- Sharon Kay Penman is my favorite historical fiction writer – hands down.
I also recommend:
- Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Summary from GoodReads:
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 and, almost immediately, set off for the Holy Land. This was the Third Crusade, and it would be characterized by internecine warfare among the Christians and extraordinary campaigns against the Saracens. And, back in England, by the conniving of Richard’s youngest brother, John, to steal his crown.
When I got my copy of Lionheart in the mail, I screamed with excitement. I knew immediately the package held this book, due to the size of the package (and the notice that it was coming, of course), and I could barely open the package because my hands were shaking so much.
When I settled down to lose myself in the story of King Richard, I was immediately reminded of just why I love Sharon Kay Penman’s writing. Intricately detailed, filled with rich characters, human characters – people that make you feel as if you are being introduced to them and they are friends that you can take away with you after you say goodbye. And on top of all of that, I knew that the education I was receiving would be information that was well-researched and presented fairly. One of my favorite parts of this book, actually, was the Authors Note at the end, in which Sharon describes how she felt toward Richard while writing Here be Dragons and how her opinion has been altered in writing this book.
This book is history made fun. While my favorite of her books is, and will always be, Here be Dragons, Lionheart satisfied me and reminded me of just why I love historical fiction. Don’t give me flimsy, romantic stories – give me stories like this, filled with rich meat and potatoes of information and characters that are so alive they leap off the page.
This is a story to read. If you purchase one book for your historical fiction loving friends and family (or yourself!) this holiday season, make this one it. You won’t regret it.
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