Lionheart 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 ThemBut 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 Would 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

Penman received her bachelor s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she majored in history, and also received a Juris Doctor J.D degree from Rutgers University School of Law, and later worked as a tax lawyer The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Novel Society s list of best historical novels In 1996, following

[Ebook] ➬ Lionheart ➫ Sharon Kay Penman –
  • Hardcover
  • 594 pages
  • Lionheart
  • Sharon Kay Penman
  • English
  • 12 June 2018
  • 9780399157851

10 thoughts on “Lionheart

  1. says:

    Over the years I have tried several different novels that focused on the Lionheart whilst he was on crusade, yet none of them really managed to engage me although they did make for good sleeping pills I d about given up hope on ever finding one that would hold my interest until word came that Sharon Kay Penman was planning to continue her Angevin series with a book on Richard and I was dancing with joy if anyone could do it, the fabulous Sharon Penman could Was I bored No, I was not.I think everyone knows the bare bones of this story, as well as all the myths and legends that have sprung up around it so I ll pass on trying to recap it and just share my thoughts on the reading experience I absolutely loved how the author portrayed Richard He is very much a man of his times, a king and a warrior who did what was necessary to get the job done and keep his men and women safe I loved his sardonic wit, and had many laugh out loud moments I felt his anguish at some of the tougher decisions he was forced to make, as well as his frustrations with the constant backstabbing and squabbles amongst those who were supposed to be his allies damn those double dealing Frenchmen His sense of timing and drama were perfection oooh, that last minute swoop into Cyprus to save the day once again, you just can t make that stuff up.And how did Richard s queen Berengaria fare Imagine being torn from your home and family, married to a virtual stranger, trekking half way around the world, surviving perils on the high sea, the stench and disease of a military camp and , yet she handled it like a seasoned pro Richard s sister Joanna was another favorite, very much a chip off of the old Angevin block and always there to knock some sense into her hard headed brother when needed.While I enjoyed this novel a great deal, this is not a light and easy read and is one best read without all of life s little distractions no kids so it can be savored as only a Penman novel should be The cast of characters is large and complex there are a lot of POV switches , as well as complicated politics and back history the reader needs to take in If you are looking for a light easy read with romanticized view of Richard this is probably not the book for you.Lastly, are you going to have another great love story like Penman gave us in Here be Dragons and The Reckoning Will they smoke off the pages like Henry and Eleanor in When Christ and His Saints Slept Can t tell you that besides, since there is one book coming the story is only half told , but I will tell you that Berengaria s first ummm cooking lesson was priceless The bed burning in Here Be Dragons is still tops, but Penmenians will love it Many thanks to you know who for coining that phrase and letting me steal use it Review copy provided by the folks at Putnam, thank you.

  2. says:

    What rating does one give a book that was not only not read to the end, but was only read to 60 pages Only on special occasions do I actually give a rating to a book if I have not made it to around 100 pages or in the case of a book the size of this brick roughly 250 pages.This is one of those special occasions I learned enough about this book in those 60 pages to write a 10 page review But I won t of course That would be beyond excessive and than a little obsessive.I am writing this review and giving this book a star rating, despite my lacklustre effort to read the book, for those who know me For those people, let me explain my 1 star and my reasons for disliking this book so much For those who don t know me, just ignore my review.First cab off the rank The book isn t about Richard the Lionheart It is about the personal relationships and lives of those around him Now, when I pick up a book called Lionheart I expect the book to be about him I expect the author s fictional biography of Richard the Lionheart I don t know when Richard becomes a regular feature of the story, but he wasn t around nor a feature of those first 60 pages and I have it on good authority that he isn t around in any biographical sense for a long time in the book then when he is, it is from afar.Other things I didn t like about this book It is entirely too feminine for me It is what I call a lady book.These kinds of books that are about personal relationships and feminine details don t work for me Feminine details like, how she wears her hair, how glorious she looks that day, what gorgeous silks she has in her coffers, where she keeps her jewellery, how everyone is beautiful who should be beautiful and everyone is ugly who should be ugly, inner most thoughts of women about their husbands and girlfriends and babies, how every woman on woman scene is like the girls from Sex in the City meeting at their favourite cafe or nightclub.I found the writing feminine There is no doubt that this book is written by a woman for women And those kinds books always make me run for the hills The only reason I decided to try this one was because it was a group read in my group and because every now and then I have people trying to tell me how good Penman is and how her books aren t romance or lady book.Finally I have first hand knowledge and I can sayI came, I saw, and I found out for myself that these books by Sharon Kay Penman will never be to my tastes I understand they are to others, that they are well loved, but for me personally, they are not to my tastes.

