Skip to main content

Review: "When Christ and His Slepts" by Sharon Kay Penman

From Goodreads:  A.D. 1135. As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's beautiful daughter Maude, Countess of Anjou. But before Maude could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned.

Sharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacular medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come—the glorious age of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets that would soon illumine the world.


My Thoughts:  This book was so LONG.  I normally don't mind big books but this one felt really long.  It took me a week to finish and I was pretty happy when I was done with it.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad book at all.  It was incredibly well-researched and well-written and had a lot of potential.  The thing that bothered me is it felt like I was reading a work of non-fiction.  Penman covered every skirmish and seige over the 18 year battle between Stephen and Maude and it just felt like too much.  It was complete information overload.  After a while, I didn't care who won as long as the war was over.  I liked that she didn't try to make one side of the war more likeable than the other but really I didn't feel much sympathy for either Stephan or Maude and I actually really did not care about them.  I didn't really like most of the characters or feel sympathetic towards them and that is what made reading this book so difficult.  I really only liked Ranulf and Rhiannon.  I want to read a whole book about those two.  They felt real and three-dimensional and the rest of the characters were just so flat.  I feel  bad for not loving this book because Penman is supposed to be an amazing historical fiction author.  I still plan to read The Sunne in Splendour and I own another of her books so this didn't deter me from reading her books.  3 stars.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic:  Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most 1.) The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons   2.) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon           If you read my blog at all, you know I love these two books so much!  I am not afraid to suggest them to anyone who I think might enjoy them. 3.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I was definitely recommending this book left and right when the first movie came out. 4.) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 5.) A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin           These are two books that I just recently started recommending but they are books that can appeal to anyone so they are easy picks when someone asks for a recommendation. 6.) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead  - I get a little embarrassed when I recommend this book to people but seriously, just because it has vampires does not mean it is like Twilight. 7.) The Giver by Lois

Review and Giveaway: "Distant Signs" by Anne Richter

Synopsis: Distant Signs is an intimate portrait of two families spanning three generations amidst turbulent political change, behind and beyond the Berlin Wall. In 1960s East Germany, Margret, a professor’s daughter from the city, meets and marries Hans, from a small village in Thuringia. The couple struggle to contend with their different backgrounds, and the emotional scars they bear from childhood in the aftermath of war. As East German history gradually unravels, with collision of the personal and political, their two families’ hidden truths are quietly revealed. An exquisitely written novel with strongly etched characters that stay with you long after the book is finished and an authentic portrayal of family life behind the iron curtain based on personal experience of the author who is East German and was 16 years old at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why do families repeat destructive patterns of behaviour across generations? Should the personal take precedence over

Review and Giveaway: "This Son of York" by Anne Easter Smith

Synopsis: Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York…” — William Shakespeare, Richard III Richard III was Anne’s muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history’s most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester. This new portrait of England’s most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him. Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but thr