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Devil's Brood (Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy 3) Paperback – 6 Aug 2009

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Devil's Brood (Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy 3) + Time and Chance (Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy 2) + When Christ and His Saints Slept (Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy 1)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141038551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141038551
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am an American of Irish-English-Welsh heritage, and I currently live in New Jersey, although many of my readers imagine I am happily dwelling upon a Welsh mountaintop--but no such luck. I was once a tax lawyer, which I looked upon as penance for my sins. Like most writers, I was born with a love of the written word, although I never expected to be able to support myself as a writer; when you read about starving artists in their garrets, most of them have starving writers as roommates. But I was very lucky and I have been blessed to make my living as a writer for the past twenty-seven years or so. All of my novels--eleven at last count--are set in the Middle Ages, and focus upon England's most colorful dynasty, the Plantagenets. It is almost as if they lived their dramatic and often wildly improbable lives with future historical novelists in mind, and I am very grateful to them--especially to the Angevins,Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and their equally famous children, known to their contemporaries as the Devil's Brood.

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Review

'Bloody and violent deaths, tearful betrayals by close relatives, dizzying shifts of power... very convincing' The Times 'Told with such urgent drama... A flowing plot and impressive research fill Sharon Penman's historical novel with political intrigue and bloodshed' Sunday Express --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sharon Penman is one of the world's leading historical novelists. Her debut, The Sunne in Splendour, was an international bestseller. She has written eight further books including When Christ and His Saints Slept and Time and Chance, the first two novels in Penman's unforgettable trilogy of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. She lives in New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sharoan Kay Penman is an iconic writer and has a huge fan community. I am one of them ever since I read "The Sun in Splendour".

This is the long awaited third volume of Mrs. Penman's series on King Henry II and his Queen Elenor of Aquitaine. It is the last chapter when the family collapses and the family feud starts. Henry II and his consort Eleanor and their sons Young King Henry, Geoffrey of Brittany, Richard the Lion Heart and John Lackland are stuff for legends and endless books. On top the cousin of France poisons the atmosphere further. The struggle for power and crowns, greet, jealousy, hate and sexual lust are a powerful mixture which creates a most explosive atmosphere. It is a monumental struggle with large than life personalities.

Mrs. Penman again presents a masterful picture of the times and the personalities. She writes as if she was there. History and fiction are bound together in historcial novels might cause some upsets but not in a Penman novel. Her command of history is simply too good to cause resentment or commit mistakes. The fiction parts just help to accentuate the messages and the real events. She simply has an unique gift to portrait humans and their feeling that they seem to breath on the page. It is a remarkably detailed - at times maybe even too detailed - look on this long lost time. She opens with her vivid portrait the door to this world and one gets hooked. Pageantry and grandeur, war and peace, conflict and treachery, human fraity and loyalty are brought alive. This is historic novel writing at its finest.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sharon Penman has again managed to truly bring the pages of her novel to life. The trials and tribulations of Henry and Eleanor, the scheming of their children, and the brutality of medieval life, are all played out to tremendous effect. Whoever said that fact is more interesting than fiction would be blown away with Penman's novels. I can highly recommend them all. In fact do not start with this book, but with its predecessors, When Christ and His Saints Slept and the brilliant Time and Chance. All Penman novels are five star winners...
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine thought they had it all - the greatest empire since Charlemagne, healthy children including the heir and several to spare - so how did it all go so wrong? The Devil's Brood takes up the story where Time and Chance left off with the murder of Thomas Becket, as Henry returns from his self imposed exile to Ireland. Henry's three eldest sons are chafing at the bit to have lands and power of their own and egged on by Louis of France they join with their mother Eleanor in rebellion against their father. In time Henry quells the rebellion and forgives his sons, but he cannot forgive his wife and queen and he imprisons her. Even though Henry forgave his sons, they are still not happy with his generosity and it eventually leads to more power struggles and back-biting amongst the brothers, particularly young Hal, who suffers the ultimate punishment for his reckless deeds.

This was a fascinating story of a brilliant, powerful king whose blind love and trust in his sons lead him to making mistakes in judgment that eventually lead to his downfall. I also loved seeing a different side of the haughty, queenly Eleanor we saw in Time and Chance, as unlike her sons she does come to recognize the wrongness (well sometimes) of her actions and the cataclysmic effects those actions had on her family. Some readers may find the first part of this book a bit slow paced as Penman does spend time setting up the back history of Henry, Eleanor and the Becket murder, but hang in there as about half way through when the boys start turning on each other the pages literally started flying. Penman's dialogue was exceptional, although I couldn't decide who got the best lines, Henry or Richard - they just smoked off the page!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback
The perfect companion for all historical fiction enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

I'm seeing Richard I of England in whole new light and it's as dim as a gutting candle . . . but I digress. Richard is a product of his time and that time was dark and disturbing.

Ms. Penman once again makes medieval life and history as palpable as what we see on the news today, the persons as real, whole and flawed as ourselves - separated by a thousand years. "Devil's Brood" concludes the story of Henry II of England and his queen Eleanor Duchess of Aquitaine and concentrates on the ill-fated rebellions of Henry and Eleanor's sons, The young king Hal, crowned during his father's lifetime as a surety of succession, Richard, Geoffrey and John. The rebellion is sanctioned by Eleanor who is tired of being seen as merely Henry's queen and not as a duchess in her own right with power and intellect in a man's world. A few of the mythic causes of that rebellion are swept away in Ms. Penman's meticulously researched book, leaning on fact.

Henry is arguably one of England's greatest rulers but he failed miserably as a father to his children, especially his boys - four spoiled, willful and vengeful brats in my opinion, Geoffrey being the most sympathetic. Hal, the eldest, is a 'celebutante' of his day - handsome, popular, free with favor and money, but weak as a commander and ruler, easily swayed by hangers-on. Geoffrey is the son in the middle: overlooked, underappreciated but cold and calculating and turning when the wind blows in his favor.
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