Abergavenny Castle in Monmouthshire, Wales.
William de Braose, Baron of Abergavenny, invited all Chieftains of the Welsh to feast with him at Christmas.
Normans then locked the castle gates and slaughtered their guests where they stood. Knights thundered out of the castle, crossed the valleys, and murdered defenseless wives and children in their homes.
Word quickly spread of the treachery.
A few blamed the Sheriff of Herefordshire, some the Baron of Abergavenny; and still others, King Henry II of England. It was inevitable that, sooner or later, word would reach their sons and brothers fighting in the Second Crusade. Equally inevitable was the firestorm of retribution that swept down from the mountains to engulf the castle walls.
Abergavenny’s baptism in blood had only just begun. .
At long last, a novelist has arrived with the wit and aptitude to justly claim the throne of allegory left vacant for so long.
Once or twice within one’s lifetime an author comes along who actually manages to unfurl and advance the banner of genuine Literature: to reclaim the soul of Britain in the name of something far grander than simple prose.
W. B. Baker’s latest novel, The Lion and The Falcon, may quite simply be the finest compilation of poetry and prose that Britain has witnessed in the past half century.
Not shoddy sentimentality but honest sentiment, this account set during the Second Crusade tells the heroic tale of men and women who may, through the savagery of conflict, abandon religion but never their faith: who might mislay their cause but, by no means, their conscience.
Resplendent evidence that the glory of the British Empire continues to beat within our collective breast: a testament to the unrivalled majesty of the English language the world has, sadly, witnessed all too infrequently of late.
W. B. Baker has done more through his writing to promote Wales around the world than anyone in recent memory. Stunning imagery and the ability to convey the warmth of Welsh culture combine with historical accuracy to bring Wales its finest champion since Dylan Thomas.
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Shamelessly brutal in his examination of the human heart, W. B. Baker presents Britain a stunning masterpiece of fiction. The Ravenous is Baker’s tour de force; the author using his considerable command of the English language to weave a majestic tale of valour and faith.
Couched inconspicuously within this modern epic of Wales lie affirmations of the true majesty of humankind … Within this moving tale, valiant men and women emerge from the mire of war to exemplify the inextinguishable courage of this nation we call home.