Suzanne's Reviews > The Sunne in Splendour

The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman
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Jul 07, 14

bookshelves: favorites, historical-fiction
Read in November, 2010

It’s no secret that Sharon Kay Penman is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction. She is well-researched and Penman makes history come alive in a way that the textbooks could never do. I have read this book before and like my earlier reading, I loved it.

This is the story of England’s King Richard III. The battle that begins the book sets the stage for this family’s (the Yorkists) takeover of the crown from the House of Lancaster. Ultimately, Richard’s father and brother, Edmund are killed. Richard and his older brother, Ned escape to Belgium. Eventually, they gain the support they need to wage another war and succeed in placing Ned upon the throne as King Edward IV.

In this book, Richard is portrayed as a good guy, contrary to most history about him, which was written by his conqueror’s historians, that conqueror being Henry Tudor (King Henry VII).

Treason abounds in this true story and it’s the one thing that still has me questioning. (view spoiler)

When Richard becomes King after Ned dies (view spoiler)

One thing truly doomed Richard. (view spoiler)

So – with all these questions, it makes me want to learn more, and that’s always good. I plan to watch a few movies about Richard III (albeit he will be portrayed according to the Tudor history). I’d also like to read something about Henry VII, in order to get that perspective.

Ultimately, Henry Tudor proved to be smart and ruthless. He killed everyone who might have a claim to the English crown, and thus peace reigned in the kingdom until his son’s (King Henry VIII) death.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Hal (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hal You've gone a bit too far with the spoilers. I'm rereading it so it doesn't bother me, but others haven't.


Suzanne Hal wrote: "You've gone a bit too far with the spoilers. I'm rereading it so it doesn't bother me, but others haven't."

You're right, Hal. This was one of my earlier reviews and had I written this today, I would have used the spoiler alert. I've gone back and inserted them where appropriate. Thanks for letting me know.


message 3: by Hal (last edited Jul 07, 2014 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hal I will add, though, I did enjoy your review, and I wasn't intending to be snarky with my comment. I'm really enjoying reading the revised edition. If you haven't read "When Christ and His Angels Slept," you'll want to put that on your list. Take care.


Suzanne Thank you, Hal. Yes, I've read When Christ and His Saints Slept and enjoyed that as well! I've just gotten my hands on A King's Ransom (which is the sequel to Lionheart), and hope to get to that this summer. As you can tell, I'm a big fan of Sharon Kay Penman!


message 5: by Hal (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hal "Ransom" is terrific. I gobbled it up as soon as it came out. As far as I'm concerned SKH's work is the gold standard for medieval historical fiction. I really haven't been able to really get into her mysteries though. Glad to see you caught my error (Saints not Angels). I don't know why but I've done that several times.


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