Powys is a genius in his own eccentric way, and work from his pen has an indefinable power that cannot be brushed aside. This new two-volume novel is somewhat less obscure than its predecessors. But, in reverse degree, it is less challenging. One wonders just what has been achieved, other than conveying to paper immense scholarship, immersion in a period little known and little portrayed, revelation of a character who made his mark on English history only to be virtually forgotten. Following the abdication of Richard II and his subsequent murder, England under Henry IV came up against resistance to English rule in Wales, under the leadership of Owen Glendower, who won victory after victory, uniting the Welsh people as they had never been united before. This is the background of historical fact behind a meticulously detailed story of Glendower, his ""secretary"", Rhisiart ab Owen, and 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. And yet it makes its mark.