her affections (or lack thereof), I just wanted to spend...Read the rest of my DIK review here: Fair, Bright and Terrible.

  • Jackie
    2019-04-17 23:29

    The second book in Kingston's medieval Welsh Blades series tells the story (and backstory) of Gwenllion's hard-driving mother, Eluned. The book opens Eluned defeated, all her plots to win freedom for Wales from King Edward I in ruins. Subject to the will of men once again, the King and her son suggest she remarry—none other than Robert de Lascaux, the man with whom she had a passionate affair as a young married woman. But all Eluned's passions have been ground into the dust by a mad husband, the betrayal of her daughter, and the execution of the last Welsh princes. The only thing left in her heart is a desire for revenge.Unlike Eluned, Robert has been nursing his passion ever since his one true love sent him away, and is thrilled to have the chance to wed Eluned, even if the marriage does please the father he's always set himself against. But when Robert finds himself married to a woman who seems as far from his beloved as is a stone from silk, he begins to see the immaturity of his desires.Kingston works unexpected wonders with the old lovers reunited trope, showing how life experiences can change a lover almost beyond recognition. But that some pieces of a person's character still remain, even after tragedy and trauma. Robert, a happy, hopeful soul, can't help but try to woo his unemotional bride, even in the face of her indifference. And because he values her for more than just her love of him, he is gradually able to build a bridge to the woman she is now, rather than the dream woman she once was.Of course, Eluned's desire for revenge throws a few spokes into the wheels of their re-budding romance...

  • Jayne Castel
    2019-04-18 00:19

    A realistic, emotionally powerful historical romance set in a turbulent past. This novel was a surprise for me. It's nothing like the first book in this series, THE KING'S MAN (which I also really enjoyed). This story is one of 'second chance romance'. A man and woman, both around forty years of age, who rekindle their relationship 18 years after it ended. It's certainly not a tale for those who prefer lighthearted romance, but if you're ready to tackle a few heavy topics, and deal with a embittered heroine bent on revenge, it's a really rewarding story.Elizabeth Kingston writes beautifully. She captures the regret, bitterness and hope of Eluned and Robert. One of my favorite quotes in the book was this one - it sums up the conflict between the hero and heroine perfectly:“To love you was the making of me. But now it is only my undoing.”I love bittersweet moments. Eluned isn't an easy woman to like. She's proud, manipulative and scheming. She had an affair with Robert many years earlier when her husband was away but is forced to give up her lover when the realities of life intrude on their private world. The author does a really good job is showing the moment Eluned turns bitter. The heroine can't accept the fact that life isn't hers for the taking, that she cannot have everything she wants - and as a result shuts down her feelings and focuses on political ambition, in schooling her daughter to fight for the Welsh cause. In contrast, Robert is a truly good man. However, he doesn't let Eluned boss him around or manipulate him. I enjoyed the scenes when he stood up to her. After their marriage - organised by Eluned's son - he is shocked to discover that the carefree, fiesty young woman he remembers is gone. He has spent years loving a woman who only existed in his memory.The novel is well researched, and gives you a real sense of the political turmoil of the Welsh Marches, and how the Welsh would have felt after years of persecution and bloodshed. It's an intense read, and I believe many women of Eluned's age (which I am!) can relate to some of what she struggles with. Many women (and men!) never get over the disappointment that life hasn't worked out as they had hoped - and Elizabeth Kingston portrays this theme bravely and realistically.

  • kathie
    2019-04-20 22:07

    Wow...I ended up enjoying this audio book more than I did , a very good four star read/listen, and I think I have Nicholas Boulton to thank. As one reviewer remarked, I could listen to him just say my name over and over again. He brought Robert de Lascaux to life and what a splendid hero he was. My heart ached for him as he came to realize that Eluned, the woman he had an affair with 18 years ago, was not the same woman today that he had never stopped loving. When circumstances, the death of her "mad" husband and Robert's family's plotting for Welch lands and power, bring them back together with a somewhat arranged marriage, Robert is beyond thrilled. He has carried his love for Eluned with him all these years and to think they would now be married is something he never thought could happen. Unfortunately, he soon realizes that Eluned is not quite that feisty, young woman he fell in love with. She is still feisty to be sure, but she has a hard edge to her, a protective barrier she has erected around herself in order to shield from further hurt. Eluned can be hard to like at times, especially when she is bringing heartache to our hero Robert. But I did come to like her and I think Kingston did a great job revealing why Eluned had convinced herself she must harden her heart and keep everyone at arm's length. As all good romances novels do, Eluned does come around and she and Robert get their HEA. It is not an easy journey but ,for the reader, a journey well worth your time....especially if you decide to take that journey with Nicholas Boulton.

