Broken Reed

The Lords of Gower and King John

Non-Fiction - Historical
43 Pages
Reviewed on 10/14/2014
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Author Biography

Writing poetry and making up stories since she was a child, Ann only began to write for publication when her children left home. Her ambition was to write science fiction, but, fascinated by Swansea Castle and distracted by a major stroke she researched local history, an interest that culminated in the publication of her first book Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth at Easter 2012. Early retirement gave her more time to concentrate on her writing. The sales of over 300 copies of Alina in local shops and museums, and at speaking engagements, led to a second local history book, Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and then to The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. During her stroke recovery she wrote poetry, which she published as My Stroke of Inspiration in August 2015. She is still writing science fiction.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

Truth is often much more intriguing than fiction, which Ann Marie Thomas so clearly portrays in Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John. As one author referred to William III de Breos as “a broken Reed,” Ann tells the historical tale of this Welsh baron, the political intrigue, and the effects his actions and those of his heirs had on English and Welsh history. Caught within the transitions that were taking place upon the death of Henry II and the subsequent disorganization that followed during the reign of his sons Richard and John, William began to rearrange the landscape of Wales, but in the process the landscape of English history as well. Through his acquisitions and alliances, William was able to bring most of Wales together under his influence and, though he later fell out of favor with the crown, his legacy would live on in Llewellyn the Great. Subsequent to his falling out with King John, the English barons began to see the instability of the throne and drafted the Magna Carta in an attempt to bring John into check. Though William III de Breos had certainly built a magnificent kingdom, he died a beggar in Paris and his heirs held nothing more than Gower and Bramber.

Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John reads as easily as any novel of political intrigue. Ann Marie Thomas has a way of telling this tale that captures the reader’s emotions and sympathies as much as it relates the facts of this transitional period in history. The well-researched facts are easy to follow and the book will quickly become a page-turner to anyone who is intrigued by the political movements of the nobles of that period. Full of intrigue and a solid piece of historical work, Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John is proof that Ann Marie Thomas has established herself in a role that blends historical fact with a knack for storytelling.