  3. says:

    A quote from Carlos Ruiz Zaf n I think you have to be careful with research in fiction I believe the best way to use it is to learn a lot yourself about what you re going to write, and then don t really use than 1% of all the research you ve done, at least visibly the effective way to use research in fiction is to internalize it and embed its essence in the narrative fabric of the tale Information only works in fiction when it plays a dramatic role Often you read novels in which the author includes much of the research he s done It could work in a journalistic context or in a nonfiction book, but in literature you need to find a way to incorporate it in the texture, the aesthetics, and the fabric of the world you re building for the reader from a purely narrative point, never as window dressing or as a display of erudition Sharon Kay Penman and her fans would doubtless disagree with everything Zaf n says.By her own admission, she loves adding random details straight from the pages of historical chronicles and she says I tend to be obsessive compulsive about research The book is indeed excellently researched but it feels like reading a history text about Richard the Lionheart than a novel It relates historic events in detail, even quoting from historical sources within the text It frequently lists names of people who were present at certain occasions, for no dramatic reason, just because it s known, and one might find it interesting It IS interesting It s just not exciting.I read all near 600 pages of this book, and didn t want to stop part way through but neither did I have any trouble putting the book down and doing something else for a while, at any point I read a bunch of other books before getting around to finishing it.It will definitely educate you on the circumstances surrounding the Third Crusade, and details of twelfth century history But the narrative lacks dramatic tension, even when the events being described are chock full of drama The characters didn t really come to life for me, as people I feel that this is because Penman makes a conscious decision not to make up too much stuff But it also means that this isn t the sort of book I really prefer.I got the book as part of the First Reads giveaway I entered because I d heard a lot of good things about Penman s books, and even actually own two of them that I d been getting around to reading I m sure there are many people out there who love her style of writing, but it s just not the style I most prefer.

  4. says:

    Bad Son, Bad King, Bad Husband, but Medieval RockstarSharon Kay Penman continues her saga of the most dysfunctional family of the twelfth century, the Plantagenets, with this first of two books about Richard, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine s third son, who later became known by his nickname, Lionheart In fact, he s the only English monarch not known by his reignal number If you said Lionheart to someone today, they would probably know you were talking about King Richard the First of England, the epitomy of the Crusader and medieval superman.The story starts out slowly and with a fictional character that sort of, kind of, disappears into the background midway through the first quarter of the very long book, never to be seen or heard again While I understand the author s use of the character to introduce us to the kingdom of Sicily and Richard s youngest sister, Queen Joanna of Sicily, I thought it was unnecessary Joanna s story gives a back story to the conflict brewing among the nobility of southern Europe and we see Richard as a loving brother and diplomat someone you don t mess with.I didn t like the Richard in Penman s trilogy that preceded Lionheart He was a spoiled, nasty boy and adolescent with nothing but vengeance on his mind He doesn t like his brothers and sees them as the competition Granted, his father Henry didn t have the best parenting skills, but Richard was as brutal and mean with his brothers as he was with Henry, going to war with them whenever his precious Aquitaine was threatened He was considered Eleanor s favorite and that comes out in the story I was glad to find Richard a sympathetic character in Lionheart, mature, but just as reckless and daring, courageous on the battlefield leading his army into bloodbath after bloodbath, getting out of one impossible tight spot after another and surviving Richard takes the cross, the oath to fight for the restoration of Jerusalem after the battle of Hattin and the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 Here, Penman gets repetitious The massacre known as the Horns of Hattin and the fall of Jerusalem to Salah al Din is mentioned in almost every chapter, as a lesson to be learned No one wants to repeat this horrible mistake Also, the description of Richard s royal ship, The Sea Cleaver, comes up than once, as do the affinities of the men closest to Richard.Tthe political battles between the Kings of England and France were telling and well portrayed the less than Christian behavior and attitude of the Kings of England and France toward one another made taking Jerusalem even difficult than the superior forces of Salah al Din If anything, the infighting between the monarchs made the Third Crusade a failure, in my opinion They were too busy fighting each other to concentrate on defeating Salah al Din.We see the Lionheart in action from battle to battle, whether on the desert sand or in a castle hall Richard s prowess as a battle commander and a warrior was legendary in his own day and he was mobbed like today s rockstar by his admirers Penman shows us Richard the egomaniac his entry into the port at Acre is an event to be witnessed In fact he makes a spectacular entrance everywhere he goes His men loved him because he walked among them, toiled and fought alongside them, and put his own safety aside to protect them Above average in height and looks, he was a dashing prince and one to be obeyed Penman does a fine job showing this.I appreciated that Penman didn t fall back on the Victorian supposition that Richard was gay Few if any chronicles of his time make this claim He was promiscuous and had one known illegitimate child, a boy, and he was taken to task bishops for neglecting his wife Penman shows a man who goes about the motions of being married, trying to be a husband If Berenguela of Navarre had been a trebuchet or arbalest, Richard would have paid attention Still, he s no monster just a man with a mission to reclaim the Holy Land from the infidels, and the mission is his mistress War is what Richard knows and it s what he does best He was also well read, a poet and a musician, but it was the warrior everyone loved and feared.This is another Penman book that gives you history and entertains while offering a lesson.I m looking forward to The King s Ransom I m dying to find out what went wrong between Richard and his queen, and how Penman will deal with the Blondel legend.A good reading experience and a great introduction for those who have never read about Richard I.

