22 December, 2011


Title: Lionheart
Author: Sharon Penman
Genre: Historical iction
Audience: Adult
Format: Kindle

From Goodreads: They were called “The Devil's Brood,” though never to their faces. They were the four surviving sons of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine. With two such extraordinary parents, much was expected of them.
But the eldest—charming yet mercurial—would turn on his father and, like his brother Geoffrey, meet an early death. When Henry died, Richard would take the throne and, almost immediately, set off for the Holy Land. This was the Third Crusade and it was to be characterized by internecine warfare among the Christians and extraordinary campaigns against the Saracens. And, back in England, by the conniving of Richard's youngest brother, John, to steal his crown.
In Lionheart, Penman displays her remarkable mastery of historical detail and her acute understanding of human foibles. The result is a powerful story of intrigue, war, and—surprisingly—effective diplomacy, played out against the roiling conflicts of love and loyalty, passion and treachery, all set against the rich textures of the Holy Land.

What I thought:  I hate it when you have been waiting for a book for ages, you finally get it and it's so good you read it too fast! This is what happened with Lionheart. Despite it's length (600 pages), I tore through it rather quickly. Once again Penman successfully brings to life the kings and queens of medieval times with such clarity you could just about reach out and touch them. People who know a bit about Richard I would possibly take umbrage at her portrayal of him, but once you read her authors note and realise the depth of her research they are likely to change their mind. And therein lies the reason I love Penman's work, Her research is immaculate and detailed. She does not take liberties with history, maintaining events within the information she has uncovered. Of course, she has to make guesses at times, obviously creates the dialogue, but it is all within the realms of possibility. This is the first of a two part series on Richard I and I cannot wait for the next one to come out!

Recommended for: those who like accurate, well written historical fiction!

Challenges:  100+ Challenge,  ebook Challenge