by Sharon Kay Penman


$42.00 View All Available Formats & Editions


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780230764781
Publisher: Macmillan Computer Publishing
Publication date: 03/28/2012

About 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:

What People are Saying About This

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." --(Margaret George, author of Elizabeth I: A Novel)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Lionheart 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
"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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Penman tells this story beautifully, crafting a setting that is drenched in historical accuracy and enough intrigue to keep you turning pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
CDowell More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Christiana5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lionheart tells the story of the Third Crusade, featuring much sniping between the French and English kings, Phillippe and Richard, both of whom have taken the cross, and their lords. A solid story by Penman, with good pacing, although it does take about 2/3 of the book before the characters arrive in the Holy Land, and the real battles begin. We get a female perspective from Joanna, Richard's widowed sister, who accompanies his new bride, Berenguela, and their ladies, on crusade. Many amazing battles based in fact, but most amazing of all is Richard's and Saladin's mutual respect for each other in a time when most of Richard's contemporaries would never deign to make treaties with their Muslim enemies. Not my very favorite of Penman's works, but I learned new things about the crusades and Richard, it kept my attention, and left me wanting to read the sequel. A solid 4 stars.
Chatterbox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As the title suggests, this hefty tome is a historical novel that follows Richard the Lionheart (aka Richard I of England) from his accession to the throne to the Crusades is "Outremer" (today's Syria/Jordan/Israel/Palestine/Lebanon). While the novel is the fourth in a series following the Angevin monarchs over the course of a century or so, this marks a bit of a departure: not only is Penman following the action to the Middle East, but the plot necessarily revolves around a lot of battles pitting the Saracens, led by Saladin, against the Crusader army.The resulting book didn't quite click for me. I kept getting bogged down in battle scenes that, however faithfully rendered, ended up giving me the feeling that I was reading a military history rather than a novel. Richard and Saladin keep bickering over a possible truce; Richard and his supposed allies keep bickering over military strategy; everyone bickers over who should be king of Jerusalem. Against that kind of backdrop, Penman's typical stylistic habits (most annoying, a habit of gathering a bunch of characters together over dinner or something, so that one of them can tell the others all the news that she, the author, needs to tell us, but can't describe for us directly because it's happening "offstage") become more irritating. (I don't think that historical purists would wilt if one of her characters said don't instead of do not, and had I run across the word "lass" one more time, used in addressing Richard's sister, wife or other noblewomen, I may well have chucked the book across the room.The book was a 3.8 star novel for me, and I'm being generous. I think Penman's die hard fans will love it, as it's the kind of epic saga in which she specializes. But what is missing from this are some of the more interesting characters, like John and Eleanor of Aquitaine. It's hard to make a character like Berengaria a vivid personality -- although Penman certainly tries hard -- and she does bring some new players into the spotlight, like Richard's nephew, Henri of Champagne, who are very interesting historical figures. I ended up reading the first chunk of the novel rapidly, fascinated by Penman's depiction of Sicily and Cyprus, but after that just got bogged down in too many characters, too much repetition of major themes (such as Richard's recklessness in combat). In contrast to Maude in "Christ and his Saints Slept" or Eleanor in the previous books, no character stood out here to make me care about turning the final pages. I'm glad I read this; I'll probably read the sequel which will wrap up the series, but I think in this novel Penman is trapped by the historical events, which focus on men at war rather than the complex dynamics of dynastic squabbles. I enjoyed parts of it tremendously, but expect it will be a long time before I even consider re-reading it.
