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LionHeart (Plantagenets #4)

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4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  4,839 Ratings  ·  584 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
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Paperback, 577 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Macmillan (first published January 1st 2011)
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Kelley Billings You can, but I found it much more enjoyable and interesting getting the history of Richard beforehand.
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Community Reviews

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Misfit
Feb 23, 2011 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Penmenians (Penman fans)
Over the years I have tried several different novels that focused on the Lionheart whilst he was on crusade, yet none of them really managed to engage me (although they did make for good sleeping pills). I’d about given up hope on ever finding one that would hold my interest until word came that Sharon Kay Penman was planning to continue her Angevin series with a book on Richard and I was dancing with joy – if anyone could do it, the fabulous Sharon Penman could. Was I bored?

No, I was not.

I thin
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Terri
Dec 04, 2013 Terri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What rating does one give a book that was not only not read to the end, but was only read to 60 pages? Only on special occasions do I actually give a rating to a book if I have not made it to around 100 pages - or in the case of a book the size of this brick - roughly 250 pages.
This is one of those special occasions. I learned enough about this book in those 60 pages to write a 10 page review. But I won't of course. That would be beyond excessive and more than a little obsessive.

I am writing thi
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Althea Ann
A quote from Carlos Ruiz Zafón: "I think you have to be careful with research in fiction. I believe the best way to use it is to learn a lot yourself about what you're going to write, and then don't really use more than 1% of all the research you've done, at least visibly. ... the effective way to use research in fiction is to internalize it and embed its essence in the narrative fabric of the tale. Information only works in fiction when it plays a dramatic role. Often you read novels in which t ...more
Ellen Ekstrom
Jan 18, 2012 Ellen Ekstrom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bad Son, Bad King, Bad Husband, but Medieval Rockstar...

Sharon Kay Penman continues her saga of the most dysfunctional family of the twelfth century, the Plantagenets, with this first of two books about Richard, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s third son, who later became known by his nickname, Lionheart. In fact, he’s the only English monarch not known by his reignal number. If you said “Lionheart” to someone today, they would probably know you were talking about King Richard the First of En
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Debbie
Feb 22, 2012 Debbie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Here's the problem with historical fiction - the fiction part has to ring true and be as interesting as the historical part. It doesn't with this book. I know it got great reviews and I really wanted to like it but I just lost interest. Partly it was because of some of the inane conversations that the author made up between characters (the fiction part of the story) - for example.. the author could have Richard and Berengaria discuss anything from fabric swatches for one of his many palaces to p ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 03, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Love Historically Accurate Historical Fiction
Penman is one of my favorite novelists, so I was happy when I won a free advanced copy of this novel, to be published in October, from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's program. 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 Lion ...more
Stephanie
Mar 28, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed all of Sharon's books, but this one ranks up there with Sunne in Splendor in terms of completely resetting my opinion of a person from history. I started the book being indifferent to Richard. I grudgingly had to admit, chapter by chapter, that he began to grow on me. By the end he really had endeared himself to me.

As with all of Sharon's books, the characters are classic Penman -- luring you into their world where you see them as more than just figures from history, but living, b
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Patricia Bracewell
There is no question that Ms. Penman is a remarkable writer who has taken a huge task on her shoulders in writing this book. LIONHEART is written on a huge canvas. It does not cover a great span of time, but the number of characters is staggering, especially for someone, like me, listening to the audiobook, without the advantage of being able to flip back to earlier chapters to remind myself how this archbishop or that noble connected with earlier events.

The omniscient viewpoint gives us a spra
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Deborah Pickstone
This final pair of novels about the Plantagenets by Sharon Penman are definitely her best novels. They feature excellent storytelling, well crafted writing and truly impressive historical research. She has managed to remove Richard from his one-dimensional appearance as a gung-ho warrior of little apparent ability in the realm of statesmanship and repackages him as a much more subtle and complex man while retaining and verifying the heroic warrior as actually far more impressive than even the le ...more
Rio (Lynne)
Where to start? As soon as I started this hardback I was hooked. Sadly, my shifts at work required driving in Los Angeles rush hour twice a day (4 hrs a day) leaving no free reading time. My solution, buy the audiobook. I loved it and realized just how bad I had been slaughtering pronunciations ;) When I look back to review this, there was so much history, many characters and lots of battle scenes. I enjoyed Penman's intense research and chuckled at her comment about trying to not make it too Ho ...more
Iset
Feb 25, 2011 Iset rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone

