Emma from Bookish in Crickhowell gives us an insight into what’s good to read this month
The eleven stories in the Mabinogion come from two medieval Welsh manuscripts, with roots in Celtic mythology, Arthurian romance, and their own view of the Island of Britain. In Serens New Stories from the Mabinogion, old tales are at the heart of the new. Each author reinvents a story in their own way: creating fresh, contemporary tales that speak to us as much of our own world as of events long gone. The latest installment in the series comes from local author Horatio Clare. The Princes Pen offers a contemporary twist to the epic tale of Lludd and Llefelys.
Invader drones hear everything and see all. England is now a defeated archipelago but somewhere in the higher ground to the far west, insurrection is brewing. The self-styled kings of Wales, Ludo and Levello, take prisoners, but can they free the British Isles without the help of Islamic princess Shakira and the power of Pakistan, the only other country remaining in the free world?
Examining faith, politics and conflict in the modern world seen through the eyes of Clip (The Princes Pen), the right hand man of “ Ludo the Warlord”. At the outset Ludo and his brother Levello, are limited to dominion in the principality as England is besieged. However Ludo soon emerges as a born leader intent of freeing the British Isles from a regime drawing similarities from Orwell’s 1984.
A story of surveillance, bitter conflict, suicide bombers, capitalism and even Holy War, ideas of insiders and outsiders in society, and also the enemy within are explored in sometimes graphic detail. For a novella these are big and challenging themes.
Seren, 2011, £8.99