Y Fro Dywyll (Dark Territory)

Y Fro Dywyll (Dark Territory)

Set in the seventeenth century, in the dangerous years of the English Civil War and its aftermath, Jerry Hunter’s absorbing new novel focuses on a devout Welshman, Rhisiart Dafydd, who has taken up arms with the Puritan opponents of king Charles I.  In the wake of the king’s defeat and execution, and with increasing misgivings as the new regime beds in, Rhisiart is glad to accept Colonel Powel’s proposal of a mission abroad.  His task is to discover what has happened to a Welsh community which had gone to found a new Jerusalem in north America some years previously but which has not been heard of since.  After barely surviving shipwreck, Rhisiart is cared for by native Americans before finding his way with their help to the Welsh community, hidden away in the forest.  Here he is initially welcomed but soon begins to sense corruption under the surface of the apparently well-ordered village, and finds his status shifting imperceptibly from that of guest to prisoner.

Underpinning Rhisiart’s travels from life as a boy in north Wales to the trained soldier and to envoy abroad, is his own internal journey from a deep, simple faith to increasing doubts as to what is done in the name of religion.  With its clear contemporary resonances, this is a powerful, absorbing and timely novel.

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Jerry Hunter

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Publication details:

Y Fro Dywyll (Dark Territory)
Y Lolfa (2015)