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The Heart of the Rebellion

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September 1400 King Richard II of England is dead. And after three years in His Majesty’s service, Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilym are finally free to return to their ancestral home in North Wales. Their long- anticipated homecoming is overshadowed, however, by the harsh changes they encounter in their once peaceful land. The new king, Henry IV, rules with an iron September 1400 King Richard II of England is dead. And after three years in His Majesty’s service, Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilym are finally free to return to their ancestral home in North Wales. Their long- anticipated homecoming is overshadowed, however, by the harsh changes they encounter in their once peaceful land. The new king, Henry IV, rules with an iron fist, and the country is ripe for rebellion. Instantly thrust into the forefront of the conflict, the proud Tudor brothers enter the fight for their freedom. Lady Catrin Buckley is alert to the unrest swirling around her. As the daughter of an English father and a Welsh mother, she knows too well the trouble her lineage poses. Her own battle, however, is one of the heart: she is to be married to a man she neither knows nor loves. Then an unexpected encounter with the enigmatic Rhys ap Tudor changes everything. Soon, Catrin finds herself swept into a rebellion that could not only change history but also rewrite her own future.


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September 1400 King Richard II of England is dead. And after three years in His Majesty’s service, Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilym are finally free to return to their ancestral home in North Wales. Their long- anticipated homecoming is overshadowed, however, by the harsh changes they encounter in their once peaceful land. The new king, Henry IV, rules with an iron September 1400 King Richard II of England is dead. And after three years in His Majesty’s service, Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilym are finally free to return to their ancestral home in North Wales. Their long- anticipated homecoming is overshadowed, however, by the harsh changes they encounter in their once peaceful land. The new king, Henry IV, rules with an iron fist, and the country is ripe for rebellion. Instantly thrust into the forefront of the conflict, the proud Tudor brothers enter the fight for their freedom. Lady Catrin Buckley is alert to the unrest swirling around her. As the daughter of an English father and a Welsh mother, she knows too well the trouble her lineage poses. Her own battle, however, is one of the heart: she is to be married to a man she neither knows nor loves. Then an unexpected encounter with the enigmatic Rhys ap Tudor changes everything. Soon, Catrin finds herself swept into a rebellion that could not only change history but also rewrite her own future.

