Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction discussion

170 views
Looking For a Book About.. > I want to read a book by Sharon Kay Penman

Comments (showing 1-50 of 50) (50 new)    post a comment »
dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited May 12, 2012 09:32PM) (new)

I want to read something written by Sharon Kay Penman. I'd thought to try The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman
[bookr:The Sunne in Splendour|119829],
since I'm a Ricardian by inclination (for all that Nicolas, the first Wilder, was a German mercenary who came in the train of the Earl of Richmond (Henry VII). But fair is fair. She has other books that sound very good. I'm surprised I neve read her work.

So what do you suggest? The high middle ages is familiar to me (as much as it can be), and I'm comfortable with my familiarity with the actors and the causes.

Any suggestions? She sounds like a fabulous writer.


message 2: by happy (new)


message 3: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments I can't recommend anything, as I have never read her, but I often get Here be Dragons recommended to me.
Here be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1) by Sharon Kay Penman


message 4: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Bryan | 304 comments happy wrote: "I really liked When Christ and His Saints Slept."

I just bought this one, haven't started reading it yet though.


message 5: by Dawn, A mari usque ad mare (new)

Dawn (CaveatLector) | 4529 comments Crystal wrote: "happy wrote: "I really liked When Christ and His Saints Slept."

I just bought this one, haven't started reading it yet though."


I just bought this one too and I'm about halfway through. I'm not really thrilled with it though I love the time in history and I want to know more.


message 6: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Romancy?


message 7: by Dawn, A mari usque ad mare (new)

Dawn (CaveatLector) | 4529 comments Actually not really but there is alot of personal life issues and not enough time spent on the battles. I think alot of it is that I hate the character of Maud though. Just can't stand her and I'm having a problem with the chopped up story. There are these paragraphs in the middle of the story that are small bits of real history and then the tale begins again and while I like the history......it's messing with the flow for me.


message 8: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments This doesn't sound good. I might think about taking it off my tbr. Perhaps if I was ever going to try Penman this may not be the ideal choice.


message 9: by Dawn, A mari usque ad mare (new)

Dawn (CaveatLector) | 4529 comments Not one I would recommend for you Terri. Has potential though so it might be worth trying out another one of hers.


message 10: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Okay, I am adding Sunne in Splendor and taking out the other one.

Even though, I don't actually live on the Sunshine Coast. :) It is about an hour away and we go there for play and shopping and libraries.


message 11: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Williams (Darlene_Williams) happy wrote: "I really liked When Christ and His Saints Slept."

That is in my top ten books ever. It was my introduction to Sharon Kay Penman. I've been a devoted fan ever since.


message 12: by Darlene (last edited Jun 27, 2012 07:27AM) (new)

Darlene Williams (Darlene_Williams) Terri wrote: "Romancy?"

Absolutely not. While there are relationships (when does the human race ever not have relationships), the focus is history-driven.


message 13: by Dawn, A mari usque ad mare (new)

Dawn (CaveatLector) | 4529 comments Welcome to the threads Darlene. :)
It's nice to see someone from my area of the world.


message 14: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Williams (Darlene_Williams) Dawn wrote: "Welcome to the threads Darlene. :)
It's nice to see someone from my area of the world."


Same here. Whereabouts are you?


message 15: by Dawn, A mari usque ad mare (new)

Dawn (CaveatLector) | 4529 comments I'm in Chilliwack. :)


message 16: by Helena (new)

Helena Schrader Diana wrote: "I want to read something written by Sharon Kay Penman. I'd thought to try The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman
[bookr:The Sunne in Splendour|119829],
since I'm a Ricardian by inclination (for all t..."


"The Sunne in Splendour" is a superb book! It is one of the best pieces of historical fiction I've ever read -- and I'm an addict. Penman's research is impeccable, but her approach is biographical, starting with Richard as a small boy. Her portrayal of Richard's relationship with his charismatic older brother, Edward -- critical to understanding later developments -- is nothing short of brilliant. There are a host of minor characters, each beautifully drawn, believable and useful to the overall story. While some of Penman's later books, "Here be Dragons" and "Falls the Shadow" are also great reads, I would by all means start with "The Sunne in Splendour." You will not be disappointed!

Helena P. Schrader


message 17: by Linda (new)

Linda (ladylawyer8650) | 1352 comments I dislike using my book budget on books that sound good in the reviews but are not good. I took a chance on WHEN CHRIST AND THE SAINTS SLEPT and found an excellent author. I had no qualms in buying two more of her books. THE SUNNE IN SPLENDOR touched me ways theretofore unknown to me. Readers sometimes have two or more books going simultaneously. It is best to read to avoid that when reading her books.


message 18: by Helena (new)

Helena Schrader I think "The Sunne in Splendor" is Penman's best, but I also like "Here Be Dragons" and "Falls the Shadow."


message 19: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Bryan | 304 comments I quite enjoyed When Christ and his Saints Slept. I will also be reading some more of her work. So glad this group led me to her!


message 20: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Williams (Darlene_Williams) If people are truly interested in Richard, Penman's latest Lionheart is devoted to Richard. It is the first of 2 featuring him. Loved the book.


message 21: by Allie (new)

Allie | 948 comments Dont forget that When Christ and His Saints Slept  (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1) by Sharon Kay Penman and Here be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1) by Sharon Kay Penman are parts of trilogies. So if you're going to read one, make sure its the first one first lol. The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman can be read alone though. And its very good!


message 22: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Thanks Allie. :)


message 23: by Rick (new)

Rick | 16 comments For me, all of her books are fantastic reading. Once you start you may find you can’t get enough. I started with here be Dragons and was hooked. Good advice to find the first in the trilogy.


message 24: by Helene (new)

Helene Dsouza (masalaherb) | 1 comments Terri wrote: "I can't recommend anything, as I have never read her, but I often get Here be Dragons recommended to me.
Here be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1) by Sharon Kay Penman"



Agreed, the Welsh trilogy, starting with "Here be Dragon" is superb!


message 25: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Thanks Helene for the extra feedback. :-)


message 26: by Robin (last edited Nov 03, 2012 03:45AM) (new)

Robin (ukamerican) Darlene wrote: "Terri wrote: "Romancy?"

Absolutely not. While there are relationships (when does the human race ever not have relationships), the focus is history-driven."


I felt Here Be Dragon was a bit romancy because the focus was very much on Joanna and Llywelyn's marriage for much of the book. But I still wouldn't consider SKP a "romance novelist" by any means. Generally, her work is more literary in my opinion.


message 27: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments No, she definitely isn't classed as a romance novelist, just a historical fiction author with female related themes which include romance.


message 28: by Lois (new)

Lois | 1 comments All of her books are excellent. My favorite is Lipnheart and Devils Brood.


message 29: by Kati (new)

Kati | 2 comments I really liked Here be Dragons too!


message 30: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments The author seems very popular with the ladies. :-)


message 31: by Nate (new)

Nate | 408 comments I like her from what I've read. I'm gonna start with When Christ and His Saints Slept and just go forward chronologically from there if I like it. Terri, for some reason the Penman controversy has been swirling around you lately :)


message 32: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Lol. Its tall poppy syndrome mate. :D


message 33: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments I just realised that Americans may not be familiar with Tall Poppy Syndrome.
Here it is defined.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_pop...


message 34: by Nate (new)

Nate | 408 comments Ah, I see. So basically you sit high upon your throne looking down at us Penman-liking peasants as we toil in the muck, eh?


message 35: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (MargyW) | 1846 comments I like her historical mysteries, which, alas, she hasn't written enough of.


message 36: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Dec 02, 2012 12:32PM) (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Nate wrote: "Ah, I see. So basically you sit high upon your throne looking down at us Penman-liking peasants as we toil in the muck, eh?"

No, no. I respect Penman. She's not for me, but I respect that she is a good writer.
The thing with Tall Poppy Syndrome is that the tall poppy isn't actually doing anything wrong...it is just others like to cut down tall poppies.

(For those who don't know what this refers to. And why would you. :-) It happened elsewhere on GR. It doesn't refer to anyones post here..it refers to someone who jumped into a convo between Nate and I with the sole intention to insult me because I was saying the books are more popular with women than men..
But then this man had done the same thing to me many months ago on another book, a book I loved...and I think he has it in for me..:-) ...).


message 37: by Bryn (last edited Dec 02, 2012 12:36PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 1508 comments Yes, Tall Poppy is a nasty thing that means we can't allow people to rise above the average level. If they do we cut them down. It meant you can't be an artist here or an intellectual. -- It's the mean side of egalitarianism.


