Customer Reviews


50 Reviews
5 star:
 (42)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The meteoric rise and fall of Simon de Montfort.
I love Sharon Penman. She writes fantastic, well-researched, human history. This is just such a book. It tells the story of Simon de Montfort, and how he shaped the history of England. He was a strong, passionate man, who had total belief in his God, and his destiny, which was to change the way that England was ruled. It also tells the story of Llewelyn ap Gruffyd, the...
Published on 27 April 2003 by laineyf

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the author's strongest work
In "Falls the Shadow" Penman continues her trilogy of the turbulent times in Wales and England through the troubled thirteenth century.

We meet again characters introduced in a peripheral fashion in "Here Be Dragons" - the grandson of Llewelyn Fawr, also called Llewelyn; the sister of both Joanna and Henry III of England, Eleanor often called Nell; and Elen,...
Published on 16 Jun 2010 by A. L. Rutter


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The meteoric rise and fall of Simon de Montfort., 27 April 2003
By 
laineyf "widnes" (warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Paperback)
I love Sharon Penman. She writes fantastic, well-researched, human history. This is just such a book. It tells the story of Simon de Montfort, and how he shaped the history of England. He was a strong, passionate man, who had total belief in his God, and his destiny, which was to change the way that England was ruled. It also tells the story of Llewelyn ap Gruffyd, the Welsh Prince, and his struggles to make Wales one kingdom. This book is exciting, never boring, happy, ultimately heart-crushingly sad, and most of all, thought-provoking. Simon was married to Nell, sister of Henry, King of England, who was a weak man, unfit for the role of King. They had a brood of sons, all of whom played their part in their fathers' fate. It is a tale of treachery, betrayal, love, passion, politics, and the ability of one man to rouse such emotions in the hearts of many, that they would follow him, to certain death, and defy their King for his sake. Simon's fate is appallingly cruel, making you realise just how callous medieval times were. I cried my eyes out at the end of this book, and can't help but draw comparisons between Simon de Montfort and Richard III. Their destinies were so very similar, and so very cruelly ended. I have read all of Sharon Penmans' books, and love them all. This is a fantastic book. Forget the stuff we learnt at school, these books should be part of a history lesson, and then more of us would be fascinated by history. It has everything you could wish for, and I found it impossible to put down until the very end. Read it, but keep the tissues handy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly written book, 12 Aug 2002
By 
R. Hawker "Sonic teapot" (The shire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Paperback)
In Comparison with many other historical authors, Sharon Penman, stands clearly in the upper echelon. An absolutely captivating book, that entwined itself far into my dreamscape, once I'd begrudgingly succumbed to droopy eyelids each night! You do not have to be to be a history buff to enjoy this novel, as with any good author you will find yourself learning at different levels as you go. Where there are insufficient historical records, the authors imagination fills the gaps with an intelligent and captivating approach.
May Simon be long remembered, he goes a long way in redeeming the De Montfort name from the evil his father wreaked during the Albigenisian crusades.
One parting thought ... All Polticians should be made to read this novel, and take a test, thus proving they have respect and love for the power they are due to be entrusted with!( rather like their immigration tests !) ...mind you with voter turn outs as they have been of recent, maybe it's just time for another revolution...........
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Fab Tome From Penman, 22 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Kindle Edition)
I've been enjoying Penman's books since I first read Sunne in Splendour last year and I am no less impressed with this book. I started the series a few weeks ago with Here Be Dragons on the recommendation of several reviewers on here and I wasn't disappointed. Each book in the series has kept me glued. The characters are well-written and the plot takes so many twists and turns that I found it hard to put the book down even for a few minutes to cook dinner. I have just finished The Reckoning and I'm now scratching around to find more by Penman available on Kindle. In short, I would highly recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon DeMontfort - between myth and reality falls the shadow, 27 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Paperback)
Having never been remotely interested in history, I was unimpressed when this book was recommended to me. However, having only read the Prologue I was immediately gripped. A superb storyteller, Penman pads out actual historical events with her own interpretation in a way that makes you care about people that have died centuries ago. Upon completing the book, I even visited Simon DeMontfort's grave in Evesham ! The 2nd of a fabulous trilogy (Here Be Dragons and The Reckoning either side) this is one of my favourite books of all time (and believe me, I've read a few) ! History should be taught like this in schools. So come on back to 13th Century England and join me as a lifelong member of the Simon DeMontfort Fan Club !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon de Montford shines through Ms Penman's writing, 25 Nov 2005
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Paperback)
1231-1267. I liked this one more even more than the two books which precede this one chronologically. Since my family have strong links with Kenilworth, Simon de Montford’s main castle, he has always been a name bandied around the house but until now I didn’t know anything about him. Ms Penman makes him out to be a man of our time believing in democracy for the people. I thought she might be romanticising her character for the sake of a good read but having surfed the net I find that she has just put her inimitable stamp on what turns out to be the accepted view of Simon de Montford as the “father of Parliament”. I am glad I know more about Simon de Montford and I’m glad it was Sharon Penman who introduced me to him. I too will now read more about him and since my family are still in the locality I shall be visiting Evesham and seeing Kenilworth castle in a new light. I wish I lived in the locality as the Simon de Montford Society based in Evesham seems to have a very interesting programme of monthly events this year!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece Of Medieval Historical Fiction, 28 Feb 2005
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Paperback)
Sharon Kay Penman is a remarkably gifted writer. Her impeccable historical research, attention to detail and superb storytelling ability make her novels consistently excellent. "Falls The Shadow" is one of her best efforts. It is the third book in her Plantagenet series, which began with "The Sunne In Splendour," followed by "Here Be Dragons," and ending with "The Reckoning."
Simon de Montfort was a nobleman from France, whose family, (originally English-Norman), had been disinherited by King John. A young man in his mid-twenties, he returned to England in 1232 seeking restitution of his family lands from King Henry III, John's son. He wound up marrying Henry's sister, Eleanor Plantagenet and risking the King's and Church's wrath by doing so. De Montfort, who became Earl of Leicester, was a warrior, great leader and politician. He despised Henry III for his incompetence and the favoritism he displayed for the foreigners in his court. Henry was bankrupting England and estranging the peerage. Far ahead of his time, Simon de Montfort also espoused the idea that the common man deserved a voice in government. England was on the verge of civil war as factions split between Henry and his son and heir Edward. The collision of blood ties, politics and war, shifting allegiances, along with the pageantry and drama of life in the Middle Ages, make this novel hard to put down.
Intertwined with the story of Simon de Montfort is that of Welsh Prince Llewelyn Farr, who united the Welsh nobility against the English. Wales was also in a state of civil unrest at the time, as Llewelyn had just died and his sons were fighting for leadership and power, thereby losing everything their father had gained to the English. What makes the Welsh part of the story even more interesting, is that not only is Welsh history linked to that of England's, but the royal families, Kings' John and Henry, and Prince Llewelyn's are linked by blood. Ms. Penman joins the histories and characters of these two countries to give the reader, not just a superb tale but a look at the bigger historical picture also.
I highly recommend this book, and the all the others in the series, as this is some of the best historical fiction I have ever read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a book to return to time after time., 26 Jan 2013
By 
R. Moore "Ros Moore" (Wellingborough England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Kindle Edition)
I have this book in paperback form, but decided to add it to my Kindle, it is a book I have read over and over again, it is part of a trilogy the first being "Here be Dragons" and the third is "The Reckoning" all I have read again over and over again. Sharon Penman is one of the best authors of this type of tale, she researches her books thoroughly, even to using Welsh language for some of the characters ! ( never fear, she does always translate)! I is an extremely difficult book to put down, so be warned, DO NOT read it in bed, you will be up all night..been there done that ! and paid the price next day..yawn !
So now it on my Kindle, but I shall still keep my paperback !
Ros.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb historical Fiction, 21 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Kindle Edition)
Set in Wales, England and France in 13th century Make sure you read Here be Dragons first as this is the second book of a trilogy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon de Montfort - A great man, misunderstood by his peers, 18 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Paperback)
This was the first of Sharon Penman's books that I read. I did not know very much about this period of English history, but this book brought to life all the characters and the story of this time. It was so brilliantly written, that I felt involved in the story. I have now re-read this book a number of times, as well as the other books, 'The Reckoning' and 'Here Be Dragons'. I am looking forward to visiting Evesham the next time I come to the UK.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the author's strongest work, 16 Jun 2010
By 
A. L. Rutter "Floor to Ceiling Books" (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falls the Shadow (Paperback)
In "Falls the Shadow" Penman continues her trilogy of the turbulent times in Wales and England through the troubled thirteenth century.

