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Dragon's Lair [Paperback]

Sharon Penman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 April 2005
In July 1193 Richard Lionheart, King of England, is prisoner in an Austrian dungeon. A ransom has been raised to pay off the Holy Roman Emperor much to the annoyance of Richard's brother who is sscheming to take his place.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (28 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140250980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140250985
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 240,443 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up There With the Best 14 Dec 2004
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Sharon Penman's writing style is a joy. Though her books are by no means lightweight reading, the narrative just seems to flow from the pages.
This books is another of her mystery offerings featuring Justin de Quincy.
Richard the Lionheart, son of Eleanor of Aquitaine has been captured and is languishing in a German jail. At the same time his brother John is making his own plans to take the throne of England.
The Queen has already made her own plans to ransom her son Richard, but one of the ransom payments goes missing in the hills of Wales and Eleanor sends her trusted servant Justin de Quincy to investigate. Murder and mayhem soon follow.
One of the things I like about Penman is that she is at pains to try to stick to the historical facts and if she deviates from them, she gives an explanation why in her authors notes.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up There With the Best 14 Dec 2004
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Sharon Penman's writing style is a joy. Though her books are by no means lightweight reading, the narrative just seems to flow from the pages.
This books is another of her mystery offerings featuring Justin de Quincy.
Richard the Lionheart, son of Eleanor of Aquitaine has been captured and is languishing in a German jail. At the same time his brother John is making his own plans to take the throne of England.
The Queen has already made her own plans to ransom her son Richard, but one of the ransom payments goes missing in the hills of Wales and Eleanor sends her trusted servant Justin de Quincy to investigate. Murder and mayhem soon follow.
One of the things I like about Penman is that she is at pains to try to stick to the historical facts and if she deviates from them, she gives an explanation why in her authors notes.
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Was this review helpful to you?
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars medieval mystery at its very best 9 Aug 2004
By Amelrode TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Dragon's Lair is the third mystery by Sharon K. Penman featuring Justin de Quincy as The Queen's Man solving the mysteries laying in the path of his Queen who is non other than the famous Eleonor, Duchess of Aquitaine in her own rights, Queen Dowager of England and once Queen of France.
On the background of the power struggle between King Richard Lionheart and his younger brother John, the future King John Lackland, Sharon Penman tells the how Justin de Quincy tries to recover part of the ransom for King Richard, imprisoned by the Holy Roman Emperor on his return form the crusade. A well known story.
The 300 odd pages of the book are written with a great flow, bringing to life the acting persons and re-creating the medieval world for the 21th century reader. Mrs. Penman is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed historical novelists writing today. This book is prove why and how she gained that reputation. The book draws the reader into the story and one just wants to get to know what happens next. I finished it in just 1 1/2 days. Every time I had to stop reading I was annoyed because I wanted to get on with it and find out what is going to happen next. It is a bloody good read.
In this third novel, the personality of the main character, Justin de Quincy, has become much rounder and interesting than before. His personality develops and one gets interested where that will lead him.
I really did enjoy that book! 5 stars are actually not enough so I can only add my thanks to Mrs. Penman for having written this very novel. I am already looking forward to the 4th mystery with Justin de Quincy.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent medieval Mystery! 9 Nov 2003
Format:Hardcover
Sharon Penman has done it again! This is the third in her series of medieval mysteries starring Justini de Quincy. Justin is Queen Eleanor's man and is investigating and trying to recover the stolen ransom, in Wales, meant for King Richard, the Lionheart's, release from an Austrian prison. The story is fast paced with surprises around every corner.
Prince John is deliously wicked as he constrantly schemes to thwart his mother's attempts to free his brother and instead place himself on the throne. Justin encounters many difficult situations but like a cat, always seems to land on his feet.
I believe this is the best yet of Sharon's mysteries and I could not stop turning the pages! I read it in a little less than three days but not because it was a short novel, 322 pgs., but because it was such an exciting, engrossing read! It is full of detail and description, especially of Wales and Chester. Incredibly captivating!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penman's historical stories are great! 8 Nov 2003
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Sharon Kay Penman has written some six historical novels and two medieval mysteries.
Now comes "Dragon's Lair" and Penman is, once again, on top of her form. Once more, she delves
into the intricacies, the mysteries, the intrigues of 12th century England. Richard the Lionheart has
been captured and is held in prison awaiting the proper ransom. His brother John, meanwhile, is
comfortably at home in England, continuing to conspire to grab the throne. Naturally, it is in his
interest for Richard not to come home.
But a major obstacle to him is their mother, the dowager Queen, the inestimable and
inimitable Eleanor of Aquataine, who begins proceedings to pay the ransom and get her favorite
back home. A ransom payment is made but, alas, the money gets highjacked; it disappears. Lucky
for Eleanor, her "agent," Justin de Quincy is called in to help. (We've met de Quincy in an earlier
Penman, "The Queen's Man.")
Soon after, there is another complication: a murder. De Quincy
sets about, determined to aid his Queen and to solve the murder. Penman makes "Dragon's Lair"
one of her most suspenseful reads, complex, mesmerizing, well-researched. Her abilitiy to make
fictional characters from historical eras come alive, at once convincing and intriguing, is an aspect
that makes her one of the best around in this genre.
The style of writing is solid and moves along at
a nice gait, galloping steadfastly toward the finish line--it's a race against time for the characters;
alas, the end comes much too quickly for the reader. (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Nice gentle story and, even though it is largely predictable, a good read.
Published 1 day ago by Fred
5.0 out of 5 stars Queen's Man
Very surprised at how much I'm enjoying the Queen's Man series from this author. Hope there are more instalments in the future.
Published 3 days ago by Harvey
4.0 out of 5 stars The bad old days
Penman keeps up the historical pace.
Published 5 days ago by r w woodall
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I know Sharon Penman's earlier novels (1980s) and The Sunne in Splendour is one of the best historical novels I have every read. This is disappointing by comparison. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Marilyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very enjoyable bought the full set now
Published 8 days ago by isobelle
3.0 out of 5 stars Standard historical detective novel.
Pretty run of the mill mediaeval murder mystery. Ok for the beach, but I wouldn't rush out to buy others. If you like detective stories it's ok, but hardly the peak of the genre.
Published 12 days ago by garygill
5.0 out of 5 stars gives a good flavour Wales and an interesting read
well written, gives a good flavour Wales and an interesting read.
Published 16 days ago by William
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Wales
I love Sharon Penmans writing and think her best historical books are the ones relating to Wales, so this excursion of Justin into Wales makes excellent reading. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Stan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read
Published 27 days ago by Maggie Oakman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed from first page to the last.
Published 1 month ago by Sharon Robinett
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