message 38: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Dec 02, 2012 12:52PM) (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Standing out from the crowd sure can bring you the wrong attention,


message 39: by Simona (new)

Simona | 1121 comments seguite i pochi...non la volgar gente.
Said Mr Petrarca, poet.
Meaning, follow the few, not the common people.


message 40: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Simona showing some culture there. :-)

Great quote.


message 41: by Ishita (new)

Ishita | 2 comments Sunne in Splendor, hands down is one of the best book I have read. As a Ricardian, it is sort of a bible to me. But I am Confidant that anyone who likes historical fiction will love this book. I even got my husband to read it. Believe me it was no easy feat to get him interested to read a book. And now he is a Ricardian convert!


message 42: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Smith | 17 comments I love these posts! So now I know what "Tall Poppy Syndrome" is. LOL. I have the Sunne in Splendor and When Christ and His Saints Slept on order at the library--I've spent so much money on disappointing (to me) books in the past that now I first get them at the library. I lean toward biographies and nonfiction such as Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror   The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman, so I prefer that my fiction be well-researched and realistic. Recently discovered Bernard Cornwell through this group and enjoy him very much, although the format of his Grail series seems to follow a pattern --battle, other stuff, battle--that made me restless. I read one of his sources, Juliet Barker's Agincourt  Henry V and the Battle That Made England by Juliet Barker and enjoyed her just as much as I enjoyed BC. Mostly I enjoy realism, good writing, and character-driven stories, as long as they're not what Terri calls "romancy." So thanks everyone!


message 43: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Elaine wrote: "I love these posts! So now I know what "Tall Poppy Syndrome" is. LOL. I have the Sunne in Splendor and When Christ and His Saints Slept on order at the library--I've spent so much money on disappoi..."

Hey you are welcome! :-) As you know, I am so pleased you are finding books via the group. That is terrific.

I just love the cover of that Agincourt non Fiction. It is one of my favourite Non Fiction covers. It is on my tbr too.
Agincourt  Henry V and the Battle That Made England by Juliet Barker


message 44: by happy (last edited Feb 14, 2013 02:41AM) (new)

happy (happyone) | 1345 comments Elaine wrote: "I love these posts! So now I know what "Tall Poppy Syndrome" is. LOL. I have the Sunne in Splendor and When Christ and His Saints Slept on order at the library--I've spent so much money on disappoi..."

I really like Barkers Agincourt
I have her follow on
Conquest by Juliet Barker
on my night stand. Now I just have to get to it. Since I joined GR's the TBR list nevers seems to get shorter :D


message 45: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments And it never will, happy, it never will.


message 46: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Smith | 17 comments happy wrote: "Elaine wrote: "I love these posts! So now I know what "Tall Poppy Syndrome" is. LOL. I have the Sunne in Splendor and When Christ and His Saints Slept on order at the library--I've spent so much mo..."

LOL. Isn't that the truth! And then there's the reviewing, which I'm so far behind I feel guilty even posting here, as it's taking time away from other writing--but obviously not guilty enough to stop.;-)


message 47: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments I was so far behind on my reviewing that in January I made myself sit down and catch up. I think there is only one I still have to do...that was from about August last year. :-)


message 48: by Darcy, Praefectus Castrorum (new)

Darcy (drokka) | 2524 comments I'm making myself do some on Monday as it's a bank holiday here. Hopefully, I'll get the bulk of them done.


message 49: by J.D. (new)

J.D. (Thunderhorse) | 9 comments Hi all! I have just started reading "When Christ and his Saints Slept" and am loving it. I am just becoming really acquainted with the key characters and they are all I expect them to be. Sharon Kay Penman is a great writer, using language of the day and she carries you into that world in a provocative way. My husband read it a couple of years ago, I went looking through his bookshelves, saw it and immediately remembered I wanted to read it. I have just finished "An Elegant Madness" High Society in Regency England by Venetia Murray. It's in the near modern era, but a fantastic read. Going to read: "A Treasury of Royal Scandals" The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, Emperors (National Bestseller)
by Michael Farquhar. These two are not fiction, but if you love to learn what really went on in those days and places, you'll love these! May I enter into a discussion of "When Christ and his...." at some time? Thanks for this group.


message 50: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 16532 comments Hi J.D,
Could you please add a link to book or author when posting? It is one of the rules we have around here if the book or author has not been mentioned in the last 4 posts.
Here are the instructions on how to do it.
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...


back to top