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Search tags: christ-and-his-saints-slept
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review 2016-05-15 19:34
When Christ and His Saints Slept: A Novel - Sharon Kay Penman

I'm a great fan of Sharon Kay Penman's <i>The Sunne in Splendour</i>, about Richard III and <i>Here Be Dragons</i> set in medieval Wales. They're two of my favorite books of historical friction, both unforgettable and moving me to tears. <i>Here Be Dragons</i>, despite being rooted soundly in history also is one of the most moving love stories I'd ever read. The last Penman novel I read though, based on Richard the Lionhearted, was a disappointment. It dragged. Frankly, through much of it I was bored.

So I started this book with some trepidation-but I found this was more the Penman of old, not the one that disappointed. This didn't for me quite reach the heights of those two favorite books--but it was still a terrific read that made me feel for the characters and feel transported to another time. It wasn't an easy read at times--not because of style or skill--but because I know English history too well to know this would end well. And Penman has a gift for making you care--even as you're exasperated with her characters. A character describes the battling cousins flaws pretty aptly. King Stephen too easily influenced and not resolute enough; Empress Maud incapable of listening to anyone and way too stubborn. And poor England caught in the middle. The tragedy of it all being, at least as Penman presents it, is that Maud *did* learn from her mistakes--and if she had received the kind of support she deserved and would have gotten had she been male--from her father, her husband, Stephen himself, might have made a decent monarch. I wound up feeling for both. And her picture of the young Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine and the early, happy part of their marriage was involving, even fascinating.

And frankly happy to follow characters I didn't know about, either because they're historically obscure or fictional. Because history doesn't leave much room for happy endings with real lives sadly enough. This one is well worth the read.

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review 2016-02-05 05:41
When Christ and His Saints Slept: A Novel - Sharon Kay Penman

I'm a great fan of Sharon Kay Penman's <i>The Sunne in Splendour</i>, about Richard III and <i>Here Be Dragons</i> set in medieval Wales. There two of my favorite books of historical friction, both unforgettable and moving me to tears. <i>Here Be Dragons</i>, despite being rooted soundly in history also is one of the most moving love stories I'd ever read. The last Penman novel I read though, based on Richard the Lionhearted, was a disappointment. It dragged. Frankly, through much of it I was bored.

So I started this book with some trepidation-but I found this was more the Penman of old, not the one that disappointed. This didn't for me quite reach the heights of those two favorite books--but it was still a terrific read that made me feel for the characters and feel transported to another time. It wasn't an easy read at times--not because of style or skill--but because I know English history too well to know this would end well. And Penman has a gift for making you care--even as you're exasperated with her characters. A character describes the battling cousins flaws pretty aptly. King Stephen too easily influenced and not resolute enough; Empress Maud incapable of listening to anyone and way too stubborn. And poor England caught in the middle. The tragedy of it all being, at least as Penman presents it, is that Maud *did* learn from her mistakes--and if she had received the kind of support she deserved and would have gotten had she been male--from her father, her husband, Stephen himself, might have made a decent monarch. I wound up feeling for both. And her picture of the young Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine and the early, happy part of their marriage was involving, even fascinating.

And frankly happy to follow characters I didn't know about, either because they're historically obscure or fictional. Because history doesn't leave much room for happy endings with real lives sadly enough. This one is well worth the read.

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review 2015-08-13 09:39
DNF-Review: Winter Siege
Winter Siege - Samantha Norman,Ariana Franklin

9% in is rather early for me to DNF something but I realised something:

 

There are so many better things to do than reading about the redemption-arc of a male character that is offset by him witnessing the rape of a female character.

 

Like looking at pictures of kittens.

 

 

 

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text 2015-08-11 18:23
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
Winter Siege - Samantha Norman,Ariana Franklin

Let us start of with two rapes (off-page thankfully) because why not?

 

Also a noblewoman was introduced. I am not sure if she is based on a real person but I really hope she is. Because if she isn't the author would have made up a character and called her Maud.

In a story about the English Anarchy. Which was a fight for the throne between King Stephen and Empress Maud. A fight in which Stephen's wife, who was called - surprise - Maud also played an important role.

(Also Stephen had a daughter named Maud I think...and there were possibly 34436 other vaguely important people called Maud in this conflict).

 

So I really hope the author didn't go 'Yeah I invent this main character and call her the same name as two important historical figures of the time because LOLZ'

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review 2015-05-20 20:29
Review: Pilgrim of Death
Pilgrim of Death - Felicity Pulman

In the end no match for Brother Cadfael.

Full Review on Bibliodaze

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