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2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Devil's Brood

by

Devil's Brood Cover

ISBN13: 9780399155260
ISBN10: 0399155260
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

Another engrossing historical saga from Sharon Kay Penman, Devil's Brood concludes her trilogy on the tumultuous events that swept across 12th-century England. When the passionate marriage of King Henry II and his legendary queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is destroyed by ambition and betrayal, the ramifications are felt throughout Europe. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, Penman's novels never fail to bring the Middle Ages and their inhabitants vividly to life.
Recommended by Carrie, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Writing about such well-documented historical people and events is no small feat, but Penman handles it masterfully. She breathes life and purpose into these long-dead men and women whose actions shaped Europe's Middle Ages, giving attention even to those who are now just names filling contemporary annuals and chronicles. Her portrayals of Henry, Eleanor, the French kings, and their royal progeny are thoughtful, complex, and compassionate." Carrie Uffindell, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The long-awaited and highly anticipated final volume in Penma‛s trilogy of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine—a tumultuous conclusion to this timeless story of love, power, ambition, and betrayal.

Where the second novel in the trilogy, Time And Chance, dealt with the extraordinary politics of the twelfth century, climaxing with the murder of Thomas Becket and Henr‛s confrontation with the Church and self-imposed exile to Ireland, Devi‛s Brood centers on the implosion of a family. And because it is a royal family whose domains span the English Channel and whose alliances encompass the Christian world, that collapse will have dire consequences. This is a story of betrayal as Henr‛s three eldest sons and his wife enter into a rebellion against him, aligning themselves with his bitterest enemy, King Louis of France. But it is also the story of a great king whose brilliance forged an empire but whose personal blind spots led him into the most serious mistake of his life.

Sharon Kay Penman has created a novel of tremendous power, as two strong-willed, passionate people clash, a family divides, and a marriage ends in all but name. Curiously, it is a novel without villains—only flawed human beings caught up in misperceptions and bad judgment calls. Most devastating to Henry was not his son‛ rebellion but his wif‛s betrayal in joining them. How could it happen that two people whose love for each other was all consuming end up as bitter adversaries? That is the heart of Penma‛s tale in Devi‛s Brood.

Synopsis:

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Lionheart comes the dramatic sequel, telling of the last dangerous years of Richard, Couer de Lions life.

 

This long-anticipated sequel to the national bestseller Lionheart is a vivid and heart-wrenching story of the last event-filled years in the life of Richard, Coeur de Lion. Taken captive by the Holy Roman Emperor while en route home—in violation of the papal decree protecting all crusaders—he was to spend fifteen months chained in a dungeon while Eleanor of Aquitaine moved heaven and earth to raise the exorbitant ransom. But a further humiliation awaited him: he was forced to kneel and swear fealty to his bitter enemy.

For the five years remaining to him, betrayals, intrigues, wars, and illness were ever present. So were his infidelities, perhaps a pattern set by his fathers faithlessness to Eleanor. But the courage, compassion, and intelligence of this warrior king became the stuff of legend, and A Kings Ransom brings the man and his world fully and powerfully alive.

About the Author

Sharon Kay Penman is the author of six previous historical novels and four medieval mysteries set during the reign of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Melissa Reginelli, December 27, 2008 (view all comments by Melissa Reginelli)
Having read the great Jean Plaidy's account of all these folks and their lives, I look forward to Ms Penman's work.

Concerning young Rosamund Clifford. She was only 12 years-old when she was "put" into a cottage to be "happily" molested by the lecherous King Henry. Child molestation was a different matter in those times, especially if practiced by a king. No wonder Eleanor held a grudge, I mean, really. If I recall reading, a string of yarn was followed by Eleanor through a maze that was built to hide the cottage. I can see how a meltdown by the queen would resonate through the centuries. I don't recall the conditions of Eleanor's betrayal of the King of France when she left him for Henry of England but at least children were not involved.
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readersrespite, October 26, 2008 (view all comments by readersrespite)
Devil's Brood is the long-awaited latest installment of Sharon Kay Penman's brilliant Eleanor of Aquitaine series. Preceeded by When Christ and His Saints Slept and Time and Chance, Devil's Brood seamlessly picks up the story of King Henry II and his dysfunctional family just as his eldest children reach adulthood and begin wreaking havoc in Henry's world.

Where Saints and Time and Chance were a recounting of the convoluted politics of the time and the circumstances that led to Henry's grabbing of the crown and his marriage to Eleanor, the famous Aquitaine heiress and former Queen of France, Devil's Brood is a portrait of a family disintegration. Penman was faced with the difficult challenge of supplying credible motivations for these larger-than-life historical figures, something that often cannot be gleaned from pure research. Happily, she exceeded expectations and has produced not only an historically accurate and detailed novel, but a psychological study of a family meltdown.

Penman succeeded in avoiding one-dimensional characters with singular motivations. Like most families, the Plantagenet family falls apart due to human failings still found today: infidelity, immature and rebellious teenagers, pride and stubbornness. Each character has an opportunity to stop this train wreck, yet none do and tragedy ensues.

The only character who escapes Penman's analysis is Rosamund Clifford, Henry's mistress and a thorn in Eleanor's side. Although she has quite a role in the story, it is unfortunate that her motivations are simplistic and a bit of a cliche: she appears to be only an insipid and vapid goody two-shoes. Any sympathy or understanding for her character is difficult to muster and her eventual exit from the Plantagenet's lives is somewhat of a relief, if only because reading about her becomes quite tiring.

Penman is a master of dialogue and Devil's Brood continues her tradition. Few historical fiction authors have the ability to seamlessly weave such pertinent period information into their dialogue. She also provides biting wit, which in the case of Henry and Eleanor is particularly appropriate (how many of us can forget Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn battling it out in The Lion in Winter?)

Fans who have eagerly awaited this release will not, thankfully, be disappointed in this newest Penman novel and I daresay some new fans will be created who will now join in the vigil for the next novel in the series. Whether you must beg, borrow or steal (or perhaps just simply purchase) this book, do so. You won't be sorry you did.
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Misfit, October 12, 2008 (view all comments by Misfit)
Outstanding! Well worth the wait! Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine thought they had it all - the greatest empire since Charlemagne, healthy children including the heir and several to spare - so how did it all go so wrong? The Devil's Brood takes up the story where Time and Chance left off with the murder of Thomas Becket, as Henry returns from his self imposed exile to Ireland. Henry's three eldest sons are chafing at the bit to have lands and power of their own and egged on by Louis of France they join with their mother Eleanor in rebellion against their father. In time Henry quells the rebellion and forgives his sons, but he cannot forgive his wife and queen and he imprisons her. Even though Henry forgave his sons, they are still not happy with his generosity and it eventually leads to more power struggles and back-biting amongst the brothers, particularly young Hal, who suffers the ultimate punishment for his reckless deeds.

This was a fascinating story of a brilliant, powerful king whose blind love and trust in his sons lead him to making mistakes in judgment that eventually lead to his downfall. I also loved seeing a different side of the haughty, queenly Eleanor we saw in Time and Chance, as unlike her sons she does come to recognize the wrongness (well sometimes) of her actions and the cataclysmic effects those actions had on her family. Some readers may find the first part of this book a bit slow paced as Penman does spend time setting up the back history of Henry, Eleanor and the Becket murder, but hang in there as about half way through when the boys start turning on each other the pages literally started flying. Penman's dialogue was exceptional, although I couldn't decide who got the best lines, Henry or Richard - they just smoked off the page!

One of Penman's great strengths is to take the most complex political situations and put them into a story that not only entertains the reader but educates at the same time. Five stars and it appears from the author's notes and a recent blog interview that this will not be a trilogy, she will continue the story of Eleanor, Richard and John in one more book. Hurray!

For those of you coming away from this book wanting to know about William Marshal, I highly recommend Elizabeth Chadwick's The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion. They are hard to find in the US, but readily available in the UK and Canada.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780399155260
Author:
Penman, Sharon Kay
Publisher:
A Marian Wood Book/Putnam
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
History
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20140204
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Devil's Brood Used Hardcover
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Product details 448 pages Putnam Adult - English 9780399155260 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Another engrossing historical saga from Sharon Kay Penman, Devil's Brood concludes her trilogy on the tumultuous events that swept across 12th-century England. When the passionate marriage of King Henry II and his legendary queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is destroyed by ambition and betrayal, the ramifications are felt throughout Europe. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, Penman's novels never fail to bring the Middle Ages and their inhabitants vividly to life.

"Review A Day" by , "Writing about such well-documented historical people and events is no small feat, but Penman handles it masterfully. She breathes life and purpose into these long-dead men and women whose actions shaped Europe's Middle Ages, giving attention even to those who are now just names filling contemporary annuals and chronicles. Her portrayals of Henry, Eleanor, the French kings, and their royal progeny are thoughtful, complex, and compassionate." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Synopsis" by ,
From the New York Times-bestselling author of Lionheart comes the dramatic sequel, telling of the last dangerous years of Richard, Couer de Lions life.

 

This long-anticipated sequel to the national bestseller Lionheart is a vivid and heart-wrenching story of the last event-filled years in the life of Richard, Coeur de Lion. Taken captive by the Holy Roman Emperor while en route home—in violation of the papal decree protecting all crusaders—he was to spend fifteen months chained in a dungeon while Eleanor of Aquitaine moved heaven and earth to raise the exorbitant ransom. But a further humiliation awaited him: he was forced to kneel and swear fealty to his bitter enemy.

For the five years remaining to him, betrayals, intrigues, wars, and illness were ever present. So were his infidelities, perhaps a pattern set by his fathers faithlessness to Eleanor. But the courage, compassion, and intelligence of this warrior king became the stuff of legend, and A Kings Ransom brings the man and his world fully and powerfully alive.

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