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The Wicked and the Justby Jillian Anderson Coats
Synopses & Reviews
Cecilys father has ruined her life. Hes moving them to occupied medieval Wales, where the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will finally be the lady of the house. Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl. While Cecily struggles to find her place among the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.
"Cecily is furious when her father uproots her to begin a new life in Caernarvon (occupied Wales), where he will be a burgess, keeping order on behalf of the English king. The year is 1293, and tensions between the English and the Welsh are high. When Cecily arrives in Caernarvon, she behaves haughtily, attempting to act as the lady of the house in place of her late mother. Welsh housemaid 'Gwinny' hates her immediately, and the girls' battles and mutual resentment mirror the larger problems between their respective countries. Coats's debut shifts gracefully between the two girls' perspectives, finding empathy for both — no small feat when it comes to Cecily, who is naÃ¯ve and sometimes downright cruel. She begins to recognize the injustices around her (including several of her own doing), while Gwinny struggles to keep her gravely ill mother and younger brother alive. Addressing the difference between vengeance and justice, the novel is steeped in the details and dialect of the Middle Ages, depicting barbaric events and dramatic inequalities. Ages 12 — up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This powerful historical fiction debut, set in medieval Wales, follows Cecily whose family is lured by cheap land and the duty of all Englishman to help keep down the "vicious" Welshmen, and Gwenhwyfar, a Welsh girl who must wait hand and foot on her new English mistress. As issues of prejudice, heritage, and occupation come to a head, both girls have to find a way to survive.
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