  • Lotta
    2019-04-10 21:23

    To my astonishment, I liked this one even better than the first (or perhaps just as much, only it's been a little while and I forget). The fact that it's narrated by Nicholas Boulton certainly helps (with lovely Welsh accents). Both books have awesome women and are strong on characterisation in general.In the first book, I quite disliked Eluned, since she seemed to be pushing Gwenllian into a war she didn't want to participate in, but this book explains so much of why, and in a way that makes her choices and actions understandable and logical.Also, may I say that it's good to read about a 40 year old MC who finds love with the slightly younger man who never forgot about her.

  • Melanie
    2019-04-03 20:26

    I loved the first book in this series and was on pins and needles waiting for this story. I have to say that I had my doubts about the author’s ability to make me like let alone love the character I so thoroughly disliked in the previous story. Let me say that I was stunned at authors ability of expanding and developing such a rich and deeply flawed, yet likable heroine. Eluned imbued humanity that is all of us. The layers to her character made this woman very relatable.But I digress! Let me start at saying that this story is of Gwenllion’s mother, Eluned, who was dead set in the first book to fight King Edward I of England and who worked hard at deceiving Ranulf and even her own daughter by attempting to drag her into war. Ranulf spoiled her plans and in this story we see the results of it.“It all ended in cold flesh. This prince, the war, and every life: it ended in cold flesh, no matter how hot the blood that had once pounded through it. She had always known this, of course. But there is knowing a thing, and then there is feeling the truth of it cut you open and close around your heart.”As the story opens, we witness Eluned’s heartbreak as the last rebellion is thwarted and her beloved Wales is thoroughly into hands of a ruthless King of England and once again her faith is being decided by men, her son and the king. This time she decides to seemingly accept their will, but is still plotting a revenge for the man that had cost her dearly.It’s this desire for revenge that stands in her way of finally being happy. I loved the way the author took her time to give me the backstory of Robert and Eluned. It touched my heart at how difficult and painful it was for her to fall in love and then abandon that love, only to rediscover it once more in her forties.I adored the hero! Robert was so young when he fell in love with her and he’d lived with this feeling all of his adult life. He’d put this woman on a pedestal and he hoped that the marriage that has been arranged by the King would rekindle all the passion they felt when they conducted their affair.“We think memories are truth,” she went on, calm and relentless, “but they deceive us even as we cherish them. The truth is that many years ago, we were foolish and arrogant. We lusted and we sinned. We called it love. But that summer ended long ago.”“Do you tell me your love ended with it?”My heart went out to him when he finds that this woman is nothing like his beloved Eluned. I had tears in my eyes as he notices that the birthmark on her neck is not on the side that he remembers it being. This small, seemingly insignificant fact has a profound affect on him.“Love,” she said, and moved her head in a little gesture of dismissal. The golden veil still hung at one side of her face, because he had only freed one pin. It shimmered with her movement, trailing down the side of her neck to her shoulder, reflecting the little light from the fire.That was when he saw what was wrong. The birthmark on her throat was there. It was everything he remembered – the size and color, the height from her collar bone, the teardrop shape – except it was on the right side of her throat. Not the left. Yet he remembered it vividly, exactly. He closed his eyes and saw it, a bright image preserved over the years. In his memories he ran his finger across that mark and opened his mouth over it and looked for it every time she threw her head back to laugh as they sat in dappled sunlight. He had thought of it a thousand times over the years. He remembered that mark on the left side of her throat as well as he remembered her saying I will love you until I die.He opened his eyes and looked at her, his breath coming too fast. He had remembered it wrong. It was as simple as that. As damning, as awful as that: he had remembered it wrong.”Ms. Kingston did an outstanding job in delivering one of the best second chance in love tropes I’ve ever read.If you’re a lover of history, you’ll revel in this story because it is told with care and obvious research. If you’re a lover of second chance romance, I beg you not to miss this one. If you are a fan of Nicholas Boulton, you’ll swoon!Melanie for b2b

