Customer Reviews for

Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III

Average Rating 4.5
( 89 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    Move over, Shakespeare!

    I read The Sunne in Splendour before reading Shakespeare's Richard III. In my Shakespeare class this year in college I found myself defending Shakespeare's villain because I had grown so attached to the portrayal of Richard in Penman's novel. It is evident that the author did an incredible amount of historical research to bring the characters and their world to life. I am addicted to historical fiction, particularly when set in England. This book has been one of my all time favorites for years!

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2005

    Fabulous!

    I've just finished reading this book for the 3rd time and I was as enthralled and as eager to turn the pages as I was when I read it the first time! It is a story of political wars, love relationships, intrigue and mystery during the 15th century reign of the Plantangenets. The story so vividly brings to life the era and the people of that time you will find it hard to put it down! It is the best historical novel I've yet to read.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    The Sunne In Splendor by Sharon Kay Penman

    An excellent novel about two Kings of England, Edward IV and Richard III. I first got interested in Richard III in 2000 when I read a work by Bertram Fields about the princes in the Tower, whom Richard is accused of murdering. After reading what Fields had to say pro and con, I was satisfied that he was innocent. There has been much discussion about the Shakespearean version, taken as it was from very biased sources--people who hated Richard and who demonstrably lied about him. Sharon Penman's novel argues convincingly for his innocence, mostly from his character and the behavior of his peers...including some who were his enemies. She portrays a good man caught in an intolerable conflict of interest and loyalties, stumbling with much self-searching through a quagmire of problems and pitfalls. She does it so well that at times I was teary-eyed. She's done her historical homework very well, and the people who emerge from her pages are unforgettable. There's love, war and betrayal in abundance...not to mention a great deal of information about the Wars of the Roses. I loved this book!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    Page turner

    This book is very compelling. It shows the truth within Richard III that goes against the play of Shakespeare. Showing him as a shy,honest, and honorable man. If one loves English history, then this is one page turner. It is very detailed in war. Not only mentioning Richard III but the people around him.
    What really did happen

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2011

    Love it!

    This is my favorite historical fiction book. Anyone interested in War of the Roses or Richard III must read this book!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    Excellent

    I've read the Welsh Princes trilogy and the trilogy on Henry II and Eleanor - and this book like Penman's others, do not disappoint. Her take on Richard III is so different than others I've read - she weaves the fiction into the historical facts into incredible stories that gives one a great understanding of what was happening during that time period. The style I like most about Penman is the fact that she doesn't take "creative license" like so many do and when she does, she will tell you why she did. I've said for a very long time - Alison Weir, Bernard Cornwell and Sharon Kay Penman's books should be required reading. You can only glean so much in a classroom or a history book and it covers so little - but the books - the novels about the history itself makes the history itself so much easier to understand. Penman is wonderful.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2007

    Master Storyteller

    Sharon Kay Penman is a master storyteller. She weaves a rich tapestry of characters and brings them to life. This was my first encounter and introduction to her writing style. It takes a while to get into the book and get a grip on the various characters however, I highly recommend this book as well as The Reckoning. Once you start them, they are hard to put down.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Tremendous book

    Regardless of your opinion of Richard III and his reign, if you enjoy excellent historical fiction, you will enjoy this book. The historical details, the characterization, the story, the writing; everything about this book is tremendous. You'll become so lost in the people, period, and story that you won't want it to end.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bloody England

    Not a five star for a few reasons, but a good read nonetheless. The fifth star is for debunking Shakespeare's ridiculous character assassination. Too bad most people will never read this, but carry the image of Richard as a murderous, shrivel armed hunchback.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    TOO BRIGHT THE SUNNE LL

    From my reading of this book, Richard was the real sunne--not Edward. Richard was loyal to his family and to York. Had he been more politically expedient perhaps history would have been rewritten. But such acts would have been contrary to his moral being. One could go on forever as to why the circumstances of the time and the personalities of Edward, Richard And George caused this true tragedy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2010

    This book affirms how Her Majesty, Elizabeth I, influenced writers of the day.

    I am convinced Shakespeare's Richard III is nothing more than a villainous attempt at political correctness. The author's apologia will leave readers asking, "Indeed, why did Henry Tudor never charge King Richard III with the murders?"