30 review for The Heart of the Rebellion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    Another epic medieval story that pulled me right in! I love this author's subtle writing style that shows rather than tells, and I felt immersed in the setting, the characters, and the emotion. Catrin has torn loyalties with an English father and Welsh mother, but by following her heart she finds the courage to take a stand. I can't imagine living in a time of such harsh circumstances and oppression, but I know there are places in the world today fighting similar battles. This story is full of Another epic medieval story that pulled me right in! I love this author's subtle writing style that shows rather than tells, and I felt immersed in the setting, the characters, and the emotion. Catrin has torn loyalties with an English father and Welsh mother, but by following her heart she finds the courage to take a stand. I can't imagine living in a time of such harsh circumstances and oppression, but I know there are places in the world today fighting similar battles. This story is full of action and adventure but also explores deeper themes for a truly satisfying read. The romance between Catrin and Rhys is slow-building which brought a lovely sense of anticipation as I read, keeping a hopeful feeling even when the situation was dire. Highly recommend!!! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    There’s a simple ethereal beauty about this cover. I’m a total sucker for a cover. Inside I’m desperately hoping for a story that matches everything I’ve fallen in love with on the outside. This, is that book. I don’t usually read medieval stories. But I so badly wanted to read ‘The Heart of the Rebellion’. The setting is North Wales. The Isle of Anglesey, Conwy & Snowdonia. All places I’ve been to so many times throughout my childhood, and later with my own family. This is a land steeped in There’s a simple ethereal beauty about this cover. I’m a total sucker for a cover. Inside I’m desperately hoping for a story that matches everything I’ve fallen in love with on the outside. This, is that book. I don’t usually read medieval stories. But I so badly wanted to read ‘The Heart of the Rebellion’. The setting is North Wales. The Isle of Anglesey, Conwy & Snowdonia. All places I’ve been to so many times throughout my childhood, and later with my own family. This is a land steeped in history, culture & natural beauty. With so many castles, you are spoilt for choice. This book had me hooked from the start. There were times I just wanted to read, but - life. Work. Church!! I loved how Lady Catrin, though of English nobility through her father, has a link to the people she has jurisdiction over, through her Welsh mother. The bad guy - the Duke of Bedford is easy to despise ;) and then there’s Rhys. Oh so noble, brave & a natural leader. I felt at times like I was in a Robin Hood plot - I could vividly picture the places, and I loved this through to the very last page. Based on true events, you will enjoy this story, full of names you’ve probably never heard of, let alone could pronounce (trust me I’ve tried) - but this adds to the authenticity of it. Looking forward to more from this author!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    First of all the cover of this book is gorgeous!! This story is set in the 1400's in Wales during the reign of the new King Henry IV. It's hard to be Welsh during this time, especially if you're a Tudor, so it's not surprising that the people rose up in a rebellion against the iron-fisted rule of Henry IV. The author's descriptions drew me into the story immediately. Catrin is a great character. She's English on her father's side and Welsh on her mother's, which kind of puts her in the middle of First of all the cover of this book is gorgeous!! This story is set in the 1400's in Wales during the reign of the new King Henry IV. It's hard to be Welsh during this time, especially if you're a Tudor, so it's not surprising that the people rose up in a rebellion against the iron-fisted rule of Henry IV. The author's descriptions drew me into the story immediately. Catrin is a great character. She's English on her father's side and Welsh on her mother's, which kind of puts her in the middle of things, but a cruel and unwarranted act of violence by Henry IV pushes her to find her courage and follow her heart. I loved how she controlled her big horse, Seren, by speaking Welsh to him. Catrin's kind of shy at the beginning of the story but becomes a strong, brave young woman by the end. One of my favorite scenes is when Catrin tells off the Duke of Bedford, which helps her to decide to help the Tudors and the rebellion. During her time with them she grows into a confident woman whose bravery helps them win a decisive part of the battle. You could tell Rhys and Catrin were interested in each other from the beginning but neither acted on it. The rebellion was the focus of the story but the reader still gets a feeling of how these two characters feel about each other. I think I've only read a handful of books set in Medieval times and this is a new author to me, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I'm very happy I read this book. You can tell the author, who grew up on the island of Anglesey, did a lot of research into the time period and the Welsh Rebellion lead by the Tudor brothers. I love when I can learn some history while reading a great book. I'll definitely check out some other books by this author. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    North Wales, 1400. Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilyn have been fighting beside Richard II in Ireland for the past almost three years. Back home, upon meeting Lady Catrin Buckley, Rhys thoughts are occupied with her. But she is to be married to a much older man, the Duke of Bedford. And that doesn’t make her happy as she enjoys her freedom. She is an accomplished horseback rider and enjoys roaming the beaches on her horse. Meanwhile, the new king Henry IV, keeps raising taxes on the poor Welsh North Wales, 1400. Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilyn have been fighting beside Richard II in Ireland for the past almost three years. Back home, upon meeting Lady Catrin Buckley, Rhys thoughts are occupied with her. But she is to be married to a much older man, the Duke of Bedford. And that doesn’t make her happy as she enjoys her freedom. She is an accomplished horseback rider and enjoys roaming the beaches on her horse. Meanwhile, the new king Henry IV, keeps raising taxes on the poor Welsh peasants. And there is nothing more to be squeezed out of them anymore. It can only lead to a rebellion. The historical background of medieval time and the characters are interesting. There is some original language injected into dialogue. The story progresses smoothly, but at some parts it is a bit slow progression. Therefore, wishing for the plot to be more grasping. @FB/BestHistoricalFiction

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paige Edwards

    Set in 1400 AD North Wales, The Heart of the Rebellion by Sian Ann Bessey is an evocative read written by a woman who grew up on the Isle of Anglesey. Bessey's descriptions will have everyone who reads this novel booking a flight to the UK. The tale covers the last uprising of the Welsh and the ap Tudors, whose descendants were both notorious and magnificent rulers of England in later years. The romance between Rhys Ap Tudor and Lady Catrin Buckley is sweet and believable. Well researched, this Set in 1400 AD North Wales, The Heart of the Rebellion by Sian Ann Bessey is an evocative read written by a woman who grew up on the Isle of Anglesey. Bessey's descriptions will have everyone who reads this novel booking a flight to the UK. The tale covers the last uprising of the Welsh and the ap Tudors, whose descendants were both notorious and magnificent rulers of England in later years. The romance between Rhys Ap Tudor and Lady Catrin Buckley is sweet and believable. Well researched, this is a great read for all historical romance fans.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aimee (Getting Your Read On)