  5. says:

    I have enjoyed all of Sharon s books, but this one ranks up there with Sunne in Splendor in terms of completely resetting my opinion of a person from history I started the book being indifferent to Richard I grudgingly had to admit, chapter by chapter, that he began to grow on me By the end he really had endeared himself to me.As with all of Sharon s books, the characters are classic Penman luring you into their world where you see them as than just figures from history, but living, breathing humans I have not come across many authors who have the ability to make you feel so much for the characters in a story the way Sharon does Be prepared for some powerful emotions to be evoked in this one Here are some of my thoughts posted on Facebook immediately after finishing Finished What a ride I think Lionheart is my favorite of the Angevin series because it surprised me than any of the other books and changed many of my views I did not expect to have my opinion of Richard changed nearly this much It sounds so trite to say the book is full of dimension, but I don t know any other way to put it When others have managed to portray the same events in 2D, Sharon has managed to go somewhere between 3D and 4D As Sharon states in her A.N that a friend of hers said, There was a reason Richard was Eleanor s favorite I can see it now Thank you, Sharon Brilliant Absolutely brilliant Sunne and HBD series are still topping the list of favorites, but each of these books is appealing to me for vastly different reasons Lionheart did not have the same gut wrenching pain as Sunne and HBD, but it was full of so many other things I could quote Sharon s entire A.N and it would basically say it all for me The colorful details, the better than Hollywood events, the complexity of emotions surrounding a certain massacre between political need and personal disgust at it Each little detail was like a dot of paint on a canvas Combine those dots of light with the compelling complexity of Richard s fully developed personality as seen in a way I ve never experienced before and you have a very compelling painting I spent most of Devil s Brood being very confused by Richard and wanting to thwack Henry upside the head Lionheart was a lightbulb for me regarding Richard On a completely different note, my mind was swimming from the overwhelming amounts of research that Sharon had to do Her list of references was astounding I always tell everyone she is my favorite novelist, but she is also an historian of the highest order

  6. says:

    Ms Penman take a bow 4.5

  7. says:

    Here s the problem with historical fiction the fiction part has to ring true and be as interesting as the historical part It doesn t with this book I know it got great reviews and I really wanted to like it but I just lost interest Partly it was because of some of the inane conversations that the author made up between characters the fiction part of the story for example. the author could have Richard and Berengaria discuss anything from fabric swatches for one of his many palaces to papal politics but instead the author creates a conversation where Berengaria is worried because Richard s member is so big and so suggests to him that maybe they can use scented oil so sex might be pleasurablereally..that s what the author wants us to go with The other major problem with this book is point of view It opens with Joanna his sister , moves to Eleanor his mother and continues with everyone s point of view except Richard We are with Eleanor as she wonders what Richard wants of her instead of in Richard s head as he worries about asking his mother to go to Rome we are with Joanna and Berengaria stranded at sea off the coast of Cyprus worried about what they will have to do if Richard doesn t find themwe are not with Richard, who gets ill and then has to look for his sister and future wife we are with Joanna as Richard goes to battle in Cyprus not with Richard in battle and while Richard is dealing with the aftermath of battle off stage somewhere we are with Joanna as she contemplates a bath..The book is called Lionheart not those who know Lionheart I just lost interest.