    By the book's end, readers will also hate the Woodvilles and Stanleys, which is what these noble families deserve.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    Wonderful!!!!

    I remember reading this book years ago and I was completely captivated by it. For once, I got to 'see' Richard III's side and his accounts of his life and love for his older brother and his brother's children. Not the cruel portrayal that I've always heard about. I donated this book to the library before I moved out of state but I do believe that I will get this book again because it was so good and so enjoyable. If Sharon's other books are as good and enjoyable as this one is, I'm really looking forward to reading them too. I really love stories like these.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2013

    I put off reading this book because it was about the Wars of the

    I put off reading this book because it was about the Wars of the Roses and I thought learning about it would be quite daunting.  I  knew
    absolutely nothing about this period.  I quickly became engrossed.  My husband is a history major and reads only non-fiction.  After 
    reading this book, my grasp of the Wars of the Roses far surpassed his.  Reading this book felt like being in the presence of Richard III 
    and Edward IV and watching history unfold.  Sharon Kay Penman is my favorite author and this book is my favorite book.  I can not 
    recommend it highly enough.  I have read it several times and I think I enjoy it more each time.  I plan to read it again.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2013

    I consider myself to be a bit of a student in the area of Richar

    I consider myself to be a bit of a student in the area of Richard III.

    I truly enjoyed this story and honestly believe that what happened in this book could very well be what happened in the real life if this much maligned English monarch.

    On top of that, it was a wonderful action adventure romance!

    I've taken off one star simply because of the way the author wrote the dialogue. It felt like every time someone was speaking the rhythm of each character was the same as another character. It was hard to differentiate who was speaking because they all sounded the same. From the noblest king to the lowly minion. Also much of the dialogue had this strange overuse of the coma. Using a coma where the word "and" should be is all well and good but this was simply overused to the point of frustration

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    A good book to curl up with!

    A really good read. Enjoyed it a lot. While I was reading this book the body of King Richard III was found, and it brought to life the story of this king. If you enjoy historical fiction, you will enjoy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The most enjoyable way to learn history!

    This story was engaging and intense, Sharon Kay Penman follows history and weaves it into a story you want to read, know, and tell everyone about. You come away feeling as if you walked through time onto the battlefields and into the heart of the castles and people of the time. History is often one dimensional, a ruler is good or bad, but Ms. Penman reminds us that nothing is as uncomplicated as that, each step a monarch makes has a multitude of consequences and someone will always loose due to them. Does that make the king unredeemable? She lets you decide and makes it entertaining while you are at it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant!

    Wonderfully written, beautifully portrayed. This novels is an awesome perspective on King Richard and one I choose to hold above others I've read about him. In comparing other novels by different authors, I find S.K. Penmans arguments and opinions much more compelling and believeable than all the others. Because of this novel, I am now a fan of King Richards reign.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    King Richard

    I really felt for the guy. Long story but it needed to be. I have an entirely new view on Richard. History Fiction buffs will enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2005

    Never 900+ pages read better!

    Most of us have a preconceived opinion of Richard III. Be it of a good man, victim of the circumstances, or of an evil being who wouldn't hesitate to murder his own flesh and blood to usurp a throne that didn't belong to him. But the truth is that Richard was a man of his time, one who, to his misfortune, lacked the 'sun' personality, character and appearance of his brother Edward. Is this a crime? To Richard it was. But this book is not only about Richard, the last of the Plantagenet kings. It is also about Edward IV, George of Clarence, the Earl of Warwick, Anne Neville . . . It is about a fascinating time in history. I read this book a long time ago (I have read everything Ms. Penman has written) and enjoyed it so much that I would like every reader out there to share in my experience. Don't miss this book, it is the best of the historic fiction genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2000

    A Beautiful, Touching Story

    I must have read close to 100 books to research my own historical novels, but THE SUNNE IN SPLENDOUR was the most beautifully written. I was especially touched by the emotional scenes between Richard and Anne and never saw them portrayed so lovingly. A true masterpiece I recommend to any Richard III sympathizer or lover of Plantagenet history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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