Yr Horwth - Elidir Jones

Updated: Aug 3

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Novel ffantasi epig newydd

New epic fantasy novel


❤Enillydd Llyfr y Flwyddyn 2020 - categori plant a phobl ifanc!❤

❤Winner Book of the Year 2020 - children & young people award❤


Gwasg/publisher: Atebol

Cyhoeddwyd/released: Medi 2019

Lluniau/illustrator: Huw Aaron

ISBN: 978-1-912261-75-8


*CYMRAEG GWREIDDIOL - WELSH ORIGINAL*


Lefel her/challenge level: ❖ ❖ ❖


Ar gyfer darllenwyr da yn eu harddegau sy'n hoffi LOTR

Suitable for strong readers in their teens who like LOTR

Mi oeddwn i’n arfer gofyn i fi fy hun, pam na gafodd The Lord of the Rings gan J.R.R. Tolkein ei addasu i’r Gymraeg? Wel, da’ chi’ gwybod be? Rŵan mae ’na rhywbeth cystal os nad gwell na hyn. Stori ffantasi epig WREIDDIOL yn y Gymraeg i ni’n hunain. Yr Horwth. Dim byd yn erbyn addasiadau, ond dwi’n meddwl fod hi’n well mwynhau rhai llyfrau (yn enwedig rhai mor enwog â LOTR) yn yr iaith wreiddiol, sef Saesneg. Dwi hefyd yn meddwl fod hi’n hynod o bwysig cael cyflenwad da o straeon gwreiddiol Cymraeg. Dwi’n falch o weld bod tuedd at gyhoeddi mwy o’r rhain erbyn heddiw...



Nesaf, y lluniau. Mae darluniau Huw Aaron yn gweddu’r llyfr yma i’r dim. Dwi’n hoff iawn o fapiau mewn llyfrau ac mi oni’n gweld fy hun yn cyfeirio’n ôl ato’n aml (er bod y prif fap braidd yn brysur!) Mae ganddo allu i greu cymeriadau larger than life gyda nodweddion wedi’u gorliwio - sy’n gwbl addas i nofel i blant/pobl ifanc. Mae’r llun ar y cychwyn o Borth y Seirff yn gysyniad gwych, ac fel mae Elidir Jones, yr awdur, yn dweud ei hun ar ei wefan blogio f8, mae’r dref yn gyfuniad o Mos Eisley Cantina, Tattoine a theyrnas yr Ewoks, Endor o’r ffilmiau Star Wars. Mae o hyd yn oed yn cyflwyno cysyniadau mwy heriol i mewn, fel annhegwch y class system - gan fod y bobl gyfoethog yn byw yn y top, a’r tlodion ym myd peryglus y gwaelodion...


Rhaid i mi gyfaddef, mae ’na ddarnau o’r nofel mymryn yn ddryslyd. Dwi’m yn siŵr os mai’r nifer o gymeriadau, y gwahanol leoliadau ynteu’r stori o fewn stori sy’n achosi hyn. Er bod rhaid i mi ail-ddarllen rhai darnau, mi oedd o werth o, ac mae 'na payoff unwaith mae’r nofel yn cychwyn yn iawn. Nofel ddigon gyffrous sy’n dod a grŵp (random) o gymeriadau at ei gilydd er mwyn brwydro’r.... you guessed it... ..Horwth. Ydi’n deg i mi ei alw’n ddraig? Yn sicr mae’n fy atgoffa o Smaug, o’r llyfr/ffilm The Hobbit. A dweud y gwir, mae’r antur yn adlewyrchu elfennau o gwest yr Hobbit. (dim byd yn bod gyda benthyg ac addasu syniadau, gyda llaw!)



Mae’r stori’n dechrau gyda Ffion, cymeriad ifanc yn dod i bentref Copa Coch a darganfod fod y lle oedd unwaith yn byrlymu wedi’i losgi’n ulw. Mae hi’n dechrau siarad gyda’r unig drigolyn, Orig, y tafarnwr. Dyma ble mae’r stori’n cychwyn...


Croesodd Ffion ei breichiau.

“Ddes i yma am antur, hen ddyn, nid i glywed stori hir.”

Chwarddodd Orig.

“Beth am stori hir … yn llawn antur?”


Mae Elidir Jones yn creu cymeriadau cofiadwy. Mae Heti’n bladras o ddynes na fyddai unrhyw un yn mentro dadlau gyda hi. Dwi’n meddwl mai hi yw gwir arwr y stori yma! Pwy fyddai’n meddwl fod ein hanturiwr arall, Sara o’r Coed yn gogydd vegan? Vegan mewn nofel ffantasi? Eto, pam lai? Ac yna’r mwydyn - wel , dyma brawf o ddawn yr awdur, ei fod o’n gallu’n cael ni i falio a phoeni ac ypsetio dros fwydyn. Wel, dim cweit yn fwydyn arferol chwaith. Dwi’n deud dim mwy.



