Synopses & Reviews
The long-awaited and highly anticipated final volume in Penmans trilogy of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitainea 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 Henrys confrontation with the Church and self-imposed exile to Ireland, Devils 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 Henrys 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 villainsonly flawed human beings caught up in misperceptions and bad judgment calls. Most devastating to Henry was not his sons rebellion but his wifes 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 Penmans tale in Devils Brood.
"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
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 homein violation of the papal decree protecting all crusadershe 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 eight previous historical novels and four mysteries. Among writers who admire her work are Margaret George, Steve Berry, George R. R. Martin, and Bernard Cornwell. Her readers are passionately committed. A lawyer by training, by her mid-thirties she was a full-time novelist. She lives in Mays Landing, New Jersey.