This is less obstruse than most of powys' novels. But, equally, it is less challenging. One wonders just what has been achieved in the book, other than conveying to paper immense scholarship, immersion in a period little known, little portrayed, revealing a character that made his mark on English history, but that is almost forgotten. Following the abdication and subsequent murder of Richard II, England under Henry IV came up against resistance to English rule over Wales, and for an incredible period, Owen Glendower won victory after victory, and united the Welsh people as they had never been united before. This is the period -- this is the historical fact back of a meticulously detailed story revolving around Owen Glendower, his ""secretary"", Rhisiart ab Owen -- and others of his friends, foes, kith and kin. One feels swamped in the difficulties of the Welsh tongue and Welsh names; the facts of history are confusing, the story fails to emerge as a clear cut hero tale, romance or what have you. And yet, John Cowper Powys is a genius in his own strange way, and work from his pen has an indefinable power that cannot be ignored. Probably 2 volumes.