    Can I just say that I LOVE the cover of this book? I think it might be one of my favorite covers ever. It represents perfectly what is inside and honestly, I think it is gorgeous. One of the things I loved about this story is that it transported me to another time and place. I could feel the weather, see the landscape and I could ALMOST hear that beautiful welsh language. Almost. I wish I could have the author read this book to me- then all the names and places would sound just right instead of Can I just say that I LOVE the cover of this book? I think it might be one of my favorite covers ever. It represents perfectly what is inside and honestly, I think it is gorgeous. One of the things I loved about this story is that it transported me to another time and place. I could feel the weather, see the landscape and I could ALMOST hear that beautiful welsh language. Almost. I wish I could have the author read this book to me- then all the names and places would sound just right instead of my very inadequate attempts. In this story, Lady Catrin speaks Welsh and it is the only thing that calms her very spirited horse. He seems to know and understand her every word. I love that the language played a large role in the story as a whole. Lady Catrin is the perfect heroine. She is trying so hard to become who she believes she is meant to be which is hard given her split heritage of Welsh and English and the conflicts between them. Lady Catrin shows great strength of character along with empathy and kindness, making her someone you root for the whole way through. Medieval history is one of my favorite time periods to read about. This author excels at portraying it. I really loved this story, the gentle but growing intensity and the fantastic characters that kept me invested from beginning to end. Content: some mild violence, personal peril, kissing - I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)

    **4.5 stars** This book is beautiful inside and out. I love the cover and the book is fascinating. Sian Ann Bessey has presented a story and setting that are well done. This book is set during the Welsh rebellion in the early 15th Century. When a book is well written I tend to start looking up the people and events portrayed in the story. I spent a fair amount of time Googling Rhys ap Tudor and the capture of Conway Castle. Sian Ann Bessey really brought the events and people to life. I could **4.5 stars** This book is beautiful inside and out. I love the cover and the book is fascinating. Sian Ann Bessey has presented a story and setting that are well done. This book is set during the Welsh rebellion in the early 15th Century. When a book is well written I tend to start looking up the people and events portrayed in the story. I spent a fair amount of time Googling Rhys ap Tudor and the capture of Conway Castle. Sian Ann Bessey really brought the events and people to life. I could almost imagine myself there with them. This is a bit of a love story between Rhys and Catrin. There is an underlying attraction that is present from the moment they meet. The story focuses more on the struggles of Wales to be free from Britain than on romance. This book is a work of fiction loosely based on events in history. I loved the time I spent reading it. Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Sian is an author I read when I want a history and a detailed well thought out book. She took this story from true life characters and I always think that's a good way to go. She gives you details in the end notes that wrap it up. She really brings Wales to life with her descriptions. This is a great story if you don't like the romance to dominate. It is part of the story line of a group of Welsh people trying to fight the tyranny of King Henry. It is a fascinating time in history. This is a Sian is an author I read when I want a history and a detailed well thought out book. She took this story from true life characters and I always think that's a good way to go. She gives you details in the end notes that wrap it up. She really brings Wales to life with her descriptions. This is a great story if you don't like the romance to dominate. It is part of the story line of a group of Welsh people trying to fight the tyranny of King Henry. It is a fascinating time in history. This is a slower paced novel with a very wholesome feel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie Carpenter