  • Melissa
    2019-04-13 00:02

    ****Audiobook***Story: 4 starsNarration by Nicholas Boulton: 5 StarsIn the first book of this series, The King's Man, we see Eluned in an unfavorable light, especially in how she dealt with her daughter. She is still dark in this book but now we know her history and losses, most profoundly the loss of her country, its ruler the Prince of Wales, her uncle and nephew. We also learn of a love affair she had eighteen years earlier with a man named Robert de Lascaux whom she has not seen since, yet has never forgotten. Now she is asked by her son to marry him.Robert believes this marriage will be a second chance for them; but unknowingly to him, she is using it as a maneuver for revenge. It is much easier to understand Eluned in this book-her manipulations, deceit and outward coldness- because we know why she has done what she has and we know what she plans to do. Her and Robert's relationship is difficult, perhaps even forfeit from the beginning, and while we believe there is much hope for them, Eluned does not believe there is, or rather she cannot allow herself to believe so.I especially liked that this was a romance where the main characters were older- near forty (although they fell in love in their early twenties). The romance was paired nicely with rich historical information. And then there's the narration by Nicholas Boulton. Need I say more? There just isn't a better voice or performer out there.

  • OLT
    2019-04-10 02:00

    If you read THE KING'S MAN by this author, you're already acquainted with the heroine of this second book of her Welsh Blades series. Eluned is the mother of Gwenllian, the Welsh warrior woman of Book One. Eluned came across as rather cold and single-minded in the first book and there's little warmth and cuddliness about her here either, but Kingston develops her character so that we understand why she is the way she is.It's somewhere around 1283 and the last of the Princes of Wales (the *real* ones, not the fake ones like Prince Charles, who get the title just for being the firstborn son of the ruling English monarch) have been killed by the English and Wales has lost its independence as a sovereign nation. Welshwoman Eluned is not at all happy about this and secretly vows to avenge the deaths of her countrymen by murdering one particular Marcher lord she feels has egregiously betrayed Wales.Eluned is resolute and almost obsessed about this. She has learned over the years of her marriage to a mostly absent-at-the-Crusades husband she did not love to be a strong, independent woman. She also believes that emotions and love will make her weak. But 18 years ago Eluned had loved. She fell for Robert de Lascaux and carried on a short, secret affair with him before forcing its end.Now she is a widow; her son and King Edward I both believe she should marry again; an expedient marriage of convenience is suggested to Robert de Lascaux, of all people. She agrees. Robert is full of hope that he will finally find happiness with the love he had never forgotten in 18 years. But Eluned is not the true love he remembers. She's cold and bitter and shut-off emotionally. What will happen? Will her coldness, bitterness and secret determined drive for vengeance shatter Robert's hopes for a chance at love and happiness?As you read this, you may not, at times, like Eluned, but I believe you will understand her and feel empathy for her. Kingston does a great job of developing her conflicted character. You can feel her yearning and longing for love while she puts up emotional barriers so that she can carry out her plans for revenge.Actually, all the characters, both main and secondary, are well developed, as is the plot and the historical component. This is a 5-star story for me b/c of the complexity of the plot and the excellent writing. There is a plot development at about the 94% mark which is dramatic and exciting and emotionally impacting that deserves 6 stars in my book. And the love, oh, the love. When Eluned says things such as "You are my heart, Robert. If they kill you, they make me heartless," they are a sigh-worthy moments.It also doesn't hurt that I love Sharon Penman's Welsh trilogy HERE BE DRAGONS, FALLS THE SHADOWS and THE RECKONING and this book by Kingston is set at the time period after the end of Penman's third book of the trilogy. (BTW, if you ever feel ambitious enough to read that trilogy [and it's so worth it if you enjoy history], the first book, HERE BE DRAGONS, tells the story of the political marriage of English King John I's daughter Joanna to Welsh prince Llewelyn Fawr, my very favorite Prince of Wales and the grandfather of the very last two Princes. What a love story that is. The "burning bed" scene cannot be beat.)