We meet again characters introduced in a peripheral fashion in "Here Be Dragons" - the grandson of Llewelyn Fawr, also called Llewelyn; the sister of both Joanna and Henry III of England, Eleanor often called Nell; and Elen, daughter of Llewelyn Fawr and Joanna.

This tale takes us back to just before the death of Joanna - a time of relative peace between Wales and England. It centres upon the characters of Nell and Simon de Montfort - a celebrated soldier whose silvered tongue won him back an earldom from the Earl of Chester - and their conflict with the King of England.

Simon is a man with a zeal for reform, which includes making a King accountable to his Lords and bishops rather than just to God. Clearly, this was a view that had little appeal for Henry of England - believing himself to be the Anointed and chosen of God - and the two men (plus their sons) got caught up in a terrible conflict that culminated on the battlefield.

Although the novel is as well written as any of Penman's historical epics, with rich details of medieval life, it is not as fast reading. I attributed this mainly to the fact that I had very little sympathy or liking for many of the characters. I felt that Simon and Nell's relationship was based upon a casual disregard for religious oaths - since Nell had dedicated herself to God after the death of her first husband. The fact that they then defied and lied to the King of England - implying that Nell was with child to ensure his agreement - left me feeling as though they were due a comeuppance.

Add to that the feeble character of Henry III (widely held to be one of England's most incompetent kings), whose petty motivations caused so many of the issues through the novel; his arrogant and dishonourable son Edward; the the carousing sons of Nell and Simon, and it doesn't feel as though there are many characters that deserve liking or respect.

I will read the third book in the trilogy, but I was glad that "Here Be Dragons" was my first foray into Penman's work, since it is preferable in every way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Falls the Shadow
Falls the Shadow by Sharon Penman (Paperback - 6 July 1989)
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews