- “[An] unusually honest portrait of the effects of power…[Coats] offers us a potent historical novel.”–Horn Book (starred review)
- “Never opting for the easy characterization, debut author Coats compellingly re-creates this occupation from both sides. … Brilliant: a vision of history before the victors wrote it.” – Kirkus (starred review)
EMU’s Debuts is celebrating the launch of J’s star-worthy book every day this week. And, creative writer that she is, J has arranged for interactive posts that will practically transport you back to 13th century Wales. Why the 13th century? Read on…
1293. North Wales. Ten years into English rule.
Cecily would give anything to leave Caernarvon and go home. Gwenhwyfar would give anything to see all the English leave.
Neither one is going to get her wish.
Behind the city walls, English burgesses govern with impunity. Outside the walls, the Welsh are confined by custom and bear the burden of taxation, and the burgesses plan to keep it that way.
Cecily can’t be bothered with boring things like the steep new tax or the military draft that requires Welshmen to serve in the king’s army overseas. She has her hands full trying to fit in with the town’s privileged elite, and they don’t want company.
Gwenhwyfar can’t avoid these things. She counts herself lucky to get through one more day, and service in Cecily’s house is just salt in the wound.
But the Welsh are not as conquered as they seem, and the suffering in the countryside is rapidly turning to discontent. The murmurs of revolt may be Gwenhwyfar’s only hope for survival – and the last thing Cecily ever hears.
Notice some unusual proper nouns? We’ll help you deal with those this week. Mike Jung will post a zombie and duck history lesson (don’t ask me; I’m just visiting). Natalie Lorenzi will suggest classroom connections. Melanie Crowder will cover historical books and movies. And, Jeannie Mobley will interview J’s characters.
But, first, we’re going to start off with a 13th-century version of Mad Libs. You provide three verbs and three adjectives from any English-related language between the 13th and 21st centuries. And, J will insert them into a paragraph from a draft of The Wicked and the Just that didn’t quite make it into the final book. (Who knew people in the middle ages had a sense of humor? J did.)
So, respond to this post with:
- 3 verbs, and
- 3 adjectives
And, you will see your very own words dropped into a story that takes place over 700 years ago.