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A Memory of Lions Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 1983

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (Jan. 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425058247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425058244
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,367,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9cde2e10) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a44d8dc) out of 5 stars Astonishing 20 Jan. 2005
By D. L. Major - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are passages of this novel which, even twenty years after my first reading of it, still cause my skin to tingle. The character development is fine and strong, no character a "Mary Sue" paragon of only the best traits (Calla probably comes closest, but her mind is so dimensionally given to us that she is more than a mere Good Witch character). Moreover - and this is rare - their personalities, while palatable to modern readers, are still believable within their assigned context. I cannot think of any action or motivation which rang out as anachronistic.

The plot is unpredictable, believable, extraordinarily engaging and exciting. The setting is built round a reader from beginning to end in careful, yet interesting detail - including not just a wonderful sense of concrete place, but its history, and future. Godwin's research is palpable, but blessedly unobtrusive in service of its master: the story.

And what a story.

Never so little as "a romance" - yet possibly the most passionate book I have ever read. It is a war story, a tale of occupation, a fully-felt victor's quest, and an honorable retelling of the ways some people refuse to become truly vanquished. The ending, when we find ourselves reaching it, has been bought at a vividly grotesque price, and yet "A Memory of Lions" never feels sensationalistic. It never feels simplistic. And its power never dulls, reading after reading.

A treasure.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a44da2c) out of 5 stars The Normans Are Not Always the Conquering Winners! 28 Mar. 2004
By Kimberly Gelderman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is another excellent medieval novel from Parke Godwin. He never fails to keep me enthralled. This time the tale is about a Norman family, in particular, Gerlaine, that strives to bridge the gap between Norman and Saxon. Gurth, the Saxon who catches Gerlaine's eye, is forbidden to touch her by her father. However, love finds a way, and not without tragic consequences to be paid by both lovers.
The plot had many twists and turns and towards the end the book and a few surprises are revealed that even I didn't see coming. The story tells what may have happened between many Saxons and Normans and their startling cultural differences that cannot help but play a major part in their lives.
Read this novel! If you haven't read anything by Parke Godwin you're really missing out on a major storytelling talent. All of his books are as good as this one including: Lord of Sunset, The Last Rainbow, Sherwood, Firelord, The Tower of Beowulf, Robin and the King, and Beloved Exile, just to name a few. Three of these are a trilogy and should be read in order, just check on Amazon.com to discover the correct order in which to read them in.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a44dd68) out of 5 stars Culture Clash 18 Oct. 2011
By Miranda Good - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As others have mentioned, ignore the tawdry cover art; no throbbing members here. This short novel details the clash between the invading Normans as they "colonize" the conquered Saxons in the years following the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The Norman mentality was staunchly feudal whereas the Saxons had a totally different, less rigid, societal structure. The mutual failure of each culture to understand - much less appreciate - the norms and customs of the other results in the tragic events depicted here. The conflict between Norman and Saxon is encapsulated in the struggle between the main characters who, despite being instantly drawn to one another, are separated by snowballing bloody events triggered by a breach of ancient Saxon custom by the new Norman lord who is heedless of the warning he is given of what the horrible result of such transgression would be. Godwin does an admirable job of showing events from both points of view and clearly has sympathy for the situations of both the conquering and the conquered. I have not read much HF with this theme as its topic and this was a nice break from endless entries about the Tudors and the Wars of the Roses. Well-written and fast-paced, although I would have hoped for a different ending, the one contained here is the only nonsentimental outcome that makes sense. Recommended.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a44dd50) out of 5 stars Don't Judge the book by it's cover 5 Jun. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My copy of "A Memory of Lions" shows a strong armed young man holding passionately onto the body of a beautiful young woman - the typical cover you'd see in the book section of any drug store. It looked like a romance novel - not my kind of book. However, being a big fan of Parke Godwin, I had to have it. It was a romance- yes. But it was also a mystery. It was a conflict between two cultures (the Norman conquers vs. the Anglo Saxon natives). It was a suspense. The characters were powerful. The images brilliant. It was a great read.

My biggest complaint was (beside the cover) the ending. Although it tied up all the loose ends, it seemed as if the author didn't know how else to explain it all the "why"'s. The ending makes sense at the time, but later as you think about it, you can find small little points that do not add up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a44df9c) out of 5 stars "Every man must have a lord" 18 April 2010
By Misfit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"...that's a devil out there. A devil who only looks like a man. I don't want to meet him unshriven."

Or is it a devil? The story begins after the Conquest, after the Harrying of the North, as the de Neuville family rebuilds on the northern lands awarded them by King William. The Saxons may be conquered, but their customs, laws and mindset constantly clash with that of the Normans, and the Normans don't give a d*** about what the Saxons want.

De Neuville's daughter Gerlaine is attracted to Gurth, the illegitimate son of the former Saxon lord, but when their relationship is discovered Gurth receives a brutal punishment at the hands of Gerlaine's father. With tensions already high, the Norman violation of the Saxon's sacred "hearth right" brings on horrific consequences as the outraged Gurth demands wergild (man payment). Gerlaine holds to her love for Gurth until the punishments against her family become too dear and love changes to hatred and revenge.....

There's actually a whole lot more to it than that but you really do need to read it for yourself, I don't want to spoil it for you. Despite what the somewhat cheesy cover implies, this is not a romance novel - this is very dark story about the struggles between two completely disparate cultures. I really enjoyed Godwin's writing, it's very subtle and understated and you do have to pay attention or you'll end up backtracking. This was just a really great read with quite a surprise twist at the end and I am looking forward to more from this author. I understand he's written one on Harold Godwinsson as well as a series on Robin Hood.
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