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Lionheartby Sharon Kay Penman
Synopses & Reviews
From the New York Times-bestselling novelist, a stunning story of a great medieval warrior-king, the accomplished and controversial son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: Richard, Coeur de Lion.
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 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.
In Lionheart, Sharon Kay 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.
"In this gritty, unsentimental, and richly detailed epic, Penman (The Sunne in Splendour) tackles the legendary King Richard the Lionheart (son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine), and nearly succeeds in making him human. As Richard leads the Crusades in Outremer (the land beyond the sea), Penman depicts many story lines: the friction between the English and French allies; the complex political tension between warring factions within Jerusalem; the mutual admiration between Richard and Saladin (a Sunni Muslim who became leader of the Saracen forces and sultan of Egypt); and Richard's neglect of his young bride, Berengaria. The story follows Richard as he journeys from England to Sicily to free his sister, to Cyprus and Outremer, and finally to his departure from the Holy Land to reclaim his own lands from his treacherous brother John. Though hinting about events that don't take place in the book may feel frustrating, and though Penman never allows readers to meet the elusive Saladin, she ably captures the political intricacies of the time. Readers will eagerly await the next installment, which will focus on Richard's capture and ransom on his way home." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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, most recently, the author of the Angevin trilogy, which recounts the lives of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. She lives in Mays Landing, New Jersey.
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