Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd: The Warrior Princess of Deheubarth by Laurel A. Rockefeller

The Naked Reviewers
3 min readAug 15, 2020


Born in 1097 in Aberffraw Castle, Princess Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd ap Cynan was always destined for great things. As the daughter to one of Gwynedd’s greatest warriors she grew up strong and passionate — more than a match for her older brothers.

At sixteen Gwenllian’s life changed forever when she fell in love with Prince Gruffydd ap Rhys, the beleaguered heir to Rhys ap Tewdur of Deheubarth. Together husband and wife fought for and ruled southern Wales, challenging the Norman Conquest of Wales and proving once and for all the nobility and courage of the Welsh people, a courage that endures across the centuries and lives in the heart of every Welsh man, woman, and child.

Includes an extensive timeline covering over 400 years of Welsh and English medieval history.

Karen Meyer’s Review: 5-Stars

I really loved this book. I knew nothing of Princess Gwenllian before reading this and I want to thank Laurel for her dedication in researching the truth. This is perfect for a school library so children can learn of these legendary women of world history. I liked the length of the book. The author got everything necessary to tell of Gwen, how she lived, loved, and died.

I have to give this book 5 stars only because that is as much as I can give. Loved it and will recommend it.

Terence Vickers’ Review: 5-Stars

Possibly the shortest history Laurel has written, it ties in with previous books of hers that mention Gwenllian. I found this history quite interesting as it ties in with Laurel’s previous books about the strife between the English and Welsh in the tenth century. One thing is a bit odd and I am not sure if it is typos or not, is the varied spellings of ‘Tudor’. For the purpose of this review, I will assume the varied spellings are the result of the different dialects of the Welsh, Scottish, and English.

Translations of the Welsh phrases would have been appreciated, although I believe some can be found in previous books of the series.

A good read well presented, it is rather a shorty and may leave some readers with a desire to know more about Gwenllian, the extensive list of sources and further reading in the final pages may satisfy readers who are inclined to research the era of the English wars against the citizens of Wales and the lives of the women who were significant in those times. Interesting to note is the different attitudes men had toward women, the women of Wales apparently having a much greater level of equality and freedom with men as opposed to the English patriarchal views. It appears that the women of Wales were respected for their abilities far more than others of their time, reflecting much more modern values.

As to technical merit, I found nothing I could point out as definite errors in spelling grammar or punctuation, although there are a few questionable incidents they are easily passed over.

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