From the Bookshelf of European Royalty

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April 15, 2012
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May 15, 2012
European Royalty Group Reads

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What Members Thought

This is a follow-on to Penman's excellent trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine: it picks up Richard the Lionheart's story right after Henry's death. As the eldest surviving son, Richard assumes the throne but immediately goes off on the Third Crusade, leaving his younger brother John home to make mischief.

Penman tells a great story, and this is a riveting account of Richard's crusading adventures. It doesn't always feel like a novel, exactly, because the pacing is at the mercy of actu...more
This is an excellent read about Richard I, and just as Sharon Kay Penman changed forever the image of Richard III in Sunne in Splendor, here too she gives us a more personal look at Richard the Lionheart. I learned many things about Richard I that I had no idea about before this book and he has become an entirely different man and king than the image created by others. I can't wait to read A King's Ramson, and learn even more about this man.
Maybe a 4 on the SKP scale, but compared to anyone but herself an easy 5. It won't be the first of her books I push into people's hands, but it was an excellent portrayal of the Crusades and a layered look at the Lionheart. Excellent read.
Sara W
Another great novel by SKP, and I can't wait for the next installment on Richard! I don't think I've read a book that focused on the Crusades before, so this was a great one to start with.
This may be my least favorite SKP novel. It was very informative and true to its sources, but it almost would have been better as a biography, rather than a work of fiction. I just didn't feel like we got to know any of the fascinating cast of peripheral characters and connect to them the way we do in other books. Loved Berengaria, but didn't get to know her well enough throughout the second half of the book.

Ultimately, I felt like this book wasn't as enjoyable to read as many of her other book...more
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