  8. says:

    If the truth be told, I begin to run out of words for my reviews of Sharon Penman s novels Without a doubt, the publication of Lionheart was the most anticipated event of my literary year, and I can hardly convey my impatience as I waited to get my hands on a copy One of the best things about the publication of a new Sharon Penman novel is that feeling of security which creates even higher anticipation the consistency of her level of writing over the years has built up a real store of trust amongst her readership Unlike some authors where a new release is met with anticipation mixed with nervousness by readers to discover if it will be a sensation or a flop, we know ahead of time that we re safe with one of Sharon s novels, we know that we re always going to get the high standard of research and writing that Sharon delivers What a relief in the frequently hit and miss world of historical fiction One of the things I was intrigued about ahead of time was how Sharon would portray the very different worlds of Sicily, Cyprus and Outremer, compared to the familiar settings in her novels of western Europe, but in treating these locations and their unique environments and cultures with as much care and detail as she does our old stomping grounds of Wales, England and France, Sharon creates these new places just as thoroughly and believably As per usual, Sharon is tackling a political situation of intense complexity, with a veritable cast of hundreds of characters, but again by rendering this deftly and carefully she keeps everything clear and understandable This is a point of particular importance for me, since so many historical fiction authors shy away from conveying the full story when the history gets complicated, and it seems to be out of fear that readers just won t understand and will then slam the book for being too confusing I think that s actually very disappointing and sad, if not somewhat demeaning, to not give readers the credit to believe that they will be able to comprehend complex concepts and events, and to deliberate dumb down I feel robs me of the chance to get as authentically close as possible to the real history Not once during the course of reading Lionheart did I feel confused or have to go back and re read due to bewilderment I cannot stress enough just how much this contributes to the overall quality of the writing Precision with clarity it s a winning combination Since I m touching on the subject of historical accuracy already, a few words on the matter it s as high as one would come to expect from a Sharon Penman novel, and as ever the author s note always a welcome courtesy in historical fiction thoroughly addresses discrepancies and further provides a wonderful glimpse into the research process of an historical novelist Moreover, it reinforces that sense of trust, by creating a certain degree of openness and transparency, and the extensive bibliography was a joy for me as an historian, as I can now do the same research for myself on the points I loved in the novel and want to find out about.I think one of the key points of anticipation was wondering how Sharon would portray Richard We d seen him as a prince before, got insights into his early years and glimmers of the man he would become, but you just know that everyone was waiting for the Lionheart king of semi legendary status in the modern British consciousness to appear on the stage What s wonderful about the character of Richard in this novel is that we get a rich blend of the larger than life figure and the real man there s no mistaking Richard s military prowess and leadership presence, with an occasional dash of pomp and circumstance, but the down to earth, grounded man is also readily apparent, and the story is woven full of marvellous moments of private humour and personal intimacy This is something I ve said before in another review of a Penman novel, but you really believe that this could be the real Richard I think this is another one of the big secrets of a great historical fiction novel part of the fun and appeal is the idea of a glimpse into what really happened, and what our most fascinating historical people were really like, and getting this right is treading the line between immersion and disengagement It s about believability It s not just Richard either though his significance in this novel was such that I felt I had to address the point of his portrayal separately but all the characters are a delight Henri, Andr , Eleanor, Joanna, Berenguela it s the subtlety in the way these characters have been built up The transformation and growth of Henri the fleshing out of Berenguela, especially as this quietly brave young woman when she s so often portrayed as a timid mousy type One of my favourites scenes has to be the dinner between Eleanor, Berenguela and their party and Constance and Heinrich and their party, after a chance meeting It s simply magical The political groundwork is set in place, the joy of knowing that this chance meeting actually happened and is not an implausible author invention, and Eleanor s moment to absolutely shine, drawing on all her past experiences and vast political acumen What a scene And I can t credit Sharon enough for being able to write the subtle scenes of political discourse equally as well as the action scenes of chaotic battle and yet still keep it all clear for us What a writer That s really all I have to say Lionheart ticks all my boxes of what I look for in historical fiction sophisticated writing, subtle characterisations, historical accuracy, and a coherent and compelling plot.10 out of 10 At the risk of raising a few festive groans quality Penmanship.