    2019-04-20 02:01

    Eluned and Robert grow on me through the book, because at the beginning I was indifferent to him and openly disliked her, due to her acts on the first book. In the end everything was fine anyway and the plot was really good this time also that I read this book completely in one setting.Eluned e Robin mi stavano completamente indifferenti (lui) quando proprio non mi piacevano (lei) all'inizio del libro, specialmente per come si era comportata lei come madre nel primo libro, ma alla fine tutto é andato a posto, anche attraverso un'altra trama veramente complicata anche stavolta, che mi ha tenuta agganciata al libro dall'inizio alla fine.

  • Emily
    2019-04-07 22:00

    Oh, god I loved this. The heroine is perfect. She's calculating and intelligent and vengeful and strikes that perfect balance of being extremely competent without being infallible.I haven't read Welsh Blades #1 yet, because the synopsis for this one drew me in so thoroughly, but I'm really looking forward to that one now. The heroine in #1 is the daughter of Eluned, the heroine in Fair, Bright, and Terrible and I think I'm going to enjoy that one even more now that I know and love her mother so well.Whole-heartedly recommend this.

  • Nola
    2019-04-04 02:13

    Empassioned and emotionalA work of art, this book tells the tale of a couple separated by 18 years but never separated by heart. I had to think about how revenge would feel after so long. Oh, it's not what you might think. I so wanted the heroine to be successful but it wouldn't be the truth. And what is more romantic than an honorable French noble with a vast winery? Loved this book even though it kept me awake all night!

  • Diana
    2019-03-24 02:08

    Disappointed. Heroine Eluned is hell bent on revenge, so much so that she steamrolls over everyone who stands in her way--including her lover and her daughter. Hero Robert seems nice enough but his character is underdeveloped. Narcissistic heroine and enabling hero doesn't work as a romance for me. Nicholas Boulton's excellent narration brought it up to 3 stars.

  • Melody
    2019-04-17 02:00

    Captured Again!The depth of character and insight leave this page-turner burning the midnight oil. I wanted to lash out, cry and breathe for choked air in the rapid roller coaster events! Well Done, Ms. Kingston! Well Done!

  • KDW
    2019-04-16 23:30

    Loved it! Another great read by Elizabeth Kingston.The second book is just as good add the first one. You will not be disappointed.

  • karen lloyd
    2019-03-25 19:09

    Excellent booksWell written and excellent plot.Enjoyed both books and will look for more by the same author.Loved reading about Wales as being Welsh.

  • Kaetrin
    2019-04-07 23:17

    Why I read it: I’ve been waiting and hoping for this one to come out on audio. So when it did, I bought it stat.What worked for me (and what didn’t): When I listened to the first book in this series, The King’s Man, I called it a “creditable debut, boosted by excellent narration”. I certainly enjoyed it but felt a little distanced from the characters. I wasn’t sure if some of that was because I had though the story would be more about Welsh independence/rebellion (and I have a soft spot for Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman). I wishlisted the ebook of Fair Bright and Terrible when it first came out didn’t immediately one-click. However, when the audiobook was released I was all over it like white on rice. Nicholas Boulton is a powerful draw card.As is so often the case, I didn’t check the blurb before starting the book so I didn’t realise at first that the heroine of Fair Bright and Terrible is Eluned, the mother of Gwenllian (heroine of The King’s Man). To be honest, if I had realised that beforehand, it may have put me off because I really didn’t like Eluned much in the first book. She was a kind of rabid pseudo-resistance fighter for Wales and was dedicated to forcing her daughter to become the leader of a revolution. When it became clear that Gwenllian did not want to do that, Eluned was not pleased and it caused a rift between the two.So, it was a most happy circumstance that I did read the blurb first. Because oh my lordy lordington I ended up loving Eluned. It takes skill and a deft touch to turn me from disliking to adoring a character and for that reason alone, Fair Bright and Terrible is a better book than The King’s Man. That said, I do think it would be much better read and understood in the context of the first book and would not work so well as a stand alone.Read the rest: