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A King's Ransom

From the New York Times bestselling author of Lionheart comes the dramatic seuel telling A King's eBook #225 of the last dangerous years of Richard Coeur de Lion’s life   This long anticipated seuel to the national bestseller Lionheart is a vivid and heart wrenching story of the last event filled years in the life of Richard Coeur de Lion Tak. Wow What a ride Sharon Kay Penman has done it again She has made a 700 page book seem short She has transported me to the 12th century and made me feel like I belong there She has made me cry over the deaths of people I know to be long deadI will admit Lionheart was my least favorite of Penman s books though it was still amazing by most standards With the addition of A King s Ransom it s getting difficult to rank her books because I want to place them all on top I expected this book to be informative knowing the author s tendency to research the smallest details and make her novels as close to real life as possible I didn t expect to be so emotionally invested I didn t expect to cry through the last 100 pages Let me tell you knowing the time place and cause of a person s death does not prepare you for watching them die The reader is placed at the bedside along with the mourners except we have modern medicine in our back pocket and aren t allowed to administer itPenman masterfully takes the reader through Richard s highs and lows until you become as devoted to him as his men at arms He is arrogant witty reckless and magnetic unless of course you are the French king In that case Richard is the prime example of everything you will never be And you hate him for itThe animosity between Richard and Philippe that began in Lionheart is back in Ransom with a cruel vengeance Parts of Richard s story had me wishing that I could pick up a sword and go fight for him myself Remember I had to keep telling myself this happened over 800 years ago There is nothing you can do to stop it Still you may say no no no as you read it just as I didPenman once again creates scenes and characters that are varied rich in detail and completely believable Joanna Richard s sister is sort of a female version of Richard and is the source of most of the romance in this book Berengaria his unfortunate ueen could not be poorly suited to him and it is easy to feel pity for her while still adoring him John the infamous brother is always sneaking around the edges of the story and does his patience ever pay off Then there is Eleanor Has anyone had a remarkable life than Eleanor of Auitaine And to think she spent 16 years doing nothing while in captivity In Ransom she is than a devoted mother but clearly also the one who taught Richard his skill in statecraft So many others the cast of characters is huge but Penman handles them all with such skill that they are easy to keep track of especially since some of them are friends from past booksRichard s story from leaving the Holy Land until his death is certainly action packed but it is also emotional The what ifs you will ask yourself while reading this can get daunting They certainly must have been so to Richard as he lay dying His story combined with Penman s prose and I could have uoted something noteworthy on almost every pageI laughed I cried ok then I cried some I highly recommend this book to well everyone Biogenealogy is a vivid and heart wrenching story of the last event filled years Sobre el anarquismo (Biblioteca de Divulgación Anarquista in the life of Richard Coeur de Lion Tak. Wow What a ride Sharon Kay Penman has done ABOUT ANARCHISM it again She has made a 700 page book seem short She has transported me to the 12th century and made me feel like I belong there She has made me cry over the deaths of people I know to be long deadI will admit Lionheart was my least favorite of Penman s books though Absolute Trust (Renegade, it s getting difficult to rank her books because I want to place them all on top I expected this book to be La isla de la calavera informative knowing the author s tendency to research the smallest details and make her novels as close to real life as possible I didn t expect to be so emotionally Paleontology and Paleoenvironments invested I didn t expect to cry through the last 100 pages Let me tell you knowing the time place and cause of a person s death does not prepare you for watching them die The reader The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance in our back pocket and aren t allowed to administer Prayer For Little Things itPenman masterfully takes the reader through Richard s highs and lows until you become as devoted to him as his men at arms He A Treatise on Time and Space is arrogant witty reckless and magnetic unless of course you are the French king In that case Richard The White Lantern is the prime example of everything you will never be And you hate him for Kingsbane (Empirium, itThe animosity between Richard and Philippe that began Learning To Dance in Lionheart ¡Dilly-ding, dilly-dong!: Leicester City, el triunfo más improbable de la historia del fútbol inglés in Ransom with a cruel vengeance Parts of Richard s story had me wishing that I could pick up a sword and go fight for him myself Remember I had to keep telling myself this happened over 800 years ago There La locura de saltar contigo is nothing you can do to stop The Five Chinese Brothers it Still you may say no no no as you read The Future Aint What It Used to Be it just as I didPenman once again creates scenes and characters that are varied rich Roomies in detail and completely believable Joanna Richard s sister Adventures of Superman Vol. 3 is sort of a female version of Richard and Virgin Wanted is the source of most of the romance Lie With Me it No Feelings Involved is easy to feel pity for her while still adoring him John the El libro de sinAzucar.org infamous brother One Wore Blue (Cameron Saga: Civil War Trilogy, is always sneaking around the edges of the story and does his patience ever pay off Then there Size Matters is Eleanor Has anyone had a remarkable life than Eleanor of Auitaine And to think she spent 16 years doing nothing while ¡Oh, lorem ipsum! in captivity In Ransom she On the Edge (Dublin Nights, is than a devoted mother but clearly also the one who taught Richard his skill Snakewood in statecraft So many others the cast of characters 88 Poems is huge but Penman handles them all with such skill that they are easy to keep track of especially since some of them are friends from past booksRichard s story from leaving the Holy Land until his death Relatos íntimos is certainly action packed but The Sea Devil: The Adventures of Count Felix Von Luckner, the Last Raider Under Sail it The Ultimate Resource is also emotional The what The Chronicles of Little Nicholas ifs you will ask yourself while reading this can get daunting They certainly must have been so to Richard as he lay dying His story combined with Penman s prose and I could have uoted something noteworthy on almost every pageI laughed I cried ok then I cried some I highly recommend this book to well everyone

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R the five years remaining to him betrayals intrigues wars and illness were ever present So were his infidelities perhaps a pattern set by his father’s faithlessness to Eleanor But the courage compassion and intelligence of this warrior king became the stuff of legend and A King’s Ransom brings the man and his world fully and powerfully aliv. I believe Sharon Key Penman could write an exhaustively detailed history of the making of brown paper bags and manage to make it a thrilling roller coaster ride of a story I have read every single one of her books at least twice and still find myself racing through each one to see what happens next That same feeling was with me throughout this entire book Like most of us I grew up with an idealized view of Richard the Lionheart that was fostered by Robin Hood and Evil King John legends The prior book Lionheart shattered those myths in no uncertain terms for me but with this book she introduced me to a Richard I had no idea ever existed For some reason my history lessons always ended with Richard making his miraculous return to England in time to thwart the evil brother John I had no idea that he went on for an incredible few years of fighting battles in France with such panache nor that he was so clever at manipulating diplomatically to get what he desired The section where he defended himself in front of the Holy Roman Emperor gave me goose bumps when I read it Her recounting of his death from such an unlucky aimed arrow in the shoulder was a complete shock to me as I read this even though I vaguely knew that was how he died Penman s historical research and attention to detail are impeccable but it is her ability to breath life and believable emotion into her characters that we all thought we knew that is the joy of reading her novels for me While I am sorry to see her wrapping up this Angevin thread of history I find myself eagerly looking forward to what she tackles next I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book but I would willingly have paid for my copy without thinking twice about it The Academy intrigues wars and Full Dark, No Stars illness were ever present So were his If Only Once (The Martelli Brothers, infidelities perhaps a pattern set by his father’s faithlessness to Eleanor But the courage compassion and 1000 sitios que ver en España al menos una vez en la vida intelligence of this warrior king became the stuff of legend and A King’s Ransom brings the man and his world fully and powerfully aliv. I believe Sharon Key Penman could write an exhaustively detailed history of the making of brown paper bags and manage to make La ética de la crueldad it a thrilling roller coaster ride of a story I have read every single one of her books at least twice and still find myself racing through each one to see what happens next That same feeling was with me throughout this entire book Like most of us I grew up with an 3052 idealized view of Richard the Lionheart that was fostered by Robin Hood and Evil King John legends The prior book Lionheart shattered those myths Mercator introduced me to a Richard I had no Pasos perdidos en Granada idea ever existed For some reason my history lessons always ended with Richard making his miraculous return to England Suffering and no suffering in time to thwart the evil brother John I had no Can We Live 150 Years? idea that he went on for an The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears incredible few years of fighting battles Robs Shiny Dumptruck in France with such panache nor that he was so clever at manipulating diplomatically to get what he desired The section where he defended himself Business English in front of the Holy Roman Emperor gave me goose bumps when I read Mama Glow in the shoulder was a complete shock to me as I read this even though I vaguely knew that was how he died Penman s historical research and attention to detail are Fire in the Sky impeccable but olga spessivtzeva it ¡Que vengan cuando quieran! is her ability to breath life and believable emotion I Am Providence into her characters that we all thought we knew that An Unexpected Magick (The Draegan Lords, is the joy of reading her novels for me While I am sorry to see her wrapping up this Angevin thread of history I find myself eagerly looking forward to what she tackles next I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book but I would willingly have paid for my copy without thinking twice about The Weirdest Noob (The Weirdest Noob it

Sharon Kay Penman ↠ 7 read

En captive by the Holy Roman Emperor while en route home in violation of the papal decree protecting all crusaders he was to spend fifteen months chained in a dungeon while Eleanor of Auitaine moved heaven and earth to raise the exorbitant ransom But a further humiliation awaited him he was forced to kneel and swear fealty to his bitter enemy Fo. What a wonderful brilliant bookI have just torn through Sharon Penman s new release in three days flat the last of which I read the last full two thirds of the book 393 pages out of 685 total I feel exhausted How much greater a mammoth task must it have been to have written a novel as detailed as thoroughly researched and nuanced as this The term page turner is often applied to a good book these days but there are rare occasions when the term is inadeuate insufficient This is one of those times I haven t read like this since the day Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince was released and I spent a full ten hours reading the book cover to cover completely forgetting to take meals or bathroom breaks This goes beyond feeling eager to pick up the book and read just a few pages to feeling downright compelled to keep reading to the very end to find out what happens to characters we love and a plot that has us on the edges of our seats in the face of actual physical discomfort That s a rare thing to find in a bookI have to admit I only just held back the tears welling up towards the end of the book even though this time unlike with Devil s Brood and Here Be Dragons where I only had a vague idea of historical events I knew exactly what was coming I have to marvel at Sharon s capacity for writing tragic scenes for whether I ve foreknowledge or not they never fail to move me It s not just that those scenes are written in such a moving way of course but also that by the time we get to that point we already deeply care about what happens to these characters It s because Sharon takes the time and care over her characters throughout the book that as readers we identify with these admirable fallible complex human beings I often find it instructive to look to Sharon s work to discover how to write realistic authentic characters Thinking back over the characters of A King s Ransom I can t find fault with any of them From the main players through to the bit parts each seems nuanced and most importantly real Of course if I m going to admit to having favourites I couldn t help but back Richard all the way he of the shining Lionheart legend not to mention the shrewd Eleanor charismatic Joanna and sympathetic Berenguela but Sharon also won me round to Raimond of Toulouse and I can t help but think she s right in her Author s Note when she suggests that light needs to be shed on Raimond s life Undoubtedly I have said this before in my reviews of Sharon s previous novels but I truly cannot express enough what a relief it is to read historical fiction where characters are not all either whitewashed or blackened divided up into good guys and bad guys There s too much of it in historical fiction and I m so tired of it Simply put history is far too complex for such simplistic renderings Human beings are far too complex for such simplistic renderings Creating subtle three dimensional characters is so critical as a writer s skill It s the difference between me as a reader being swept away into the world you create or refusing to buy into it because the characters just aren t believable as real people I would actually go so far as to say it s the most important skill for an author Stories hinge on the charactersOf course there was much to the plot of A King s Ransom than the scenes I found moving There s adventure peril tension intrigue nadirs and zeniths even romance How can a book cross so many genres From a rollicking adventure to a thrilling intrigue to a touching romance Honestly I m not surprised History encompasses all human experience and Penman is a good enough author to realise that a good story has elements of many different genres over a good enough author to weave them together seamlessly The battles are as tense and brutal as the romance is stirring and poignant When reading historical fiction I often look for the author s weakness What do they avoid Do they skim over battle scenes Do they avoid heartfelt character exchanges Such books can be good naturally but I notice the lack and for me the very best stories are well rounded strong in every area A King s Ransom is one suchOne thing I have to draw attention to is the construction of the book It s obvious that careful planning and forethought went into A King s Ransom at every stage and this shows Not only does it show in the nuanced way the characters are built up but in the plot and pacing too Every single scene serves a purpose and advances the story Nothing is superfluous or extraneous This really contributes to the book s page turn ability for it keeps the pace and excitement going instead of letting the reader get bogged down in unnecessary fluff It even bleeds over into the descriptions I took note of some of the book s particularly well crafted descriptions because I liked how vividly they set the scene and created an atmosphere and ambience but I also liked how sparse and to the point they were Penman doesn t waffle on and on about the environment a character walks into before actually letting dialogue or action commence It s short sweet and then we re back in the action Judicious forethought helps make a great book It makes the plot and characters much focused in what they re doing and where they re going keeps the pacing tight and avoids meandering and boredom setting in for the readersPart of careful planning for a historical novel is of course research and accuracy What can I say here Everyone knows that Sharon Penman is thorough and meticulous about such things I have to agree with a comment Sharon makes in her Author s Note I feel cheated when I read a historical novel and then discover that the author has not included an Author s Note I like to know about the characters and events I ve been reading about where the author has stuck to the facts and where and why an author has changed them Perhaps I m in the minority but I love historical novels where the author sticks as close as possible to the known facts That might be the trained historian in me though as a history lover I pick up historical fiction hoping for a fully realised vision of what actually happened as accurate as possible for it s the closest we historians will ever come to the fantasy of time travel I m glad too that Sharon has continued to provide a brief bibliography for those of us wanting to know Other than saying I can t wait for the next book The Land Beyond the Sea I m going to sign off with a few uotes and my highest possible recommendation for A King s Ransom Thoroughly well written fantastically enjoyable The stone walls of the chapel had been recently whitewashed and in the soft candlelight they glowed like polished ivory During the daylight hours the sun turned the stained glass windowpanes into resplendent jewels now they gave off a muted shimmer an occasional flicker of emerald or ruby or royal purple The scent of incense hung in the air Eleanor found it a comforting aroma reminding her of the rich spices of Sicily and Poitou p121 By now the sky was darker than midnight stars glimmering like distant campfires in an alien world Eleanor gazed up at those pinpoint white lights hoping that her son was able to look upon them too on this tranuil spring evening When she thought of his time at Trifels shut away from the sun and sky and untainted air she felt a tightness in her chest a heaviness that would be with her until the day he regained his freedom And if he did not p 234 the men were telling Will about the latest offer by the French king that disputes be settled by a contest of champions five on each side But after Richard insisted that he and Philippe be two of the champions the French lost all interest in the idea p 436 10 out of 10


10 thoughts on “A King's Ransom

  1. says:

    I don't think it's any secret that I'm a huge Penman fan or Penmenian as Jerelyn has coined it and I was thrilled to spot this on the Vine newsletter and get an early shot at itThis is a difficult book to review since those who are familiar with Richard's history don't need another rehash and those fresh to the story don't need me spilling the beans And trust me there are plenty of surprises to be had even for those who

  2. says:

    Your Pride Will Be Your Undoing Lionheart A King's Ransom is the sweeping adventurous seuel to Lionheart a masterfully spun novel of the last seven years of Richard I's life 1192 1199 focusing on the period of his capture imprisonment and ransoming by Heinrich Hohenstaufen the Holy Roman Emperor It is a homeric epic that r

  3. says:

    Wow What a ride Sharon Kay Penman has done it again She has made a 700 page book seem short She has transported me to the 12th century and made me feel like I belong there She has made me cry over the deaths of people I know to be lo

  4. says:

    What a wonderful brilliant bookI have just torn through Sharon Penman’s new release in three days flat the last

  5. says:

    Penman’s epic novels about the lives of English royalty are much beloved by many—and with good reason Penman’s most recent novel completes her cycle about Richard the Lionhearted including both Lionheart and A King’s Ransom Penman’s novels engage in a kind of alchemy that’s worth analyzing in a review because you won’t be aware of it while you’re in the midst of reading That’s the point—she

  6. says:

    This is the first Sharon Kay Penman book I have read and I am simply astounded by it I have never read an author who packs so much history into

  7. says:

    I believe Sharon Key Penman could write an exhaustively detailed history of the making of brown paper bags and manage to make it a thrilling roller coaster ride of a story I have read every single one of her books at least twice and still find myself racing through each one to see what happens next That same feeling was with me thro

  8. says:

    It's a given that every time Sharon Kay Penman writes a new novel I'll preorder it and get my greedy mitts on it This one I was looking forward to in particular in that it was the follow up to her previous novel Lionheart which told the story of Richard the Lionheart's time in the Holy Land during the Third Crusade But many authors

  9. says:

    Sharon Kay Penman’s Plantagenet series concludes with A King’s Ransom giving us a meticulous recounting of the final seven years of Richard I of England's life It highlights his capture in Germany on his way home from the Holy Land crusade the wars he waged with his brother John and the French king to reclaim the Normandy lands he lost from their duplicity the castle he built that was not only formidable but was the most expe

  10. says:

    Ms Penman has done an admirable job of telling the story of the last years of Richard I’s life In this volume the author tells Richard’s story starting with his shipwreck off the Balkan coast as he is returning from the 3rd Crusade and follows Richard and his family thru to his death and ends with the death of his mother Eleanor of Auitaine In between is a masterful telling of the events of the last seven years of his lifeRal

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