Lionheart [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Lionheart

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Overview

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.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. (Oct.)
-Margaret George

"The great Crusader king Richard the Lionheart comes alive in all his complex splendor in this masterpiece of a medieval tapestry by Sharon Kay Penman. She brings him and his legendary enemy, Saladin, before us, both on the battlefield for Jerusalem and in the quiet of their private chambers. It's as if you were there, in this strange, beguiling, vanished time that haunts the Middle East even today. Penman has triumphed in capturing its elusive essence and the blazing glory of the English king called Lionheart."
Library Journal
The Saracens called him Malik Ric. The English called him Lionheart. In Penman's latest historical, Richard I, determined to conquer the Holy Land and capture Jerusalem, journeys first to Sicily and Cyprus to free his imprisoned sister, Joanna; battle against self-proclaimed emperor Isaac Comnenus; and marry his bride, Berengaria of Navarre. Despite the departure of the French from Outremer (the Crusader states established after the First Crusade), Richard seizes strategic cities in the Holy Land as he maintains diplomatic relations with the Saracens. His legendary feats in battle and genius as a military commander bring him closer to capturing the Holy City. When word reaches him that England is in turmoil, Richard must decide whether to make a peace treaty with the Saracens or continue to fight for Jerusalem. His surprising choice will leave readers begging for more of Lionheart; Penman will continue his story in 2012 with A King's Ransom. VERDICT As in her previous historical novels (Time and Chance) and mysteries, Penman expertly weaves well-researched historical events into her fast-paced revisionist story. Certain to appeal to historical fiction fans interested in the medieval era. [See Prepub Alert, 4/11/11.]—Cheryl Seymour, Ogdensburg, NY
Kirkus Reviews

A thick medieval oater in which Richard Coeur de Lion meets Al-Malik al-Nasir Salah al-Din, heads roll and the world shakes and shivers.

A little exposition in describing a book full of it: As fans ofThe Lion in Winterwill remember, Henry II, King of England and Duke of Normandy, married the phenomenally smart Eleanor of Aquitaine and had five sons, three of whom rose up against him in rebellion. One of his heirs was Richard, who was no stranger to either intrigue or war. As Penman (Time and Chance, 2002, etc.) picks up her saga of the Angevins and Plantagenets in the present volume, Richard has dispatched with a pesky sibling and is now off in the Near East, embarking on the great task of freeing the Holy Land from the Muslims. Such big jobs need lots of support staff, and Penman fills her pages with characters, some colorful and some not, who do little bits of work to move the story along—but, sometimes, to make a long and complicated tale even more diffuse than it might have been. Mostly, though, Penman centers on the usual stuff of what, in the end, is an elevated gothic romance ("I think he had a nunnery in mind. He promised, though, to look after me, to make sure that I was always safe..." "Her veil slipped, as if by chance, and his pulse quickened, for she had skin as golden as her eyes and a full, ripe mouth made for a man's kisses")—though, thankfully, there's plenty of crowd-pleasing hacking of swords and twanging of catapults, too. Indeed, if the great flaw of the book is talkiness and, yes, a surfeit of exposition ("Henri had no liking for Baldwin, who'd been one of the two knights who'd broken formation at Arsuf, forcing Richard to commit to a premature charge"), the descriptions of action are uniformly well handled.

In the hands of Robert Graves or Mary Renault, the material might have yielded a classic. As it is, a sturdy historical fiction.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101547878
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 46,641
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

The story behind Sharon Kay Penman's first novel has become legendary. For many years while she was a student and then a tax lawyer, Penman slowly but steadily worked on a novel about the life of Richard III. After finishing the manuscript, however, her only copy was stolen from her car in a busy parking lot, Thankfully, Penman rewrote the entire novel that would become The Sunne in Splendour. It was published in 1982. She then quit her job to write full-time. Penman is the author of five critically acclaimed historical novels, including Here Be Dragons, The Reckoning, and most recently, When Christ and His Saints Slept, and one medieval mystery, The Queen's Man, a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best First Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America. She lives in New Jersey.



On the web: http://www.sharonkaypenman.com


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Historical Fiction

    "Lion­heart" by Sharon Kay Pen­man is a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion book about Richard I and the Third cru­sade. This is a well researched book which is fas­ci­nat­ing and exciting.

    Richard I, bet­ter known in his nom de guerre "Lion­heart" takes his vows seri­ously includ­ing the one to free Jerusalem from Salah-a-Din. He leaves his king­dom and together with King Philip of France they make their way, with their armies, to the holy land.

    "Lion­heart" by Sharon Kay Pen­man is his­tor­i­cal fic­tion at its best. The research is impres­sive and Ms. Pen­man doesn't try to fit the his­tory to her story, but writes the story around history.

    I have always been fas­ci­nated by Richard I or as he is bet­ter known Richard the Lion­heart. It was prob­a­bly the nick­name and "guest appear­ance" in Robin Hood which spurred up the imag­i­na­tion of an eight year old boy more than his deeds.

    The author brings King Richard to life, not only his bat­tle glory, but also the man in all his splen­dor, his sar­donic wit, bat­tle com­man­der genius and mis­un­der­stand­ing of women. Some­thing most men share. Richard, which thinks of noth­ing of sac­ri­fic­ing his own life, ago­nized to no end about his bat­tle plans and min­i­miz­ing casu­al­ties. The bat­tle scarred solider who under­stands and respects his ene­mies, but still under­stands the impor­tance of mak­ing an entrance, whether by land or by sea.

    "Richard began to curse, "Bleed­ing Christ! I wsa so sure that raven swine would hit us from the rear! Take over, Jaufre!"

