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The Land Beyond the Sea

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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.
Balian d'Ibelin

Kindle Edition
Published January 23rd 2020 by Macmillan
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Vibeke There is one fairly explicit scene between a husband and wife, which I skimmed over. Another scene comes close, while anything else is merely…moreThere is one fairly explicit scene between a husband and wife, which I skimmed over. Another scene comes close, while anything else is merely suggestive.(less)

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Roman Clodia
"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
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As someone who has been reading, loving, and re-reading Sharon Kay Penman's novels for over 20 years, I was thrilled to be granted access to an advance reader copy via Edelweiss. The Land Beyond the Sea did not disappoint! Penman brings the historical figures of twelfth century Jerusalem and its surrounding lands vividly to life, and creates plenty of complex, often at-odds heroes and heroines to root for over the course of this epic, standalone novel. I highly recommend this book to readers of ...more
Mar 04, 2020 marked it as to-avoid
Despite the hyper-glowing early reviews for this, a sensible reviewer here on Goodreads pointed out this novel has issues bound to bother me a lot. And considering that I'm not interested in the Crusades and wanted to read this only because it's Penman, I'm a bit sad that this is going to be the first Penman novel I'm not going to read since I first met her...

A pity. Maybe we'll meet again if and when she goes back to the Plantagenets/Medieval England.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my style of book - my favourite period in history - characters I am well familiar with - an author whose works I love. What more could I want!
Sep 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
5* When Christ and His Saints Slept (Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine #1)
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)
Susan Johnson
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
I have two new heroes- King Baldwin and Sir Bilian. They ran the Earth in 1172 in the Middle East. They kept the Muslims at bay from the Holy Lands and protected the Christian relics. They were remarkable men and the story was based on the excellent historical research done by the author. There are times when the book read as non-fiction because the details were so authentic and real. Not that I would know. I knew less than nothing about this time in this setting.

Baldwin became King as an
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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
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Penmans latest historical novel is set in 1172 in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. When his father dies, thirteen-year-old Baldwin ascends the throne. During his election to become the titular leader of the kingdom, it is revealed that he could have leprosy. The nobles ignored that because the alternative candidates were both girls. Baldwins first order of business was the defeat of Saladin who had sworn a blood oath to take back Jerusalem from the infidels.

This book has it all drama, tragedy, war,
Cel Jel
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of the Kingdom of Jerusalem under the rule of Baldwin the Leper and the subsequent Kings until the loss to Saladin. Sharon has yet once more written a story that takes the reader back to the past and gets the reader hooked on a character and hoping things travel well for him. Balian d'Ibelin is an interesting character for the action to be created around, but is a good choice because he was involved in so many of the important battles.
If you like historical fiction - read this book.
Karma♥Bites ^.~
Could it really happen? *holds breath*

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
Joy Matteson
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sharon Kay Penman strikes again! I can't get over this author's attention to detail combined with breathless storytelling. They just don't make historical fiction like this anymore. Every character, from the leper King Baldwin to Lord Balian and Archbishop William, just fly off the page. Penman takes the time to capture both the Muslim leader Saladin and his amirs' perspectives as well as the Franks, which brings the Crusader era into a fresh retelling for 21st century readers. Recommended for ...more
Barb in Maryland
Wowza! Ms Penman scores again. No author is better at breathing life into historical figures.

Right now I'm suffering from a good book hangover. I may have more to say later.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What can I say...of course its GREAT!

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 -
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was delighted to obtain an ARC from Edelweiss of Sharon Kay Penman's long awaited novel on Outremer, or the Kingdom of Jerusalem. This "Land Beyond the Sea"began to be settled in 1099 with the First Crusade.

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
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it

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
Susan DeLong
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Land Beyond the Sea.
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
3.5 stars is more accurate. As someone who reads more historical fiction than any other genre and has, for many years, considered Sharon Kay Penman the best of the best -- you can imagine how much I was looking forward to THE LAND BEYOND THE SEA - her first novel in about five years. And it's a tome - nearly 700 pages of very small type. But, alas, I came away disappointed.

The novel begins in 1163, focusing on all the events that culminated in the pivotal Christian vs. Saracen battle over the
Jeannie Zelos
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it
The Land Beyond the Sea, Sharon Penman

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
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderfully dense narrative from Penman, this one completely set in the Kingdom of Outremer, the kingdom of the Holy Land originally won in the First Crusade and ruled since by a High Council and an "elected" highborn King. But things change in an instant in this land - there is constant war with the Saracens, and accidents and disease, and few men make it to old age, few boys make it to adulthood, and few heirs live to inherit. Politics is a ferocious game, winner take all, or perhaps ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
Courage is not a lack of fear, lad. It is overcoming fear.

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
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A story of faith, courage, love and perseverance set during the crusades when the fight for the Holy Land was never ending. The newly crowned King Of Jerusalem Baldwin IV embodies the unyielding heroic leader that is so desperately needed during these uncertain times but unfortunately he suffers from a constant battle within himself that he is doomed to loose. Diagnosed at a young age as having leprosy, Baldwin and his people know that his time as king is fleeting fast. More troubling is the ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction based in the ancient and medieval worlds is what I love, so this was a must read. Recently I've read quiet a lot about the crusades and found I have a good interest in the period so I really enjoyed this book. The action was descriptive and well written, like I was there. The story was intriguing and kept me page turning untill the early hours of the morning when I should of been asleep! Excellent work and I hope to read more from Sharon as I thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you, ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was incredible

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
An advanced copy of this title was generously provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley.

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
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another fabulous book by Sharon Penman. I am in awe of the amount of research that goes into her books. She brings characters to life, and while taking fictional license to tell the story, she is true to the history - dates, times, places and recorded conversations/events.

While familiar with the Crusades and some stories of Outremer, this story gave me a much greater understanding of the place, people and times.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a big fan of the Crusade era but I liked this epic and gripping story.
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.
Sue Bluntish
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous historical fiction

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.
As with all of Penman's books, I found myself completely immersed in a world and history in which I previously had little interest or knowledge. In this case, it is the kingdom of Jerusalem in the time leading up to the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin. Everything was so wonderfully detailed that I could easily feel like part of the action. Balian was a great character and provided a good anchor to the story, especially since there were so many characters. I loved the addition of Saladin's ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Land Beyond the Sea is historical storytelling at its best - rich in detail - interesting characters and long enough to disappear into.

I won an ARC from Goodreads and Putnam for my honest review.
Daniel Shindler
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is magnificent. Sharon Kay Penman brings to life a fascinating period of history. Her dialogue is crisp and the book is well paced. In the afterword, she makes a credible argument for her historical interpretations. She brings to life a group of historical figures who could make the Plantagenets seem peaceful.
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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

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