gwernin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Covering the period July 1189 through September 1192, this is very much Part I of a two volume book. To say that it traces Richard Lionheart's involvement in the Third Crusade and his marriage to Berengaria of Navarre is too simple a description of a narrative which starts with a three page list of principal characters and stretches in its field of action from northern England to the Holy Land; to say that it includes a cast of thousands is no exaggeration. Penman paints a vast and minutely detailed picture; indeed the depth of detail (and the extensive and impressive research behind it) is both a strength and a weakness of this book. The first eighty pages sometimes seem to drag as Penman jumps from location to location, viewpoint to viewpoint, in the process of introducing all her principals and providing the necessary thumbnail sketches of their backgrounds. At last, however, the various parties (fated to converge in Sicily) get on the road, and the pace picks up slightly. By the time we reach Cyprus the action is fairly brisk. The rest of the book, located in the Holy Land, mostly holds this pace, although there are some slow sections now and again which deal mainly with the labyrinthine politics of the Crusade, often seeming to take the principals in slow ponderous circles at an enormous cost in blood, treasure, and general suffering. The conclusion of the book sees Richard's departure from the Holy Land, sailing back to Western Europe to try and salvage his battered empire. History (and Penman's afterword) tells us the fate of most of the principals, but it's partly the future of two minor but appealing invented characters which will lure me back to read the next volume. Overall, an impressive achievement, highly recommended for Penman's fans and those interested in the Angevins and the Third Crusade.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel has many qualities that define the best of historical fiction. First, Penman has an evident respect for history and well-researched knowledge of the periods she depicts. Her characters don't sound like reality tv stars nor is her history risible such as that of Philippa Gregory. In this novel of Richard the Lionhearted and his war in the Holy Land, Penman quotes primary sources such as medieval chroniclers who were witnesses to the Third Crusade from both sides, Frank and Saracen. She has a way with the telling detail, whether sexual practices, medicine, cuisine or details of dress or siege warfare that brings another age and land to life. And as with her other books, I greatly appreciate her afterwards that detail what liberties she took with history.Most crucially Penman doesn't just write historical characters as modern people in dress up. She takes us on a tour of the foreign land of a long past century, and in that regard I rank her with the best writers of historical fiction such as Mary Renault and Robert Graves. She writes of a mindset alien and alienating to contemporary sensibilities yet manages to still make her characters sympathetic. This is no mean feat given medieval views on warfare, religious tolerance and the status of women.This is particularly so when it comes to the title character. We see Richard from a multiplicity of views, although rarely his own. There are dozens of point of view characters here in a sprawling book spanning around 600 pages covering from July of 1189 to August 1192, from the time Richard becomes King to when he leaves the Holy Land. We're taken from Normandy to Sicily to Cyprus and then on to Palestine. And the portrait that emerged of Richard was more complex and intriguing than I expected. Penman's is a rounded picture, that neither glosses over his flaws nor paints over his virtues. This is a king who doesn't hesitate to force women into unwanted marriages nor to slaughter men who surrendered to him when required out of military necessity, who has a bad temper, holds grudges and can be ruinously stubborn. But this is also a man who can be generous and has a good sense of humor, who others willingly follow into battle because he shares their hardships, is reckless with his life but careful of the lives of his men, and who displayed an undaunted courage that earned him the sobriquet "lionhearted" even before he became a king, let alone a crusader. Nor as depicted here is he a narrow-minded religious bigot, but someone who respected his adversaries and tried to come to terms with them in ways his fellow crusaders did not. There are also other fascinating portraits here, from famous figures such as Eleanor of Aquitaine to more obscure figures such as Henri, Count of Champagne. I finished this book better understanding the Third Crusade and why it was a qualified failure, from the point of view of the European crusaders. We get some sense of their foes as well, but primarily from the Eurocentric point of view--we never really get inside the heads of the defending Muslims.I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the period, King Richard the Lionhearted of England, or who enjoys Penman's work. As to the reason I don't give this top marks... Well, Sharon Kay Penman has formidable competition--from Sharon Kay Penman. Her biographical novel of Richard III, The Sunne in Splendour, and of King John's daughter Joanna, Here Be Dragons, are two of my favorite novels and would certainly make my top ten list of favorite historical fiction, and Here Be Dragons is high on my list of the most moving love stories I've ever read. I didn't find Lionheart as moving or impressive as those novels. Nor do I find Penman as remarkable a stylist as Hilary Mantel of Wolf Hall or Dorothy Dunnett of Game of Kings. But that is to set a very high bar, and I'm sure few, if any, historical novels published this year will be as good as Lio
Schmerguls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this author's first book, The Sunne in Splendour, an account of Richard III, in 1997 and liked it pretty well. But I have not, till now, read any of the author's subsequent books. This book, being published this year, is a fictionalized account of Richard I and the Third Crusade. It is as true to the actual history as it can be except for minor items. Yet the book says any resemblance to actual persons and events is purely coincidntal--an obvious falsehood inserted no doubt for some good reason but the book resembles actual events and persons very closely. There are very exciting events detailed in the book and one cannot help but admire Richard, despite his flaws, and to rejoice over his exploits. But the sufferings which the Crusaders underwent are heart-rending and of course the quarrels which impeded their efforts to reclaim Jerusalem for Christians are dismaying. And the book is long and sometimes not too much fun to read. But it does make history vivid and since it is mostly factual is an easy way to remind oneself of the history which it recounts.
PensiveCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven't done much reading about the Crusades, probably because although I like history, I'm not a battle reader. Lionheart does have plenty of battle scenes, but it also tells the story behind the scenes - the intense bickering between Richard I of England and Philippe of France and the French that stayed when Philippe left, the revolving door that was the kingship of Jerusalem, Richard's wife who in previous accounts was more of a footnote, and Mr. Lionheart's illnesses. I think this was the first time Richard was mildly appealing to read about - for one his mother's love didn't have to pull the weight. Not that he was warm and fuzzy - but as a man of his times he at least made sense. And that's one of Penman's strengths - to keep the players of their time, which calls on us to put ourselves in their shoes rather than the other way around.It was a bit of a long book for such a short time period, but it wasn't dull by any means. I hope the next book has more Eleanor of Acquitaine, because it could be the last chance Penman gets to write about her, and she really does a good job with Eleanor.
ddelmoni on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of Penman's having enjoyed Sunne In Splendor and her Justin d'Quicy mysteries, with 2 others in my TBR pile. I was obvoiusly delighted to recieve Lionheart through LT early reviewer program.Richard is one of my favorite characters in English history and Penman does a good job in telling his story. I particularly liked the way Penman begins the story by centering it around his sister Joanna. Penman created a powerful segway for Richard's introduction into the story. I was impressed with Penman's ability to handle military action and still keep the reader engaged -- for once I wasn't skipping over the gorey/boring scenes. She's also adapt at setting the atmosphere of the 12th century holy land. TBContinued
RockStarNinja on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Admittedly, Richard is one of my least favorite characters from Penman's other books, but He is one of the things that made this books bearable. The best parts of this book was the battle scenes, they were in depth and gave you the feeling that you were really there. Unfortunately though, everything else in the book was highly political and as a result I felt like I was reading the same scene over and over again. The same people were against everything and the same people were for it, it all got very predictable towards the end, and I found myself wishing I could just be done already. I am a big fan of Sharon Penman and I have high hopes for her other books and will be eagerly awaiting the second installment A King's Ransom.
4fish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I waited eagerly for Lionheart to arrive, because Sharon Kay Penman is one of my favorite authors, and she doesn't disappoint. I loved all 600 pages. It only took me so long to finish because I had to finish a book club book and then take a break while I cooked and cleaned for Thanksgiving.Penman's take on the infighting and convoluted politics of Richard's Crusade is fascinating. He fought some horrific battles with the Saracens, but had even more vicious, if less bloody, fights with his reluctant allies, the French. Richard is generally dismissed as a bad king of England, largely because he rarely spent time there, but Penman makes it clear that in his day, he was considered a hero, and England was only a small part of his empire.But as usual, it's the secondary characters that really flesh out the story. Richard's sister Joanna, rescued from her husband's successor as King of Sicily and taken along to the Holy Land as a companion to Richard's new wife, Berengaria, a princess of Navarre. Henri of Champagne, son of another sister, and Morgan ap Ranulf, a fictional Welsh cousin, both follow Richard in battle. Their perspectives provide background and narrative to the story of a crusade that was considered unsuccessful because it fell short of recapturing Jerusalem, despite the fact that it enlarged the western sphere of influence in the Holy Land considerably, largely through Richard's mastery of the art of war.