    Years ago my sister purchased a book and said I had to read it. So I picked up, Forgotten Notes, and was instantly transported to Wales. I felt like I was there and walking along the streets and paths in the quaint village. I couldn't wait to go there. I dreamed about it. My mom went on a genealogy trip there. I still have yet to go. But without fail, anytime I see this author's name or read a book by her set in Wales, I am instantly transported back to the first story I read by her and that Years ago my sister purchased a book and said I had to read it. So I picked up, Forgotten Notes, and was instantly transported to Wales. I felt like I was there and walking along the streets and paths in the quaint village. I couldn't wait to go there. I dreamed about it. My mom went on a genealogy trip there. I still have yet to go. But without fail, anytime I see this author's name or read a book by her set in Wales, I am instantly transported back to the first story I read by her and that desire to someday see the beautiful country. I saw this cover and knew I couldn't wait to read this medieval historical novel. A fun connection I discovered after reading the book was that the author grew up on the island of Anglesey, where this novel is set. It was very rich with history and was a beautiful story of survival and freedom. There is also a sweet love story woven throughout the story. It isn't the main focus but was woven in such a way that it brightened and brought more hope to this story. There was so much that I enjoyed about this story. Lady Catrin, Rhys and his brothers, the Welsh soldiers, Seren the magnificent horse, the strength and love of the Welsh people, and much, much more. I'm actually writing this review several days after reading the book. But the imagery and story have stuck with me since then. I have thought of these characters and lush scenes over and over again. This will be like the first book I read by this author, one that will continue to invade my thoughts and bring me back to reading it again and again. If you haven't ever read a book by this author, I highly recommend it. Because it's a favorite of mine, I'd recommend starting with Forgotten Notes. But any others are fabulous as well. Content: Some moments of peril, fire and death. It is during a rebellion so there are battles and struggles as well. Nothing overly graphic, all written very well. I received a copy from the publisher, Covenant Communications, via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own. Happy Reading!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tressa (Wishful Endings)

    THE HEART OF THE REBELLION is a story readers will love with its lush setting, charming characters, and a plot to cheer on as these characters fight for their freedom. Highly recommended! It was so easy to love these characters! From the start, Rhys and his brothers hd a natural bond full of care for each other and humor that I just adored. I especially loved Rhys as he was strong and brave, but also kind and intelligent. Then there was Catrin... she was also fierce in her own way, but also kind THE HEART OF THE REBELLION is a story readers will love with its lush setting, charming characters, and a plot to cheer on as these characters fight for their freedom. Highly recommended! It was so easy to love these characters! From the start, Rhys and his brothers hd a natural bond full of care for each other and humor that I just adored. I especially loved Rhys as he was strong and brave, but also kind and intelligent. Then there was Catrin... she was also fierce in her own way, but also kind and sweet. I appreciated how well these characters were fleshed out and that their dialogue and actions allowed me to feel a connection grow between them. I never felt that I had to be told the story, but rather experienced it with them. The romance slowly buildt over the course of the book and is charmingly sweet to the very end. This was also a story with a very well written plot. I find this time period to be very intriguing and the story only increased my interest. I also love stories where characters are the underdogs but fight anyway for something that is so important, and here the Welshmen are fighting for their freedom against England and the burden their people are continually put under. It's a noble cause that I could easily get behind. The author didn't sugar coat the difficulties and challenges these characters faced, but she didn't go into gory details, and still conveyed what she needed to. In the end, was it what I wished for? I loved this story from beginning to end! It's definitely a book I will be recommended to others and would also be a good book club read. If you're a sweet historical romance fan, do not skip this one! Content: Some violence, but clean. Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    Finished this in one sitting. My husband thought I was asleep for which I’m very grateful. It meant I was uninterrupted. Bessey has such a talent of telling a story that is wrapped in history. The history alone was enough to keep my interest. I didn’t know much about the Welsh rebellion, just enough to keep me curious as to how and at what point in history this novel would end. The romance was so well done too. A believable love story that builds throughout the book and doesn’t need unnecessary Finished this in one sitting. My husband thought I was asleep for which I’m very grateful. It meant I was uninterrupted. Bessey has such a talent of telling a story that is wrapped in history. The history alone was enough to keep my interest. I didn’t know much about the Welsh rebellion, just enough to keep me curious as to how and at what point in history this novel would end. The romance was so well done too. A believable love story that builds throughout the book and doesn’t need unnecessary conflict to keep the two main characters apart. The world they lived in was conflict enough. Definitely recommend.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... I don’t make the comparison often, but Sian Ann Bessey The Heart of the Rebellion reminded me pleasantly of Chadwick’s early Welsh romances. Inspired by the life of Rhys ap Tewdwr, Bessey’s story invites readers to experience a romantic drama set against the rebellion that marked Henry IV’s ascendance of the English throne. The love story takes center stage and reflects a certain degree of creative license, but it strikes a Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... I don’t make the comparison often, but Sian Ann Bessey The Heart of the Rebellion reminded me pleasantly of Chadwick’s early Welsh romances. Inspired by the life of Rhys ap Tewdwr, Bessey’s story invites readers to experience a romantic drama set against the rebellion that marked Henry IV’s ascendance of the English throne. The love story takes center stage and reflects a certain degree of creative license, but it strikes a heroic chord I believe appealing to those with a taste for romantic fiction. I found the novel nicely-paced and feel Bessey’s personal understanding of Welsh culture brings a lot to the narrative. Historically speaking, Bessey’s story is grounded in the politics of the day, but I like the balance she found between theme and subject matter. I also appreciated the nods she afforded readers of Tudor lit in her exploration of Rhys’ extended family circle. A light but engaging read. Recommended for all fans of medieval fiction.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    From the time I was eight and I started reading all of the Little House on the Prarie books, historical fiction became one of my favorite genres to read. The Heart of the Rebellion is an alluring journey back through history visiting the beautiful country of Wales in the year 1400. Medieval history is such a fascinating period and author Sian Ann Bessey brings it to life for readers during the Welsh Rebellion called The Glyndŵr Rising. This last "War of Independence" was an uprising of the From the time I was eight and I started reading all of the Little House on the Prarie books, historical fiction became one of my favorite genres to read. The Heart of the Rebellion is an alluring journey back through history visiting the beautiful country of Wales in the year 1400. Medieval history is such a fascinating period and author Sian Ann Bessey brings it to life for readers during the Welsh Rebellion called The Glyndŵr Rising. This last "War of Independence" was an uprising of the Welsh between 1400 and 1415, led by Owain Glyndŵr, against the Kingdom of England. It wraps history with fiction, and you have a fascinating story that pulls you in with a romance that's realistic and sweet. {I started reading this book right before Parent-Teacher Conferences. I had my book sitting there and while I waited for parents to arrive, I read this story which kept pulling me to its pages. Someone took a picture of me with my nose, once again, stuck in a book.} I loved the main romantic pairing of Rhys ap Tudor and Lady Catrin Buckley. Both of these characters are very likable, good people and the story is told from both of their POVs. They have great chemistry and I loved how they are drawn together. It's easy to care about them as they battle against King Henry and injustice. There wasn't one moment where I wasn't fully engaged in this novel. This well-written story will delight readers of clean romance and history.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda

    What an amazing story! I really loved the medieval setting which was expertly written, showing us the political and social situation of the time. Such hard times. It was great to follow Catrin's journey as she grew more confident in her beliefs, to the point where she played an important role in the turn of events. Rhys and Catrin's relationship was slow burning and very satisfying to read. Highly recommend. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley and this is my opinion.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Barker

    Author Sian Ann Bessey once again delivers a beautiful historical romance in her newest book, The Heart of the Rebellion. With fluid prose, fascinating historical details, and stunning descriptions of Northern Wales, this story leaps from the pages and never relents. From the forbidden romance to the heart-stopping battles, readers will be captivated by this story of love, loyalty, and courage.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Sian Bessey has a way with writing historical romance. I love the way I feel as though I’ve changed time and place when I read her books. This one takes the reader to Wales, the land of my ancestors. I loved imagining I was there. The characters in this one are awesome. I loved Catrin. She is definitely a lady. But she has a wild side. She tears through the country side on her crazy horse. The sweet relationship she had with him was one of my very favorite things about this one. I loved that Sian Bessey has a way with writing historical romance. I love the way I feel as though I’ve changed time and place when I read her books. This one takes the reader to Wales, the land of my ancestors. I loved imagining I was there. The characters in this one are awesome. I loved Catrin. She is definitely a lady. But she has a wild side. She tears through the country side on her crazy horse. The sweet relationship she had with him was one of my very favorite things about this one. I loved that Catrin knows when she needs to stand up for what she believes is right. Then there’s Rhys. He’s been serving King Richard II, but now King Henry IV is in charge. And Henry is not kind to the Welsh. And especially not Rhys or his brother. There were so many things happening to the Welsh, taxes so high they couldn’t live, burning of churches and just general injustice. Rhys and his brothers step in and work against the English, making them a target for Henry. The plot line of this one is great. It’s fun to read about a period in history and imagine you were there. And the love story was beautiful. You’ll love this one, I know I did! I was sent a copy of The Heart of the Rebellion as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

