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Lionheart (Plantagenets #4; Richard the Lionheart #1)
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Monthly Group Reads > DECEMBER 2013 (Group Read 2) Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

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message 1: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 30, 2013 07:45PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments This is the December Discussion Thread for the group read of Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman


Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

“The great Crusader king Richard the Lionheart comes alive in all his complex splendor in this masterpiece of medieval tapestry.”—Margaret George

A.D. 1189. After the death of his father, Henry II, and the early demise of two of his brothers, Richard is crowned King of England and immediately sets off for the Holy Land. This is the Third Crusade, marked by internecine warfare among the Christians and extraordinary campaigns against the Saracens. Richard’s surviving brother, the younger John, is left behind—and conspires with the French king to steal his brother’s throne. Only their mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, now freed from decades of captivity, remains to protect Richard’s interests and secure his destiny.

In this engrossing saga, Sharon Kay Penman delivers a novel of passion, intrigue, battle, and deceit. Lionheart is a sweeping tale of a heroic figure—feared by his enemies and beloved by those he commanded—who became a legend in his own lifetime.

“[Sharon Kay] Penman displays her usual grasp of sweeping historical events as well as an uncanny ability to get inside the hearts and minds of her real-life characters. Her reputation for character-driven, solidly detailed historicals is richly deserved.”—Booklist

“The beautifully described settings and the characters’ interactions are simply outstanding.”—The Historical Novels Review

“Penman takes historical writing to a whole new level.”—The Sacramento Bee

“[A] gritty, unsentimental, and richly detailed epic.”—Publishers Weekly





Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments Mine arrived today.
Lionheart by Sharon Penman
Not a bad cover -- I like the gritty storm-sky. Instead of blood we have grit splashed over this cover. And he has a dirty face.


message 3: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Is his face as odd in the flesh as it looks online?

I am about to reserve my copy of this book. they only have the old cover.
Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman


message 4: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Correction. I have now reserved it. :)


Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments Um, no? Depends what's odd to you, me girl. I thought it very thin at first, but that's the grime on his cheek, makes him hollow-cheeked.


message 6: by Portia (new)

Portia My copy has the lion rampant flag against a mottled cream colored background. I think that is because it was published in the US. The page count is the same, so all is well.


message 7: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Bryn wrote: "Um, no? Depends what's odd to you, me girl. I thought it very thin at first, but that's the grime on his cheek, makes him hollow-cheeked."

yes that's what I thought too. That the face was too thin. :)


message 8: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Portia wrote: "My copy has the lion rampant flag against a mottled cream colored background. I think that is because it was published in the US. The page count is the same, so all is well."

This one Portia?

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman


message 9: by Portia (new)

Portia Yes. Time to ask for advice. I had trouble finding a different book for a different group this past weekend and another member found it immediately.

Advice requested and warmly appreciated, please.


message 10: by Bryn (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments Mine's UK, and I notice has just 'Sharon Penman'. Page count 594, so I'll be slightly out on page numbers.


message 11: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Portia wrote: "Yes. Time to ask for advice. I had trouble finding a different book for a different group this past weekend and another member found it immediately.

Advice requested and warmly appreciated, please."


Do you mean a different cover, Portia?


message 12: by Portia (new)

Portia HA! It was hiding under the "other editions" link. Sneaky little book cover! :P


message 13: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments If you mean a different cover...

When you search for a book with the add book/author feature and you get results. Under the cover that comes up in results you will see in small type the words 'other editions'.
You click on that and look through all the editions to find the one you mean.


message 14: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Oh..I see you found it before I posted my advice. :)


message 15: by Nate (new) - added it

Nate | 416 comments I'm excited! Now I have a good excuse to buy this :) I can't remember if this is the first Penman the group is reading or not.


message 16: by Portia (new)

Portia Terri wrote: "Oh..I see you found it before I posted my advice. :)"

Terri, thanks. I know I'll need advice again soon on something else and I'll be sure to check with you.

Best from
Portia (or Portis, as 'twere)


message 17: by Bryn (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments I'm betting it is the 1st. Glad you're aboard, hardened Penman fan. :)


message 18: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5212 comments Nate wrote: "I'm excited! Now I have a good excuse to buy this :) I can't remember if this is the first Penman the group is reading or not."

It is the first one to win but not the first in a poll. When Christ and His Saints Slept (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1) by Sharon Kay Penman lost to The Road to Jerusalem (The Crusades Trilogy, #1) by Jan Guillou in September.


message 19: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5212 comments Portia wrote: "Terri, thanks. I know I'll need advice again soon on something else and I'll be sure to check with you.