If the truth be told, I begin to run out of words for my reviews of Sharon Penman’s novels. Without a doubt, the publication of Lionheart was the most anticipated event of my literary year, and I can hardly convey my impatience as I waited to get my hands on a copy. One of the best things about the publication of a new Sharon Penman novel is that feeling of security which creates even higher anticipation – the consistency of her level of writing over the years has built up a real store of trust
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Samantha
This is another one of those books that requires a star-level breakdown review. I adore Sharon Kay Penman and really wanted to love this book 5-star all the way, but after rereading it over the past couple of weeks I have to admit that it just doesn't captivate me like her other books.

5-star qualities:
The settings. Nobody can make the reader feel like they are in medieval France, Sicily, Cyprus, or Outremer like SKP. I could picture Richard standing at the prow of his galley with the sunset blaz
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Krista Baetiong Tungol
Today, April 6, 2016 (we're hours ahead on the time zone), mark the 817th death anniversary of Richard I of England, famously known as the “Lionheart” for his legendary military skills and daring exploits. I am reposting my review on the book Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman, which I read last year. :-)

One word that can justifiably illustrate King Richard I, and that Sharon Kay Penman has used in this book thrice: bravura. Indeed, he was never short of audacity, always leading his men to the front
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Lori Anderson
Oct 11, 2011 Lori Anderson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
I want to caveat my Three Star rating by saying I adore Sharon Kay Penman. I pre-ordered this book and interrupted what I was currently reading (an unheard of thing for me!) to start "Lionheart". While I wasn't sorry I did that, and wasn't at ALL sorry I read this book, to me, it wasn't like her others.


Richard the Lionheart is a noteworthy, larger-than-life person in history I was dying to learn more about. This particular book covers the crusades, another section of history I didn't know much a
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Alicja
Dec 01, 2013 Alicja marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
I gave up on page 77. It is not a badly written book and it is very historically accurate but... gah, the first 77 pages of marriage and babies instead of war and crusades (as I assumed when I picked it up) boooored me to death to a point that I couldn't even force myself to the promised "it gets better later" part. If you are looking for the women's POV and their concerns regarding marrying the right noble and popping out sons then this is the book for you. If like me you think there will be go ...more
Susan
Oct 16, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't enjoy reading about battles, but that's unavoidable when reading a novel about Richard I (Lionheart) during the Third Crusade. Of course, I knew that Sharon Kay Penman would be able to able to draw me into her novel with her exquisite writing and her always impeccable research. Her writing makes Richard seem as alive today as he was back in 1192. Sharon, I can't wait to read more about Richard in "A King's Ransom." I join your many other readers who are eagerly awaiting that book ...more
Rick Slane
Unless you are into the Crusades this probably is not for you. This covers Richard from the beginning of his reign up until his departure from the "Holy Land".
Paula Lofting
It has taken me awhile to get to grips with how I will write this review. I guess I should start by saying that I have always in the past enjoyed this author's books but for some reason, this book did not have the same wow factor I got when I read the others. This could be for a number of reasons; one being that since I have started writing myself, I have a more discerning eye, or I have simply out grown Ms Penman's style and lean more towards the rather more masculine re-telling of history rath ...more
Laura
Aug 01, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Sharon Kay Penman's books since I read Here be Dragons many years ago. To this day it remains one of my most favorite books. I was thrilled to win a copy of her latest book.

Richard I, the Lionheart, was a legend in his own time. Son of Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine, he was part of a legendary family. Lionheart picks up right after his coronation as he is preparing to honor his vow to free the Holy Land from the Saracens. The book covers the journey to the Holy Land, hi
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Michele
Ever since I tried to read Holland's Jerusalem, I've been afraid to pick up another novel that tackles a crusade. (Yes, that experience scarred me for life.) But any novel by Sharon Kay Penman is too tempting to resist, so I dove into her newest book, Lionheart. I was NOT disappointed. (Of course, Penman never disappoints, that's why we love her.) Lionheart is the first of a two-part series about the life of King Richard I. Largely known to history as the King who left on crusade and never came ...more
Anna Pearce
Aug 07, 2012 Anna Pearce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Summary of Book: Richard the Lionheart, son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, goes on Crusade. There is strife. Richard is the bravest man to ever brave. Richard does not manage to win because the French are treacherous. Richard is sad, and returns to England. Since this is a very long book, that's a very short summary. There's lots in the middle.