Mi wnes i wirioneddol fwynhau’r stori ac mi roedd cyflymder y stori’n dda. Mi oeddwn i’n ffan o’r dull stori o fewn stori hefyd, ac yn licio’r ffordd roedd yr awdur yn symud i mewn ac allan o’r hen chwedl, yn ôl ac ymlaen o’r gorffennol i’r presennol.


Mae’r Horwth yn greadur ofnadwy. Mae o’n llosgi ac yn dinistrio pentrefi cyfan, ac yn bwyta rhai o’n hanturwyr. Ond, rhaid i mi gyfaddef, roedd ‘y lleisiau ar y dŵr’ yn llawer mwy dychrynllyd ac yn rhoi ias oer i mi. Mae’r rhain yn wirioneddol creepy a dwi’n gobeithio darganfod mwy am y rhain yn y gyfrol nesaf. Mi fyswn i’n hoffi gweld yr awdur yn gwneud y stori nesaf yn hyd yn oed fwy brawychus a thywyll...


Fel Ffion, ar ddiwedd Yr Horwth, dwi hefyd eisiau gwybod mwy. Dyna beth mae’r awdur eisiau i ni deimlo. Mae’r nofel gyntaf wedi adeiladu’r byd newydd rhyfeddol, a rŵan fod y seiliau yn eu lle; mae llawer mwy o chwedlau i’w hadrodd a chwestiynau i’w hateb. Yn bennaf, beth aflwydd sydd wedi digwydd i bentref Copa Coch? Dwi’n gobeithio’n wir y cawn ni gyfle i ddarganfod mwy.


I used to ask myself, why wasn't the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein adapted into Welsh? Well, guess what? Now we have something amazing if not better- our very own WELSH-ORIGINAL epic fantasy; The Horwth. Nothing against adaptations, but I think it's better to enjoy some books (especially famous ones like LOTR) in their original language - English. I also think it is extremely important to have a good supply of original Welsh stories. I am pleased to see that there has been a trend of late to publish more of these…


I would start by mentioning the cover. Looks great. It feels like some old legendary folk book that has come straight out of middle earth. It has an ancient and mysterious look. I like the font for the title (little things perhaps, but crucial) and it suits an old fantasy legend. The three threatening claw marks are effective and are very Jurassic Park -esque. The cover itself was enough for me to pick up the book in the bookstore anyway, not to mention the blurb.



Next, the pictures. Huw Aaron's illustrations are the perfect match for this book. I love maps in books and I often referred back to it (although the main map is a bit busy!) He has the ability to create larger than life characters with exaggerated features- perfectly suited to a novel for children/young people. The picture at the beginning of Porth y Seirff is a brilliant concept, and as the author, Elidir Jones, says himself on his blogging website f8, the town is a combination of Mos Eisley Cantina, Tattoine and the Ewoks’ tree-domain, Endor from Star Wars. He even introduces more challenging concepts in, such as the unfairness of the class system - with wealthy people living in the top, and the peasants relegated to the dangerous world of the lower regions…


I must confess, some bits of the novel are somewhat confusing. I’m not sure if was the number of characters, the many different locations or the story within a story that caused this. Although I had to re-read some passages, it was certainly worth it. If you find it hard getting stuck in, keep going… you will be rewarded. This is an exciting novel which brings together a random bunch of characters in order to fight the... you guessed it.... Horwth. Is it fair for me to call it a dragon? It certainly reminds me of Smaug, from the book/film ‘the Hobbit’. In fact, the adventure parallels elements of the Hobbits’ quest. (nothing wrong with borrowing and adapting ideas, by the way!)


The story begins with Ffion, a young character coming to the village of Copa Coch and discovering that the place that was once bustling is burnt down. She starts talking with the only resident, Orig, the landlord. This is where the story starts...


Ffion crossed her arms.

"I'm here for an adventure, an old man, not to hear a long story."

Orig laughed.

"What about a long story... Full of adventure? "


Elidir Jones creates memorable characters. Heti is a large and powerful woman- not to be messed with. I think she is the true hero of this story! Who would think that our other adventurer, Sara o’r Coed, would be a rubbish vegan chef? Vegans in a fantasy novel? Again, why not? And then there’s the worm- well, here is proof of the author's skill, that he can get us to care about a worm. Not any old worm, mind, But still. I’ll say no more.


I really enjoyed the story and the pace of the story was good. I was a fan of the story within a story method, and liked the way the author moved back and forth from past to present day.



Don’t get me wrong, The Horwth is a terrible creature. He burns and destroys entire villages, and eats some of our heroes. But I must confess, ' The voices on the water ' were much scarier and gave me the shivers. These are truly creepy and I hope to find out more about these in the next volume. I would like to see the author make the next story even more frightening and dark… Let’s not be afraid to give people a fright!


Like Ffion, at the end of Yr Horwth, I also want to know more. That is what the author wants us to feel. The first novel has built this amazing new world, and now that the foundations are in place; there are many more legends to tell and questions to answer. Mainly, what has happened the village of Copa Coch? I really hope that we will have an opportunity to find out more.

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