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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 December 2004
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 December 2004
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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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2004
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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on 9 November 2003
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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VINE VOICEon 8 November 2003
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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on 23 August 2014
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. Her young Llewelyn seems as believable as his older persona in Here Be Dragons.
As with her other Queens Man books, although this is fiction you can be sure that the real background and the day to day living are accurate. The events and people (real and imaginary) all ring true and the story sweeps you through.
One perspective I really like is that although John is the villain who sets all the plots in motion, Sharon has a soft spot for him. He is shown as very human though ruthless. This came across in her historical books an shows again here when he appears. No typecasting here!
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on 4 July 2014
again enjoyed this read as i did the first 2 Sharon has become one of my favourite authours along with S J Parris and C J Sansom, i look forward to more of the same.
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on 17 May 2014
Terrific story. Love the characters. Have read all books in this series. Wish there were more. Kept me captivated until the end
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on 29 January 2015
A detective story from the Middle Ages, superbly related by Ms Penman, whose knowledge for the times shows clearly in the quality of her work.
Justin de Quincy, an illegitimate son of a bishop, is recruited by the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine, to recover the stolen money, intended as ransom for her son, Richard the Lionheart, held prisoner in Austria. Peopled by colourful, charismatic characters, the novel proves to be an interesting and exciting read.
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on 3 March 2014
Again witth Sharon penman it is impossible to put down her books . Her research into the tiny details of everyday fare is just wonderful . She lives in America but writes about the Plantaganets as if she lived through those times .. And a rattling good story too .
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