With this novel Sharon Penman moves to a new set of characters and to 12th Century England and the early civil war between Stephen and his cousin, The Empress Made - A long fight to won the English throne. Stephen was handsome, unreliable and beguiling. Maude was courageous, beautiful and insanely arrogant. They fought for twenty years and ...
With this novel Sharon Penman moves to a new set of characters and to 12th Century England and the early civil war between Stephen and his cousin, The Empress Made - A long fight to won the English throne. Stephen was handsome, unreliable and beguiling. Maude was courageous, beautiful and insanely arrogant. They fought for twenty years and devastated England. Their flair for dramatic events and immense catastrophes made sure that they were never boring.
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Great historical novel. The book provides a view of the chaos in the history of English kings as well as the political manipulations of the era.
Sep 18, 2009
A Bloody Time in English History
This historical novel was interesting, covering the disruptive time during the 12th century when Maude and Stephen fought for the crown of England. It was an easy read--neither dry, nor technical. I would recommend it, although Ii would have liked to have read more about the effects on the common people, who suffered so very much. The title of the book is very appropriate for these years of turmoil, but the book lacks the sorrows that must have been rampant.
Oct 11, 2008
See my review of Time and Chance, the second book in this trilogy.
May 25, 2007
Sharon Kay Penman is brilliant depicting this period of English history with great accuracy . Enjoyed greatly her wrting style
Publishers Weekly, 1995-12-11 Penman's latest historical epic concerns the 12th-century struggle for the English throne between Henry I's daughter Maude and her cousin Stephen of Blois. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1995-02-20 The magnificent combination of history and humanity that Penman's readers have come to expect again animates her latest work (after Here Be Dragons). Any reservations about it lie more with the period than with her evident abilities as a novelist. Despite the very real tragedy inflicted on the common people by the 12th-century battle between Henry I's surviving legitimate heir, Maude, and her cousin, Stephen of Blois (distaff grandson of William the Conqueror), the era lacks epic qualities. It's somewhat like watching an inept and dirty soccer match with England as the ball: siege follows siege, castles are thrown up, opportunistic barons settle grievances or swipe land as Maude and Stephen fumble for the throne. Still, Penman gives a most persuasive and moving account of these complicated politics. She portrays Maude as a strong woman whose frustrations made her brittle, and Stephen as a man too chivalrous for the age of chivalry. She also introduces her first fictional protagonist in the form of Ranulf, one of Maude's illegitimate half-brothers, a successful addition to the cast until he turns a little soppy and marries a blind Welsh cousin. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the narrative is Penman's skill in showing how essentially good people can end up doing great evil. 75,000 first printing; major ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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