  9. says:

    This final pair of novels about the Plantagenets by Sharon Penman are definitely her best novels They feature excellent storytelling, well crafted writing and truly impressive historical research She has managed to remove Richard from his one dimensional appearance as a gung ho warrior of little apparent ability in the realm of statesmanship and repackages him as a much subtle and complex man while retaining and verifying the heroic warrior as actually far impressive than even the legend would have it And her story convinces here comes alive a worthy son of a very complex and talented father and a most unusual and politically talented mother Was he a good King for England Maybe not, but we forget that England wasn t the heart of his universe his Empire was far larger and his ambitions with it We meet a driven, controlled will with an enormous amount of charisma and energy Had Henry still been around to see him rule, I think he would have been proud.If you are a Penman fan, this is her best If you have never read her, these will please any reader of HF, male or female and the history is exemplary.

  10. says:

    Penman is one of my favorite novelists, so I was happy when I won a free advanced copy of this novel, to be published in October, from LibraryThing s Early Reviewer s program This novel has many qualities that define the best of historical fiction First, Penman has an evident respect for history and well researched knowledge of the periods she depicts Her characters don t sound like reality tv stars nor is her history risible such as that of Philippa Gregory In this novel of Richard the Lionhearted and his war in the Holy Land, Penman quotes primary sources such as medieval chroniclers who were witnesses to the Third Crusade from both sides, Frank and Saracen She has a way with the telling detail, whether sexual practices, medicine, cuisine or details of dress or siege warfare that brings another age and land to life And as with her other books, I greatly appreciate her afterwards that detail what liberties she took with history.Most crucially Penman doesn t just write historical characters as modern people in dress up She s a great tour guide into that foreign land a century long past and in that regard I rank her with the best writers of historical fiction such as Mary Renault and Robert Graves She writes of a mindset alien and alienating to contemporary sensibilities yet manages to still make her characters sympathetic This is no mean feat given medieval views on warfare, religious tolerance and the status of women This is particularly so when it comes to the title character We see Richard from a multiplicity of views, although rarely his own There are dozens of point of view characters here in a sprawling book spanning around 600 pages covering from July of 1189 to August 1192, from the time Richard becomes King to when he leaves the Holy Land We re taken from Normandy to Sicily to Cyprus and then on to Palestine And the portrait that emerged of Richard was complex and intriguing than I expected Penman s is a rounded picture, that neither glosses over his flaws nor paints over his virtues This is a king who doesn t hesitate to force women into unwanted marriages nor to slaughter men who surrendered to him when required out of military necessity, who has a bad temper, holds grudges and can be ruinously stubborn But this is also a man who can be generous and has a good sense of humor, who others willingly follow into battle because he shares their hardships, is reckless with his life but careful of the lives of his men, and who displayed an undaunted courage that earned him the sobriquet lionhearted even before he became a king, let alone a crusader Nor as depicted here is he a narrow minded religious bigot, but someone who respected his adversaries and tried to come to terms with them in ways his fellow crusaders did not There are also other fascinating portraits here, from famous figures such as Eleanor of Aquitaine to obscure figures such as Henri, Count of Champagne I finished this book better understanding the Third Crusade and why it was a qualified failure, from the point of view of the European crusaders We get some sense of their foes as well, but primarily from the Eurocentric point of view we never really get inside the heads of the defending Muslims.I d definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the period, King Richard the Lionhearted of England, or who enjoys Penman s work As to the reason I don t give this top marks Well, Sharon Kay Penman has formidable competition from Sharon Kay Penman Her biographical novel of Richard III, The Sunne in Splendour, and of King John s daughter Joanna, Here Be Dragons, are two of my favorite novels and would certainly make my top twenty list of favorite historical fiction, and Here Be Dragons is high on my list of the most moving love stories I ve ever read I didn t find Lionheart as moving or impressive as those novels Nor do I find Penman as remarkable a stylist as Hilary Mantel of Wolf Hall or Dorothy Dunnett of Game of Kings But that is to set a very high bar, and I m sure few, if any, historical novels published this year will be as good as Lionheart.

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