My Friday Post: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Penman

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week I’m featuring Here Be Dragons by Sharon Penman, one of my TBRs that I’ll be reading next. Set in 13th century Wales this is the story of Llewelyn, the Prince of North Wales, and his rise to power and fame and his love for Joanna, the illegitimate daughter of King John.

Here be dragons

It begins with a Prologue, describing Wales and the Welsh:


Theirs was a land of awesome grandeur, a land of mountains and moorlands and cherished myths. They called it Cymru and believed themselves to be the descendants of Brutus and the citizens of Troy. They were a passionate, generous and turbulent people, with but one fateful flaw. They proclaimed themselves to be Cymry – ‘fellow countrymen’ – but they fought one another as fiercely as they did their English neighbours and had carved out three separate kingdoms out of their native soil.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

‘Think you that no man Norman-born can be a fool? As for his Norman knighthood, that’ll count for naught against a Welsh longbow.’


I loved Sharon Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour and so I’m expecting Here Be Dragons to be just as good. I love the title, conjuring up notions of what lies beyond the edge of the known world and I think the imagery of the opening sentence is wonderful. 

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

10 thoughts on “My Friday Post: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Penman

  1. Penman is one of those authors whose works I keep intending to read and then somehow never seem to get round to. Perhaps this is to do with my ungrounded feeling that historical fiction isn’t the real thing. I am working hard to undermine myself where this is concerned.


  2. Just from the bit you’ve shared, Margaret, it seems that the writing style really invites the reader in, so to speak. I like the premise, too; and, as you know, I like a good historical novel. I’ll be looking forward to reading what you think of this one.


Comments are closed.