    I enjoyed the descrip­tions of bat­tles, large and small, the tac­tics involved, the ago­niz­ing deci­sions com­man­ders must endure as well as the impos­si­ble logis­tics of tak­ing an army across the ocean with no means of sup­port. The author's goes into great length describ­ing Richard's suc­cess, some of it was luck, but most of it was metic­u­lous plan­ning and audac­ity both in the field of diplo­macy and war.

    While Richard I is cer­tainly the main fig­ure in the book, there are many oth­ers his­tor­i­cal fig­ures. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, his mother, Richard's sis­ter Joana and his wife Beren­garia all have a major role in the novel, and are depicted in an inter­est­ing and involved manner.

    I enjoyed this book tremen­dously, but be aware that this is not an easy novel to read. There are many char­ac­ters, each of them a world of their own, com­plex, multi-faceted with strange and fas­ci­nat­ing rela­tion­ships among them. The book also includes polit­i­cal strug­gles and intense back-stories, together with the fight­ing (they always go together, don't they?).

    The book ended at the end of the Third Cru­sade, Ms. Pen­man stated that Richard I's life was so full that it would take more books to cover. I, for one, am look­ing for­ward to the rest.

    One of the ben­e­fits of hav­ing this blog is that I get intro­duce

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exciting opening biographical fiction

    Though he was born a spare to King Henry Plantagenet and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, his older brother's failed revolt and subsequent death made Richard the heir. When he became king with the death of his sire, Richard began the Third Crusade to take back Outremer, the Holy Land after a brief stop in Sicily to rescue his sister. He has as much trouble with his alleged French allies as he has with the Saracen forces led by capable Saladin. In fact he and his adversary form a mutual admiration society of two as they respect each other's skills. Finally Richard knows it is time to go home as he hears rumors that his youngest brother John betrays him while he fights in the Holy Land.

    This is an exciting opening biographical fiction that humanizes the legendary Lionheart with little tidbits like his side trip to Sicily and his ignoring his wife Berengaria. Especially emphasized is the political intrigue within the Plantagenet family as his late oldest brother tried to take the throne form his father and his youngest brother has seemingly taken the throne from warring Richard. Sub-genre fans will enjoy this insightful well written medieval tale but will impatiently away the King's return.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Great historical fiction!

    Penman tells this story beautifully, crafting a setting that is drenched in historical accuracy and enough intrigue to keep you turning pages.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Wonderful Book! Sharon Kay Penman has done it again and I can't

    Wonderful Book! Sharon Kay Penman has done it again and I can't wait for more! Make sure you check out her other books as well. This is Historical Fiction at its best!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    $20 for the ebook, when the paperback is $16? Forget it. 

    $20 for the ebook, when the paperback is $16? Forget it. 

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Enjoyable read

    Good pacing and storytelling. Helped by the central character (Richard's) overall story, makes a good endpoint at the end of the 3rd Crusade. An upbeat tale. I suspect the follow-on, which deals with post-Crusader Richard, will be less fawning over this great commander, but flawed individual, and absentee king.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Penman' s best yet!

    I have been reading Sharon Kay Pennman 's books for over ten years and I always am left wanting more. I can't wait until the next installment!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Wonderful!

    It never ceases to amaze me the amount of resesearch Penman does and the way she can capture the readers attention and hold it for 600-plus pages!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    This was an excellent book that brought out the true story of on

    This was an excellent book that brought out the true story of one of England's greatest Kings, Richard I, The Lionheart. I always hated that they made Richard I out to be a bad king and this book shows how great a King he truly was and how he lived up to the warrior spirit of the time.

    This book was a great read and I recommend it to anyone interested in the crusades, England, and history in general.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    Who is who?

    Got through just 100 pages and could not keep up with who was who! Too many titles, names, too busy! Bored and tired after reading what little I read. Put this on the shelf as never to read again! Waste of money!

    1 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    I love this author and have read all her books. BUT... $20 for

    I love this author and have read all her books. BUT... $20 for a Nook book... REALLY? No thanks.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Eleanor of Aquitaine, a "barren queen" for Louis of Fr

    Eleanor of Aquitaine, a "barren queen" for Louis of France bore 4 sons for Henry II.  The most notable and her favorite was Richard known as the Lionheart.  After his older brother Hal's and his father's deaths, Richard became the King of the England and ruled Normandy, Aquitaine, and all the other little duchies that Henry had amassed  as well but Richard was a warrior and had pledged to take the Cross and liberate Jerusalem.  

    Shortly after he was crowned, Richard, along with Phillipe of France, headed toward the Holy Land.  He stopped in Sicily, liberated his widowed sister, married his bride from Navarre, captured Cyprus, and freed Acre once in the Holy Land.  Single-minded in his quest, this skilled battle commander recklessly endangered himself to protect his own forces throughout numerous battles. 

    However, Richard was no diplomat and quickly alienated not only his ally, Phillipe of France, but also Conrad of Montferrat (new King of Jerusalem) and  Hugh Duke of Burgundy.

    Unfortunately, without the complete support of the other Christian commanders, Richard was unable to fully liberate Jerusalem from he Muslim control and was forced to a peace where the Holy Land was open  to Christians but still occupied by Muslims.

    This was a fascinating story filing in the portion of Richard's life that was engrossed by his quest to free the Holy Land.  Very few books that I have read deal with this time in his life and I  was completely engrossed. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    ((disguisted))

    Totally got the name from warriors series. I dont even want to try a free sample.



    ((disguisted))

    0 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 8, 2012

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    Posted November 12, 2011

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    Posted August 1, 2013

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    Posted April 4, 2012

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    Posted November 14, 2011

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    Posted July 30, 2012

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    Posted December 24, 2011

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