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(Plantagenets #4)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  5,784 ratings  ·  644 reviews
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 parents, much was expected of them.
But the eldest-charming yet mercurial-would turn on his father and, like his brother Geoffrey, meet an early death. When Henry died, Richard would take the throne
Hardcover, 594 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 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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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  5,784 ratings  ·  644 reviews

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Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.

Dec 04, 2013 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
Althea Ann
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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,
Ellen Ekstrom
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
B the BookAddict
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Goodreads
Shelves: hist-fiction
Ms Penman - take a bow! 4.5 ...more
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
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 ...more
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
Jeremy Forsyth
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved Lionheart and cannot wait to get my hands on A King's Ransom but Sharon Penman's Sunne in Splendour is still my favorite.
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 ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! A fascinating book, impeccably researched, which tells of a King I did not previously know much about apart from the well known historical facts. Sharon has brought Richard to life for me as a person. I highly recommend it!
Richard, the Lionheart. Whatever positive or negative images come to mind; the name is epic, nevertheless. One can only imagine the pride this lion would feel knowing his legacy still stands hundreds of years later. Sharon Kay Penman has followed Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Henry, and their children over the span of several novels and adds to the saga with, “Lionheart”.

“Lionheart” steers in a slightly different direction than Penman’s previous novels in the saga by focusing namely on Richard and
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
Lori Anderson
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
Dec 01, 2013 marked it as abandoned
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 ...more
This tale encompasses a wide cast of characters centered on the Crusades and Richard the Lionheart.
It's a great overview of the period IMO though for people who don't like long historical tales this will drag in certain parts.

The voice narrator does an awesome job with the many voices. Part of the appeal.

MY GRADE: B minus to B.
Rick Slane
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
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".
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I could not put this book down! Ms Penman, my fair lady, you are a new favorite!
Helena Schrader
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-ages
Penman is a first-class historical novelist, whose novels are always based on meticulous research. She excels at biographical novels, as her debut novel The Sunne in Splendour, a brilliant, nuanced and plausible portrayal of Richard III, demonstrated.

In “Lionheart” she tackles a character less controversial than the last Plantagenet, but one who has become lost behind the legend or the “brand.” Almost everyone, as Penman points out in her “Author’s Note,” has heard of Richard the Lionhearted,
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 ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Anna Pearce
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have finally finished. I really enjoyed this book and Sharon Kay Penman is the master of medieval historical fiction. It turned on its head many misconstrued ideas I had in relation to Richard the Lionheart. I like him a lot more now. I love how tactical and strategic he was. Being an Angevin no doubt helped this. After all with Eleanor Aquitaine as a mother you had to have some diplomacy skills.

The book centres around Richard's involvement in the Third Crusade to Outremer and what a journey
Novel of Richard the Lionheart and his war in the Holy Land. I ended up reading into the early hours of the morning and I don't regret a second of it. It is well told ( although the book has some voids) and obviously based on good research.

We see Richard from a multiplicity of views, although rarely his own (The book has many characters and events, conspiracies and twists. Penman provides a detailed author's note which provides a little more background on the historical facts).He is very much a
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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.

The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Novel Society's list of best historical novels. In 1996, following

Other books in the series

Plantagenets (5 books)
  • When Christ and His Saints Slept  (Henry II and 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)
“Forget the threat of Hell's infernal flames. The true torture would condemn a man to wait and wait and wait - for an eternity” 3 likes
“He would never be able to emulate Richard's last gesture of defiance--gallant, glorious, and quite mad.” 2 likes
More quotes…