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been reading Sharon Kaye Penman from the beginning with her very first book, The Sunne in Splendour. My copy of this book has been re-read so many times it's close to needing replacing. She is one of my favorite authors, although she does spoil you for historical fiction. Once you're hooked on Penman, most other historical fiction falls far short of the mark she sets. She's smart, she writes well, she does an enormous amount of study of primary sources before she writes, and the stories she tells are so fascinating you'll go back to them again and again.Lionheart is the penultimate in Ms. Penman's books on Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their Devil's Brood. I have a fondness for Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and no one's written better about them. Given the name it's not hard to figure out that this one is about Richard the Lionheart - considered to be one of England's great kings and one of the greatest war commanders ever.I've always been less fond of Richard than of the youngest of the brood, John. Richard is always presented as so big and bold - brash, daring, bigger than life, self-righteous, reckless. He's an amazing character, but something about John has also appealed to me (yes, I know, he's generally thought of as a villain). I think I like John because he was a survivor and because he was a pragmatist. He was always more concerned with the administration of his kingdom and of justice. He inherited a rudimentary justice system and spent a great deal of time expanding and formalizing it. He was also selfish, arrogant, sort of spineless, and left his father (who loved him greatly) to die alone.In any event, Richard is very heroic and Ms. Penman has not forgotten that. This is a novel of the Third Crusade, with all its betrayals and internecine warfare between the various European factions attempting to work together to take Jerusalem. As we all know, this region has never been kind to invaders - has always been a hotbed of religious warfare. Seeing this through 12th century eyes is an interesting experience, particularly since the broad brush strokes of it all seem so very modern in their own way. It is as if the Crusades have never really ended and no one has learned anything from them.Richard proves himself an almost invincible battle commander, charismatic, and pragmatic - opening discussions between himself and Saladin trying for a long-term peace over the ignominy of capturing Jerusalem only to see it lost again when he and the rest of the Crusaders returned home.This is a wonderful and entertaining read, illuminating a time in history most of us know little about. As always Ms. Penman's writing and storytelling skills carry the day and will carry you through to end - leaving you craving more.
BrokenTeepee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So much is known about Richard the Lionheart. Even people who don't know much about history have at least heard about him. He is a true legend. Yet in this magnificent novel Ms. Penman manages to make him both bigger than life and ordinary man. Richard ascends to the throne of England upon the death of his father, Henry II. His mother is Eleanor of Aquitaine and he had spent most of his life in her domain thinking he would be ruling there. He never expected to be King of England. He had "taken the cross" and found himself on the third crusade right after he was crowned King. He was unmarried and his heir was his youngest brother John whom he really did not trust. Smart man.Richard was a soldier through and through. He was a brilliant battle commander and strategist. He and Phillipe Capet of France were joining forces to go on the crusade together but neither man liked nor trusted one another.The book is a history lover's dream, full of detail and life created from the records left by peoples long dead. Fortunately with Richard there are records from both sides - those that hated him and those that revered him so a somewhat true picture of the man can be formulated. So often with historical records only one side is left to tell the tale.This is not a book for someone looking for a fast, light read. This is a book for someone who wants to truly immerse themselves in time and place. There are a lot of characters from a number of countries to keep straight - this is sometimes a challenge but they are important to the telling. I have never been disappointed in a book from Ms. Penman, in fact I look forward to each one with a passion.Lionheart tells only half of Richard's story; the rest will be told in the sequel - A King's Ransom. So my waiting begins. I first discovered Ms. Penman's books in the '80ies with The Sunne in Splendour and drove my husband crazy for every time we went to a book store I had to look for the next book and when it wasn't there I was crushed. This was, of course, before the internet became so ever present.So if you love history and you want a deep, involving book pick up Lionheart. You will not be disappointed.
DevourerOfBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In her latest work of epic historical fiction, Lionheart, Sharon Kay Penman explores the reign of Richard I, Richard Coeur de Lion. In particular, Penman focuses on Richard as Crusader-King.Penman is a true master of historical fiction. There is a lot of repetition in the story of the Third Crusade, falling back, advancing, gaining cities and losing them again, Richard riding out with seeming disregard for his personal safety. And yet, Lionheart is a book I didn¿t want to stop reading, despite its being 600 pages long. Penman¿s strength is in bringing her historical characters vividly to life, without changing their stories or personalities for dramatic effect.Part of what makes Lionheart so compelling is Penman¿s narrator, using the third personal intimate voice, switching not only between Richard and some of his men, but also between his sister Joanna and his wife Berengaria. The women and their retinue ¿ unconventionally following the men on the Crusade, as did Joanna and Richard¿s mother Eleanor when she was married to the French king ¿ lent some relief what might have otherwise been a bleak and seemingly endless campaign, bringing humanity to the proceedings in Richard¿s camp.Lionheart is another extremely strong showing from Sharon Kay Penman, and a fascinating look at Richard the Lionheart, Crusader King. The only real negative to reading something by Penman is that it reminds you that she has so many other fabulous (but long!) books that you haven¿t read it, thereby stalling your entire TBR list. Highly recommended.
EllenLEkstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bad son, bad king, bad husband, but hey, he was a medieval rockstar! Richard I of England was the epitomy of the crusader and medieval superman. Penman once again brings us a sympathetic (and annoying) hero in her story of Richard, the first of two books. This story begins in the Kingdom of Sicily and ends with Richard leaving the Holy Land after the Third Crusade. I would have given this book five stars, but it got repetitious - unusual for one of Peman's books. I still recommend it.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Sharon Kay Penman's historical novels. They are so thoroughly researched and so well-written. The historical characters seem to come right off the page into your own life as you read. I have always loved the legend of Richard I (Richard the Lionheart), and was thrilled when i saw this book come out. Ms. Penman does her usual masterful job of depicting this larger-than-life warrior king. This is the first book of his remarkable attempts at the infamous Third Crusade. Ms. Penman is going to do another novel of the rest of his life after he leaves the holy land after the third crusade. This book has a lot medieval warfare in it, and it is depicted so realistically with all its gore and bloodshed. It was a book that I just couldn't put down. It swept me right into the latter years of the 12 century, and it was always difficult to leave that world and come back to this one when I did put the book down. I can't wait now for "The King's Ransom" where we will get to see the later years of Richard's life.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I got my copy of Lionheart in the mail, I screamed with excitement. I knew immediately the package held this book, due to the size of the package (and the notice that it was coming, of course), and I could barely open the package because my hands were shaking so much.When I settled down to lose myself in the story of King Richard, I was immediately reminded of just why I love Sharon Kay Penman¿s writing. Intricately detailed, filled with rich characters, human characters ¿ people that make you feel as if you are being introduced to them and they are friends that you can take away with you after you say goodbye. And on top of all of that, I knew that the education I was receiving would be information that was well-researched and presented fairly. One of my favorite parts of this book, actually, was the Authors Note at the end, in which Sharon describes how she felt toward Richard while writing Here be Dragons and how her opinion has been altered in writing this book.This book is history made fun. While my favorite of her books is, and will always be, Here be Dragons, Lionheart satisfied me and reminded me of just why I love historical fiction. Don¿t give me flimsy, romantic stories ¿ give me stories like this, filled with rich meat and potatoes of information and characters that are so alive they leap off the page.This is a story to read. If you purchase one book for your historical fiction loving friends and family (or yourself!) this holiday season, make this one it. You won¿t regret it.
klaidlaw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I couldn't believe my good fortune when I was notified that I had "won" this book in the Early Reviewers program. I have been awaiting it since I first heard it was in the writing process. The place to start reading this book is at the end--in the author's notes. Ms. Penman (who I have to admit early on is one of my favorite historical fiction authors) shows why this book is not only interesting as a read, but is important from a historical research perspective. The author had always been dismissive of Richard until she began researching for Lionheart. What she discovered, helped her peel back the myth of Richard and provide a look at the historical figure based on solid research in primary resources. That is one of the things that sets Ms. Penman above so many historical fiction writers. She is true to history and does not rely merely on secondary sources for her facts. To say that I like this book is a serious understatement, and I look forward to the second half. For a person she dismissed as uninteresting, weak, and vain, she has painted a magnificent portrait of a man of his age. There is a reason he earned the name Lionheart, and this book shares his exploits in the Holy Land to show why. He was a consummate military leader, a great negotiator, and a lousy husband. What more could you want for an interesting story. Sharon saved the best for last in her series of novels about the Angevin rulers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago