The Land Beyond the Sea
1172. The Kingdom of Jerusalem, also known as 'Outremer', the land beyond the sea. Outremer was a young realm, one baptized in blood when the men of the First Crusade captured Jerusalem from the Saracens in 1099. Those crusaders who stayed had to adapt to an utterly new world, a land of blazing heat and exotic customs and enemies who were also neighbors.
"Agnes de Courtenay is surely the greatest bitch in all of Christendom!"
I'm a fan of Penman's meticulous, detailed historical fiction but have to admit that this is one of my least favourite of her books. Partly my disappointment is with the meandering narrative, more of which later, and partly with the less than stellar writing, not what I expect from Penman at all.
There are constant jarring moments when people in the twelfth century Kingdom of Jerusalem suddenly say things as if they're ...more
A pity. Maybe we'll meet again if and when she goes back to the Plantagenets/Medieval England.
4* Time and Chance (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #2)
5* Devil's Brood (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #3)
4* Lionheart (Plantagenets #4)
TR A King's Ransom (Plantagenets #5)
5* Here Be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1)
5* Falls the Shadow (Welsh Princes, #2)
4* The Reckoning (Welsh Princes, #3)
3* The Queen's Man (Justin de Quincy, #1)
4* Cruel as the Grave (Justin de Quincy, #2)
TR Dragon's Lair (Justin de Quincy, #3)
Baldwin became King as an ...more
For my full review, please visit my blog.
Many people are at least a little familiar with the Crusades, Richard the Lionheart, and Saladin. Far fewer, I would wager, know about the life of Balian of Ibelin, a Frankish lord born in the Levant. Penman tells his story in The Land Beyond the Sea. The timespan of the novel is actually fairly short, beginning when Balian is a young man. Penman takes readers on a journey among the Poulain, the people born in the Levant and descended ...more
This book has it all drama, tragedy, war, ...more
If you like historical fiction - read this book.
Opening sentences from excerpt:
It was a great destiny to be a queen, but it was not an easy one. Maria Comnena had been only thirteen when she was wed to the King of Jerusalem, a man almost twenty years older than she, a man who spoke not a word of her Greek while she spoke not a word of his native French. Even religion had not been a bond between them, for he followed the Latin Church of Rome and she had been raised in the Greek Orthodox faith.
And then ...more
Anyone who knows me, knows I adore Sharon Kay Penman and that she wrote my favourite book in the whole wide world leading to me setting up her Australian fan club. So its probably not a big surprise that I love her new book!
Set in the Middle East between the crusades, it tells the lives of those who lived in the Holy Land and fought to hold control against the power of Saladin. Sharons gifts are ability to find the human in her characters and her research - ...more
A very fine historical representation of an era and point in time very different from what was happening in France, Normandy and England at that time. Baldwin IV , who has been called the "Leper King" was son of the King of Jerusalem Amalric I, and was educated by William, Archbishop of ...more
What a relief it is to read a good book after a string of bad and mediocre ones. Getting drawn in to Sharon Penmans latest book, The Land Beyond the Sea, was so easy. It was something I could relax into and let sweep me away on its adventure. Thats the power of a consistently high-quality author. Such authors are rare in my experience, but should you find one, they will reliably deliver to you time and again.
The downside of a consistent author is that as a reviewer you have little new to say, or ...more
Author Sharon Penman
Reviewed by Susan DeLong.
We all have heard about the Crusaders, who under the Christian cross sailed to the Holy Land to do battle and win control from the Muslim Saracens in 1099. Richard the Lionheart was probably the most famous of these knights.
Now the time is 1172. Many of the original crusaders decided to stay in the Holy Land where they created the Kingdom of Jerusalem, also known as Outremer- the land beyond the sea.
Seeking revenge and ...more
The novel begins in 1163, focusing on all the events that culminated in the pivotal Christian vs. Saracen battle over the ...more
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction
Its years since I read a Sharon Penman novel, so I was really looking forward to this one. Sadly though, it didn't grip me the way some of her earlier novels did. Its possible that my tastes have changed, but I think its more likely that this book, with its focus on Outremer, just didn't draw me in as much as the books set around the UK, with figures from history I'm ...more
The Kingdom of Jerusalem, Outremer, the land beyond the sea. Many of us know some of the history of the Crusades, especially stories of the Third Crusade with Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. This novel set earlier than the Third Crusade, opens in 1172, just 73 years after the First Crusade captured Jerusalem from the Saracens.
Two men are central to this novel: King Baldwin IV (The Leper King) and Balian dIbelin, one of the Poulain ...more
Penman has a real ability to bring the past to life. To make people and events from 100s of years ago feel so real and recent. I felt like I was reading about current affairs not those of the past
Its interesting finding out about new people from the past, people and events I had no idea about and seeing how these events carried through history. I felt the anguish of the Franks as they lost everything. Felt real frustration with some of the characters for how boneheaded ...more
Sharon Kay Penman is one of my favorite authors. I am so appreciative of her ability to craft an intriguing and interesting story while staying true to the historical details. This takes a tremendous amount of research and creativity to piece together what we know occurred centuries ago and then fill in the blanks with plausible details and insights.
The majority of the book takes place during the reign ...more
While familiar with the Crusades and some stories of Outremer, this story gave me a much greater understanding of the place, people and times.
I think it was quite well researched and the characters were well developed and interesting.
It's one of those book full of action and emotions that keeps you hooked.
It's the first one I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Im a huge fan of all Sharon Penmans books, as she has an exceptional talent of gathering all the historical facts known about a time in history and its people, then bringing them to life in in her telling of their tale The Land Beyond The Sea shows her talent at its best, fascinating from beginning to end. ...more
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 ...more