The Bard’s Daughter – Historical fiction/mystery
This was fairly short – a teaser for the later novels I believe, but was still enjoyable in its own right. Set in Medieval Wales it follows Gwen – the titular character who must save her father from a charge of murder. Some of the laws and traditions of Wales and the Norman lords appear, albeit with not a great deal of detail but it is a short book. The author covers a little more in an interesting appendix.
The character of Gwen is interesting, for although Wales had more equality for women at that time she is still seen as lesser by then men, but steps up and shows them what she can do. Solving the murder they cannot or will not. A love interest is mentioned, but he is absent in the book, and enough of a teaser is given that the reader is intrigued to find out if they are reunited in later books. Other characters mentioned are based on real figures, and it is obvious the author has done some research into the period and area. Although the scenes only take place around one specific location – a castle – I didn’t feel more was needed.
In a similar vein to the Cadfael books this historical mystery is entertaining – especially without the modern knowledge of forensics, or such like. Recommended as short story for fans of the genre, and fans of Welsh fiction. I shall definitely be reading more by this author.