    Author Sian Ann Bessey has written a splendid Welsh medieval romance in her novel The Heart of the Rebellion. As always, Bessey has done her homework with her research. It is impeccably and beautifully woven into her charming story, bringing it life. This story will pull readers in completely. From the turn of the first page to the turn of the last, readers will be sucked into the world of Henry IV and the Tudors as Bessey shows us what this time in history is like. Filled with an abundance of Author Sian Ann Bessey has written a splendid Welsh medieval romance in her novel The Heart of the Rebellion. As always, Bessey has done her homework with her research. It is impeccably and beautifully woven into her charming story, bringing it life. This story will pull readers in completely. From the turn of the first page to the turn of the last, readers will be sucked into the world of Henry IV and the Tudors as Bessey shows us what this time in history is like. Filled with an abundance of history and a sweet and forbidden romance, readers will want to be sure and pick up this wonderful story! Genre: historical, romance, medieval Publisher: Covenant Communications Publication date: November 1, 2019 Number of pages: 276 A review copy of this book was provided by Covenant Communications. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This book transported me to Wales during the Midieval time period. I loved the descriptions of Wales and the developing story between Catrin and Rhys. It is a book that I would like to see a sequel to for Gwilym's story. I received a free digital copy of this book. All thoughts above are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Crystal (Books Are Sanity!!!)

    This book was so well written I felt like I was there and in the freezing cold in Wales. I loved the character building and getting to know each person. The changes in Lady Catrin was a beautiful transformation. Rhys was swoon worthy and everything a noble and man of honor should be. The love story was woven seamlessly within the historical context. What would you do for love? That is what I felt myself contemplating as I read this book. The struggles, the sacrifices, the courage it took to live This book was so well written I felt like I was there and in the freezing cold in Wales. I loved the character building and getting to know each person. The changes in Lady Catrin was a beautiful transformation. Rhys was swoon worthy and everything a noble and man of honor should be. The love story was woven seamlessly within the historical context. What would you do for love? That is what I felt myself contemplating as I read this book. The struggles, the sacrifices, the courage it took to live during this time, I am amazed. I find myself weeks later still thinking about this story. This is so much more than a love story, it is about love of country, love of your birthright, love of what is right, and most of all following your heart. I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    (4.5 stars) I was so excited to see that Sian Bessey had a new book coming out. I LOVE her historical romances and when she came to my book club, she talked a little bit about the behind-the-scenes of writing this book and I could hardly wait to have it in my hands! One of Sian's many talents is seamlessly weaving history into a compelling story. I had no idea about the Welsh rebellion and what was happening back then. This story brings that to life through Rhys ap Tudor's eyes as he returns to (4.5 stars) I was so excited to see that Sian Bessey had a new book coming out. I LOVE her historical romances and when she came to my book club, she talked a little bit about the behind-the-scenes of writing this book and I could hardly wait to have it in my hands! One of Sian's many talents is seamlessly weaving history into a compelling story. I had no idea about the Welsh rebellion and what was happening back then. This story brings that to life through Rhys ap Tudor's eyes as he returns to his home in North Wales after serving King Richard. All is not well on the homefront, however, and he and his brother are soon called upon to use their skills they developed as protectors to the king in the rebellion. Beautiful Lady Catrin gets caught up in the intrigue and must decide where she stands in the conflict. She's attracted to Rhys, but her father has promised her hand in marriage to an oppressive and unkind man who hates her Welsh heritage. Every decision Catrin makes has far-reaching consequences for her and the people she's come to love. I was so caught up in this story I could hardly put it down! And don't you love the cover? Rhys ap Tudor is a swoon-worthy hero, trying to do what's best for his countrymen. But when he meets Catrin, his heart is drawn to her, no matter what danger and intrigue is swirling around them. Catrin is a force to be reckoned with as she tries to decide which path to follow in her life and how to best help the Welsh and keep a delicate balance of peace. This story is full of adventure, romance, and history. Definitely one for my keeper shelf!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Caroline arrow_reads

    Beautiful! I absolutely loved traveling back to the Middle Ages to the scenic setting of Whales! There are characters both real and fictional in the the tale of Welsh fighting for their rights against the English king. It is like a coming age story for Lady Catrin where she learns to fight for her believes and heart. The romance is heart warming. I didn’t want the story to end! Thank you NetGalley and Covenant Communications.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Ann Ann

    When reading historical fiction I prefer clear research to be done by the author otherwise I tend to put it down and not finish it. However, Sian Ann Bessey, has evidently done her research for this novel. She was able to blend fact and fiction seamlessly and as I read, I could hardly tell which characters were real and which were all her creation. The details in this book show the great care the author took in making sure the reader could envision the places and people in the book. I learned When reading historical fiction I prefer clear research to be done by the author otherwise I tend to put it down and not finish it. However, Sian Ann Bessey, has evidently done her research for this novel. She was able to blend fact and fiction seamlessly and as I read, I could hardly tell which characters were real and which were all her creation. The details in this book show the great care the author took in making sure the reader could envision the places and people in the book. I learned more about the Tudors and The Welsh Rebellion against King Henry IV in this book than I have in any other book set during this period. It quickly became clear that this novel was not just another ‘historical fiction’ that would skim over the facts and focus more on the character thus leaving the history itself blurred into the background. The characters in the novel were well developed and I looked forward to turning each page to see what the author would include next to shape these amazing characters, both real and imagined. I do wish that Maredudd ap Tudor’s character had been a bit more developed but as a secondary character his part was sufficient. Lady Catrin is by far my favorite character in the novel because she reminds me of myself. I was able to connect with her quickly and anticipated each new interaction with her. At first, she seemed reserved and a typical child of nobility but as the story progressed it seemed she bloomed into a courageous and more outgoing young woman. Her insecurities seemed to become her strength and whether out of desperation or true intent she rose to the occasion and came out kicking butt and taking names. If there was one thing that was tough about reading this book more than anything else, it was the Welsh names and dialogue. I am descended from Welsh immigrants myself and have always held a fascination with Welsh history, so I was prepared for this book to have me investigating the Welsh dialect used in it. It did not take away from the novel itself and I found myself enjoying the interactions with my husband that it led to. I would spot a name or phrase and since my husband was on his computer I had him pull up a translation app and he would proceed to have things translated and even pronounced for me which I found highly entertaining. There is a small key at the beginning of the book regarding some of the Welsh used in the novel and it did help to clear up the slight confusion (once I realized it was there – I was so excited to read the book I skipped the first few pages on my initial reading of the book). Again the author was able to blend the Welsh into the novel without pulling the reader out of the story and I felt like I learned more and read the book more intently when I did pause in my own personal reading to check into those words and phrases I did not know. Having the moments to pause for interpretation gave me a chance to truly appreciate the story this book contains. I was extremely satisfied with how the book was written and didn’t feel it was too long or short. I didn’t feel like there was extra ‘fluff’ to make the book into more than was necessary. If you love a book which will take you on a grand adventure into Welsh culture and history, without having to read a textbook on the subject, this is one I would recommend. Take a step into a world of adventure with this novel and come out with a new insight and appreciation for the history of Wales during the reign of King Henry IV. **Note: The views and opinions in this review are my own and not a reflection of the author or the publisher in any way.**

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I thought this was an interesting book and I didn't want to put it down because it was so good!! It's plenty obvious that Sian Bessey has done her research for this book. Oh and by the way she's a new to me author and I love her already. I want more! I had a hard time pronouncing the names of the characters and a little trouble with the dialogue but other than that I enjoyed my trip to Wales. The way Sian wrote, I could picture the beautiful country side. She made feel like I was there with the I thought this was an interesting book and I didn't want to put it down because it was so good!! It's plenty obvious that Sian Bessey has done her research for this book. Oh and by the way she's a new to me author and I love her already. I want more! I had a hard time pronouncing the names of the characters and a little trouble with the dialogue but other than that I enjoyed my trip to Wales. The way Sian wrote, I could picture the beautiful country side. She made feel like I was there with the characters. The story was well written with a great plot and the characters were very likeable. I love historical fiction and this one is no exception. I can't imagine living life back in the 1400's! Wow! I'm wondering how they ever got in touch with each other. Oh and did I mention the cover goes great with the story inside? I was so happy it did! I was like cool cover I gotta have!! I wasn't disappointed at all! My thank to Covenant Communications and NO compensations were received. All opinions are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    The Flipped Page (Susan K)