Best from
Portia (or ..."


Definitely ask anytime, someone in the group will answer on just about anything when it comes to making GR's work. :)


message 20: by Portia (new)

Portia Good to know. Thank you, too, Dawn.


message 21: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Portia wrote: "
Terri, thanks. I know I'll need advice again soon on something else and I'll be sure to check with you.

Best from
Portia (or ..."



Ask away. Here to help. :D


message 22: by Jarrod (new)

Jarrod Dunham (thehistoryphile) | 65 comments I picked up my copy from the library early so that I was sure to have it to start on the 1st. I have this strange feeling that I started this book a couple of years ago but returned it unfinished. I can't for the life of me remember why though. Must be getting old. :)


message 23: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5212 comments Jarrod wrote: "Must be getting old. :)..."

Aren't we all. :)


The Idle Woman (theidlewoman) I'll be really interested to hear what people think of this. I finished it just recently (having already started it I couldn't quite hold off!). For me, it wasn't the Penman I enjoyed most, but it's still a great setting. Enjoy, everyone!


message 25: by Alicja (new) - added it

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 657 comments Does it matter that this is considered the 4th book in a series that I haven't read the first three?


message 26: by Darcy (new) - added it

Darcy (drokka) | 2675 comments It's the 4th book in the Plantagenet series but also the first book in the Richard the Lionheart series which is kind of a series within a series.
Sort of like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is something like the 7 or 10th book in one series, but the first in a trilogy.

I think this series can stand on it's own, but also fits within the larger Plantagenet framework.
Having said that, I've not read the book, but I suspect that Terri did the research and decided the others need not have been read, as she's not typically keen on using anything other than the first of a series for the group reads.


Eileen Iciek | 544 comments Jarrod wrote: "I picked up my copy from the library early so that I was sure to have it to start on the 1st. I have this strange feeling that I started this book a couple of years ago but returned it unfinished. ..."

I started it and almost stopped myself, but soldiered on and enjoyed it, even though it wasn't my favorite SKP. The book was thoroughly researched and there were some fascinating historical characters who have not made it into the pages of other novels, it never seemed to quite explain Richard himself.


message 28: by happy (last edited Nov 23, 2013 11:58PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

happy (happyone) | 2716 comments Leander wrote: "I'll be really interested to hear what people think of this. I finished it just recently (having already started it I couldn't quite hold off!). For me, it wasn't the Penman I enjoyed most, but it'..."

I enjoyed it, but it isn't my favorite Penman title. I would put it in the middle of the pack. l read it when it first came out, so my memory is kind of fuzzy, as my daughters say, "old age, you know: :)


happy (happyone) | 2716 comments Alicja wrote: "Does it matter that this is considered the 4th book in a series that I haven't read the first three?"

No, it can be read as a stand alone, at least until the second volume comes out :)


Samantha (samanthajw) | 66 comments I read this when it first came out, so it will be nice to go through it again. It really is more the 1st of her Richard books than the the 4th in the Plantagenet series. At least I've always thought of them separately. I honestly enjoyed the earlier trilogy more.


message 31: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 24, 2013 08:26PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Yes, Darcy is spot on. :) I did my research first.

Lionheart is a series within a series.

The first three books in the series are a series of their own called 'Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine'
This is it: https://www.goodreads.com/series/4668...

Lionheart is the beginnings of the second series within the series.
The first being Lionheart, the sequel to Lionheart being
A King's Ransom A King's Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman


message 32: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 24, 2013 08:33PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Doing my research on Penman books before putting Lionheart into the Medieval Poll. I eliminated When Christ and His Saints Slept (the first in the Plantagenet series) because it had been in a previous poll and lost.
I then had to choose between the Welsh series and Lionheart. In the end Lionheart won out over the other because it ticked more boxes. Penman readers get a Penman group read. And Lionheart, as a well known figure in history, is of great interest to those who don't care who the author is.


message 33: by Brian (new) - added it

Brian Sharples (thegryphon) I'm thinking about reading this one for the group read, but I noticed that it is the 4th in a series (Plantagents #4). Should I read the first 3 in the series first or does it matter?


message 34: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark | 1879 comments Brian wrote: "I'm thinking about reading this one for the group read, but I noticed that it is the 4th in a series (Plantagents #4). Should I read the first 3 in the series first or does it matter?"

