1081. William's bloody conquest is over and Britain is under Norman rule. But one bastion of resistance remains: Wales. A divided land where brother fights brother and kings battle for power. The English use this to further their own ends, and while one king is tempted by an offer he cannot resist, the others wage war over long-forgotten feuds.
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Gruffydd ap Cynan is missing, his army scattered. Twelve long years have passed since the king was taken prisoner and his people think him long dead. In the dirty shadows of Chester Castle, a beaten prisoner looks up from the squalor of the street. Dressed in rags, mocked and pelted with filth, he seems a broken man. Yet deep inside, the desire for freedom burns like the hottest furnace.
An uneasy peace reigns in Wales. It's 1109 and the truce with England hangs by the thinnest of threads. While King Gruffydd ap Cynan's rule of law holds in the north, a spirit of rebellion is rising in the south, as tearaway princes and rebels grow to resent England's oppression of their homeland. And when Nesta, married off in a political move by England's King Henry, leaves the safety of her husband's castle to attend a celebration, the rebels seize their opportunity.