    Romance, clean; Period Rhys and his Welsh family's battles with the English, and his chance meeting of Lady Catrin, was a gorgeous period novel set in the 1400's featuring real historic figures along with fictional characters. Truth sometimes makes the best fiction! The struggle, the people, the setting, the intrigue, the battles all made for great reading, supplemented by a lovely, honest, heartfelt romance. Catrin was brave, courageous and stood up for her people and herself. Rhys was humble, Romance, clean; Period Rhys and his Welsh family's battles with the English, and his chance meeting of Lady Catrin, was a gorgeous period novel set in the 1400's featuring real historic figures along with fictional characters. Truth sometimes makes the best fiction! The struggle, the people, the setting, the intrigue, the battles all made for great reading, supplemented by a lovely, honest, heartfelt romance. Catrin was brave, courageous and stood up for her people and herself. Rhys was humble, brave, courageous and a perfect H for this novel. There were quiet moments, battle scenes, intrigue, just a perfect historical romantic read, although more of the history with a clean romance mixed in. There were perfect side characters as well. Loved the story! I love visiting the past, will be reading more of her period novels that I have missed. More of a 4.5 for me as a reader, but loved it, so rounded up. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. My opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    The Heart of the Rebellion is historical fiction at its finest! This novel blends fictional characters with real life historical figures in a love story full of courage and adventure readers are sure to love. Author Sian Ann Bessey just opened my mind to a part of medieval history I really had no idea about. Not only do I want to visit Wales after reading her beautiful descriptions, but her novel expanded my world to a point where I want to know all sorts of interesting tidbits about the Tudors The Heart of the Rebellion is historical fiction at its finest! This novel blends fictional characters with real life historical figures in a love story full of courage and adventure readers are sure to love. Author Sian Ann Bessey just opened my mind to a part of medieval history I really had no idea about. Not only do I want to visit Wales after reading her beautiful descriptions, but her novel expanded my world to a point where I want to know all sorts of interesting tidbits about the Tudors and Welsh people. Set against the Welsh Rebellion, Lady Catrin was one part Queen Esther and another Joan of Arc in this very well written action packed clean romance. Lady Catrin is the kind of heroine women can truly admire, both vulnerable at times and yet willing to sacrifice so much for the cause she believes in. Rhys was just ah, dreamy! Great character development, well-paced, this novel had me hooked from the start and highly recommend it!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    Set in the Welsh Rebellion, circa 1400, The Heart of the Rebellion tells the story of the ap Tudors.. During this uprising, Rhys ap Tudor meets Catrin, the daughter of an English Nobleman and a Welsh woman from a good family. Catrin knows the Welsh language and ways, and soon realizes that her heart is with the freedom fighters. The research is well done, and the story is strong and believable. You are drawn in by the beauty of North Wales as the setting, the well written characters and a Set in the Welsh Rebellion, circa 1400, The Heart of the Rebellion tells the story of the ap Tudors.. During this uprising, Rhys ap Tudor meets Catrin, the daughter of an English Nobleman and a Welsh woman from a good family. Catrin knows the Welsh language and ways, and soon realizes that her heart is with the freedom fighters. The research is well done, and the story is strong and believable. You are drawn in by the beauty of North Wales as the setting, the well written characters and a romance that is credible. The authors notes at the end are important for letting you know where embellishments were made, as well as telling more of the history.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shauna

    I love learning history through fiction-- it makes so much more sense to me than mere dates and places. It was incredibly intriguing to learn some Welsh history. This story is amazing and so well told. Wander with Rhys, Gwilym, and Lady Catrin through these pages and learn what it is like to be at "the heart of the rebellion." I LOVED IT!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ariell

    I really enjoy Sian Ann Bessey's writing. I love the welsh setting and history. I listened to the audio version and thoroughly enjoyed listening to Aubrey Warner. She does a fantastic job.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    A beautiful retelling of the Welsh Rebellion. Sian has captured the time period, culture and heart of the story and built a love story that will touch your heart

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Monzon

    This is a tough one to rate because there were things I really loved about the book starting with it’s gorgeous cover. The cover is what made me go searching Netgalley for an early copy and squeal with delight that I got approved. I settled in for an exciting and romantic read due to the time period but I almost set the book aside at 35%. The excitement I expected was lacking and I wasn’t connecting with the characters. But then at 40% things started heating up and battles begun. The ending This is a tough one to rate because there were things I really loved about the book starting with it’s gorgeous cover. The cover is what made me go searching Netgalley for an early copy and squeal with delight that I got approved. I settled in for an exciting and romantic read due to the time period but I almost set the book aside at 35%. The excitement I expected was lacking and I wasn’t connecting with the characters. But then at 40% things started heating up and battles begun. The ending petered off again and almost left you wondering how the end of the story went (make sure to read the authors note at the end to find out). The history was rich and well researched and I loved the uniqueness of the Welsh setting and the Tudor brother’s interaction but overall I felt I wanted less of some things and more of others.

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