Feb 23, 15
Read from April 14, 2012 to February 23, 2015
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 of medieval royalty and their "doings and undoings" than Richard I.
I felt in Richard a lack of romance with life. Henry II had an abundance of it and, my goodness, take a look at Llewelyn Fawr sometime. I'm not speaking only of Llewelyn's love of Joan, but of his romance with Wales and his way of embracing life and all that life entails...country, people, morals and ideals. I believe Llewelyn and Henry were committed completely to the whole of what their reigns entailed. When England bled, Henry II bled. When Wales bled, so did Llewelyn. Henry was England. Llewelyn was Wales.
I thought the Lionheart more narrow of view and a bit selfish in his concept of kingship, if truth be told. I look forward to the next book in this series and await the second half of Richard's story.
Four stars out of five ain't too shabby for a novel. However, when my copy of 'Lionheart' arrived in my mail box, I did so want it to be five.