Summary of my feelings reading this book: Interesting! Interesting! Ooh, that's probably not accurate. Interesting! Oh look, the wars are starting.
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Elysium
4,5 stars

I have to admit I’ve never tried to read a book about Richard whilst he was on crusade. I feared it would be boring but it certainly wasn’t. I confess I had a crush on him in Devil’s Brood so I was so excited that this book came out.

Have to feel sorry for Berengaria though, even if the marriage started well. They were so ill-matched that I’m surprised it started that well at all. Sometimes opposites attract and all that but sometimes it’s just too different.

I really liked Joanna and how
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Robin
http://historicalreadings.blogspot.co...

Goodreads Giveaway.

Yet another brilliant novel from SKP. Part of what I really liked about this one was that it was set in in the Mediterranean/Middle East, which was a refreshing change from the areas SKP usually writes in (mostly England, Wales, and France).

As usual, the characters are what make it shine but I am also amazed that SKP manages to make the battle scenes just as interesting to me since I’m not big into military history. Penman really shows
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Maudie
Jun 24, 2011 Maudie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After spending my summer with Richard I, I must say that I rather enjoyed the visit. I also must convey my belief that, at the moment, the medieval world has no greater friend than Sharon Kay Penman. Her research into, her understanding and her sympathy for the realm of the Angevins remains boundless.

However, 'Lionheart' is not my favorite Penman book. 'The Sunne in Splendor' and her unmatchable trilogy of the Welsh princes hold those spots and offered, for me, a meatier and more filling feast o
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Suzanne
Historical fiction doesn’t get any better than this. I had to admit, when I heard this book was about King Richard the Lionheart’s crusade to wrest Jerusalem from the Saracens, I was skeptical as to how good this book could possibly be. I pictured nothing but boredom, marches and battles, with a lot of killing and maiming thrown in. What I found when I actually read the novel, was an amazing tale of heroism, political intrigue, back-stabbing, and yes, marches and battles with a lot of killing an ...more
Þorrbjórn
I have to confess. I was quite swayed by the rather alluring cover artwork and design into buying this book.

There's enough material here to easily fill two books - six-hundred pages of minute 8pt text - though sadly, while being undeniably articulately well written, is a very sterile and not at all invigorating telling of Richard I's life.

There is only the most base minimum attempt at covering the numerous battles the Lionheart took part in, seemingly preferring far more to obsess about the neu
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Nancy
Nov 04, 2011 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was ok. I find this time period quite interesting, but am no expert on it.

The problem I have is keeping everyone straight. Everyone is someone's cousin, brother, uncle, sister, in law, sometimes two or three times over. Befuddles the brain sometimes. I would have preferred a family tree in the front, rather than just a list. And with so many similar names, I was confused.

Also, my medieval times geography/place names is a little rusty as well. So a journey from here to there doesn't really m
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Susan
Aug 01, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite periods in English history is from the reigns of Henry II through Richard, John and Henry III. Lionheart is a wonderfully readable and meticulously researched historical novel set in that time, the middle ages, and beginning after the death of Henry II. Richard the Lionheart takes the English throne and sets off immediately after his coronation to the Holy Land as a crusader. The author combines a detailed picture of day-to-day life in the medieval world with the historical pa ...more
Rebecca Huston
If you have ever been curious about what Richard the Lionheart did in the Third Crusade, this is one for you. Forget everything else you've read before, this one goes in new directions and a much more complex -- and interesting -- King Richard emerges; the two female lead characters, Joanna and Berengaria, are full complete characters as well, which is a refreshing change. While a very small part of the book bothered me, I had a great time with this one, and could scarcely put it down after it a ...more
Caitlin
Jan 01, 2012 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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 ...more
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Penman received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she majored in history, and also received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law, and later worked as a tax lawyer. Penman suffered from an eighteen month bout with mononucleosis.

The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Nov
...more
More about Sharon Kay Penman...

Other Books in the Series

Plantagenets (5 books)
  • When Christ and His Saints Slept  (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1)
  • Time and Chance (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #2)
  • Devil's Brood  (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #3)
  • A King's Ransom (Plantagenets #5)

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“He would never be able to emulate Richard's last gesture of defiance--gallant, glorious, and quite mad.” 2 likes
“Forget the threat of Hell's infernal flames. The true torture would condemn a man to wait and wait and wait - for an eternity” 1 likes
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