I dont think its matters brian, Terri wouldnt pick a book where we need to read 2 others before we start lion heart.


message 35: by Brian (new) - added it

Brian Sharples (thegryphon) Mark wrote: "Brian wrote: "I'm thinking about reading this one for the group read, but I noticed that it is the 4th in a series (Plantagents #4). Should I read the first 3 in the series first or does it matter..."

Good point! Thanks!


Eileen Iciek | 544 comments Brian wrote: "I'm thinking about reading this one for the group read, but I noticed that it is the 4th in a series (Plantagents #4). Should I read the first 3 in the series first or does it matter?"

No need, this book can be read stand alone. It helps to know a bit about the early Plantagenets, though.


Daniel (dward526) | 290 comments on hold at my library, I will be picking it up this weekend


message 38: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Hi Brian,
Check out message 31 in this thread. Another member asked the same question and I answered it there. :)

Mark is right. I always pick #1 in a series for the group read polls.
If I ever pick a book that is not #1 it is because it is #1 of a series within a series.


message 39: by Brian (new) - added it

Brian Sharples (thegryphon) Terri wrote: "Hi Brian,
Check out message 31 in this thread. Another member asked the same question and I answered it there. :)

Mark is right. I always pick #1 in a series for the group read polls.
If I ever ..."


Thanks Terri. I was pretty sure this wouldn't start in the middle of a series, but just wanted to check. I'm one of those people that prefers to start at #1. And since this is the first of a series within a series, that's just fine. :)


message 40: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 26, 2013 08:16PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments I am the same. I only ever start at #1. If I don't there has to be a very good reason for it. For example: The Last of the Mohicans
Number twi, but stands alone and apparently the first one is pretty awful. (although I came to regard Last of the Mohicans as pretty awful too once I read it) ;)


message 41: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments My library is messing me around with this book. They have five copies, two of which are showing as Available.
My reserve has been on it for a week and a half and still neither of those 'available' copies are being moved to my library. They should have been there for me to pick up a week ago.

If they have found that those are missing copies then they should have changed them off Available to Missing.

It looks as though I won't get a copy moved to my library until a copy is returned. One was due to be returned on the 29tt, November.
They have not returned it on time....:\


Eileen Iciek | 544 comments Terri wrote: "My library is messing me around with this book. They have five copies, two of which are showing as Available.
My reserve has been on it for a week and a half and still neither of those 'available' ..."


I hate it when that happens! I've had a book reserved for months, and been #2 on the waiting list for most of that time. Did the book just fall down some rabbit hole or something? Are there people out there so rich they can afford to pay months' worth of late fees? Boggles the mind.


message 43: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments What really bugs me is that I have been sitting there first in line for a week and a half and nobody has bothered to change the two 'available' ones to missing on their database. Then at least I would know what was going on and wait for someone to return one.
My library system is great, but when it comes to that sort of thing they are no good.


message 44: by Alicja (new) - added it

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 657 comments Sorry you are having library problems Terri. :(

I just went to the library today to pick mine up and they handed me a brick! I did not realize it was that huge and had such tiny little text inside. The librarian laughed because with it I also picked up Two Boys Kissing, which is a tiny YA novel so they looked really odd next to each other.


message 45: by Bryn (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 1505 comments I just opened mine. The type is tiny!
Too tiny for comfort I fear.


message 46: by Alicja (new) - added it

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 657 comments Bryn wrote: "I just opened mine. The type is tiny!
Too tiny for comfort I fear."


I know! 600 huge pages with tiny print... it is intimidating.


message 47: by Portia (new)

Portia Hi, Terri,

This probably won't help but you aren't the only one getting started later. I am finishing up one of those "things I said I'd do but shouldn't have" and will be 36 hours behind Australia time in starting.


message 48: by Nate (new) - added it

Nate | 416 comments Penman is one of my favorite brick makers :)


message 49: by Alicja (new) - added it

Alicja (darkwingduckie7) | 657 comments Nate wrote: "Penman is one of my favorite brick makers :)"

I hope you're right! Never read her before but seeing as we'll be spending a lot of time together over the next few weeks I hope we get along well.

I am counting down until midnight so I can add it to my currently-reading list. :P


message 50: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri | 19571 comments Bricks scare me. Some a worth the time, but so many are bricks because the author waffles or doesn't get properly edited.

The talk of 600 pages of tiny text has me trembling in my boots. And not in a good way.


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