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A King's Ransom (2014)

av Sharon Kay Penman

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: Henry II / Eleanor of Aquitaine (5)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4013049,033 (4.29)28
"From the New York Times-bestselling author of Lionheart comes the dramatic sequel, telling of the last dangerous years of Richard, Couer de Lion's life. This long-anticipated sequel 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. Taken 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 imprisoned, much of it in the notorious fortress at Trefils, from which few men ever left alive, while Eleanor of Aquitaine moved heaven and earth to raise the exorbitant ransom. For 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 alive"--… (mer)
Senast inlagd avPensiveCat, privat bibliotek, Jessipedia, avalon_moon, reymie, Colleen85, WhyteBoar, tokyozman65
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Book 5/5 in the Angevin (Plantagenet) series by Penman. All the books were extremely good, but this one was my favorite. This tells the story of the time Richard spent in prison in Germany, his release, his own death and the subsequent death of his vivacious sister, Joanna. The last 100 pages were a real tear-jerker. 720 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Jul 8, 2021 |
There are several ways to look at any historical figure. Richard I of England is as capable of being seen several ways as any other medieval. English people are prone to see him as a man who had great big causes, like the Third Crusade, and maintaining the Angevin possessions in France. He did go on Crusade and did create a stalemated position that lasted for seventy-five years. He did free his sister from a difficult situation in the Kingdom of Sicily. He did create a Western European outpost on Cyprus, that lasted well into the fourteen hundreds, and he did win one set piece battle, and was very good at siege warfare. Into the bargain he was good at personal politics and hand-to-hand combat, and quite charismatic in person. His only drawback to a purveyor of popular entertainment was that he was a very poor husband. Sharon Kay Penman is a good researcher, and her second novel about this rampant angevin has to deal with the strictures of modern romantic fiction, as well as the researched picture of Richard. On this front, she invokes a case of PTSD for Richard, while denying it to any of the supporting characters, male or female. Full marks for research, pretty good look at the supporting love stories, and only a "C" for the main character motivations. It is still a good book to live in for a week. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Mar 5, 2020 |
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 expensive fortress at that time, and—for all of his heroism and larger-than-life existence—the tragedy that befell him and led to his rather anticlimactic death in 1199.

This book gives us a vista of Richard who is not impervious to vulnerability and torment. After painting him as a glorious fighter and great military strategist in Lionheart, we see him here coming to terms with his personal ghosts that are primarily brought about by his incarceration. While Miss Penman could not claim credence that King Richard truly suffered from trauma, she has explored the possibilities enough to let her imagination stream along the events leading to his capture and allows him to hark back to that harrowing prison experience from time to time. And as we are shown a glimpse of his fragile side, Miss Penman ensures that he lets his warrior’s instinct take over and confront his internal struggles every time, which I think is a true and defining character of his. I admire his bravado and wit and the way he had turned several checkmate moments into his advantage when everyone thought he was already on the losing side. I specifically enjoyed the incident when he cleverly “lawyered” for himself against several unwarranted allegations thrown at him in Heinrich’s imperial court and won not only the Germans’ admiration but also the allegiance of some of them.

The author has also incorporated a few snippets of some of the relevant events already discussed in her previous books, probably to give a recap of those past events to her zealous readers or serve as a helpful guide to those who haven’t read the series yet. At any rate, the history pep-up gives this particular book an independent/standalone feel that can make the readers follow through with the story easily should they decide to skip the first books in the series (although it is still highly recommended to start with book #1, When Christ and His Saints Slept).

Just like with her other books, Miss Penman deserves all the accolades for the exhaustive research she has made in A King’s Ransom. She has clearly put a lot of time, effort and heart in this book to have it translated into a seamless narration of this particular spot in England’s history. She has also utilized this novel to discredit unfounded facts that have long permeated several bygone and contemporary chronicles, such as King Richard’s gender preference and the intrigues surrounding the life of Count Raymond of Toulouse. For someone who has relied too much on Wikipedia and Google for historical points to ever think them false (i.e. Lady Joanna fleeing from her unhappy marriage with Count Raymond, per Wikipedia), it was a relief to know that Miss Penman's comprehensive research has allowed her readers to have another version of these dubious information and weigh in the merits of her reasoning through her Author’s Note. I always look forward to the author’s postscript whenever I read historical fiction because it is where the author can be candid and personal with his/her opinion as a spectator of history and where s/he can discuss anything significant in a more long-winded approach.

On the whole, A King’s Ransom is a masterful representation of how colorful and extraordinarily impressive Richard the Lionheart’s life had been. I enjoyed the remarkable journey back to his time; Miss Penman had me actually fangirling over Henry II, Richard I and the rest of the Plantagenet folks, that I’m not quite sure I’m ready to let go of them just yet. In the meantime, I comfort myself listening to this ballad, “Ja Nus Hons Pris”, which King Richard had composed during his time in prison and which one lovely interpretation Miss Penman has included in her Author’s Note (http://youtu.be/RVRjmTdM4c8). It is sung in French, and as I'm not familiar with the language, I can only hope that Google has provided me with a reliable English translation of the song. :-)

(Note: Review first posted on Goodreads) ( )
  Krista02 | May 14, 2018 |
Four stars because she really did a lot with a story that's basically one battle after another. I'm familiar with the period and the people but the cast of characters was overwhelming at times. Sometimes I couldn't tell how many people she was referencing. Bill, Sue, Joe, Bishop of Wherever. Is that 3 or 4? An enjoyable book on the whole, even from this non-fan of my great x 20(ish?) Uncle Richard. ( )
  Kuglar | Mar 28, 2018 |
I loved parts of this tome and had to drag myself through other parts. Richard the Lionhearted is returning from the Crusades by boat when a terrible storm causes the boat to be wrecked ashore. If he returns to England via land he will need to cross territory ruled by enemies of England, particularly the King of France, who left the Crusades, and the Holy Roman Emperor. Richard decides rather than having a huge entourage which would draw attention, he takes only a young servant and two trusted knights with him. After one bad luck event after another, he is eventually captured by the King of Austria who turns him over the the Holy Roman Emperor.

That provides the basis for the rest of the book and the Holy Roman Emperor demands an enormous ransom for Richard's freedom. Meanwhile, his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine; his sister, Joanna, the widowed queen of Sicily; and his wife, Berengaria, wait for him and try to maneuver ways for his release.

The characters of Eleanor and Berengaria drew more of my attention than Richard. Eleanor is a particularly powerful woman for her time. Berengaria, on the other hand, is very submissive, religious, and naive as to much of the world. Richard's neglect to his wife is a true heart ache for Berengaria.

There are way too many characters whose given names and titled names are confusing. There is a list of characters in the front which helps but more could have been added. Penman is historically accurate (I was enticed to look up more information on several events portrayed.

Overall, a good medieval read, but might have been better for me with a bit less detail. ( )
  maryreinert | Jan 11, 2018 |
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"From the New York Times-bestselling author of Lionheart comes the dramatic sequel, telling of the last dangerous years of Richard, Couer de Lion's life. This long-anticipated sequel 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. Taken 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 imprisoned, much of it in the notorious fortress at Trefils, from which few men ever left alive, while Eleanor of Aquitaine moved heaven and earth to raise the exorbitant ransom. For 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 alive"--

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Sharon Kay Penman chattade med LibraryThing-medlemmar från Aug 10, 2009 till Aug 21, 2009. Läs chatten.

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