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.
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Giveaway dates: Jan 07 - Jan 21, 2020
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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 ...more
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
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
The characters, both fictional and culled from history are very interesting. I learned about a period of time I knew little about.
Readers of historical fiction will not be able to put this book down. This is a curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea kind of book.
Thank you NetGalley and publisher for this book.
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
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