Review: Sleeper’s Castle

Sleeper’s Castle
Sleeper’s Castle by Barbara Erskine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sleeper’s Castle is another book based in the Welsh borders, near Hay-on-Wye. There is a tenuous connection with the author’s other books, Lady of Hay and Child of the Phoenix with Owain Glyndwr’s fight for an independent Wales and Hay Castle appearing in this book towards the end of its days as a functioning castle . The druid Meryn from the book Times Legacy makes a re-appearance as the helping hand again too.

Sleeper’s Castle is an ancient house owned by a poet and based in the valleys in the 1400s. The poet, Dafydd dreams visions, writes poems about the rebels and supports their cause. He has great jealousy towards his more talented daughter, Catrin who can both write poems and predict the future better than him.

Catrin has visions of the wars of Wales and England and the rise and fall of the rebels. Their remote corner of the valleys gets affected by the war and they are personally engulfed in it. She also interacts with a ghost from the future who lives at Sleeper’s Castle, Andy.

Andy is escaping her dead boyfriend’s deranged ex-wife in the remote countryside. And she constantly dreams of Catrin and her story with Dafydd, the minute she arrives at the house. Like most of Barbara Erskine books, the modern-day heroine gets stuck in a trance/dream state in the past and becomes damaged. All her friends and supporters gather around to help this weak and fainting modern protagonist. The weak and fainting modern protagonist drawing in other characters to get ‘diva attention’ is a common theme in all this author’s books and the parts I don’t like. The ancient characters on the other hand are always three-dimensional, strong and interesting. I love those parts of the books and of course the colourful history.

As with all other books I’ve read of this author’s, there is murder, suspense and a race against time to a climatic and gory ending.
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