21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Historical fiction as it was meant to be written,
This review is from: Time and Chance (Hardcover)I've waited a long time for this book to come out. Sharon Kay Penman has long been my favorite author. This sequel to When Christ and His Saints Slept continues the story of Henry II and Eleanor. Penman is well grounded in the history of the period and her historical novels accurately convey the events of the time as well as acquainting us with the major players of the era. I was interested in the relationship between Henry and Eleanor and, knowing the ultimate outcome, read with fascination about Henry's growing flirtation with Rosamunde. The confrontation between Henry and Eleanor after she first learns about Rosamunde was, perhaps, my favorite scene in the book.
As another writer mentioned, many readers will already be acquainted with Thomas Becket's role in the story through movies. I thought Penman did a good job of describing him. We were not privy to his inmost thoughts, but rather had to try to figure him out as did Henry II. I thought this was a clever way for Penman to handle the question of his motivation. We don't know, neither did Henry or his other contemporaries, but we have enough to make our own conjectures.
If you haven't already, be sure to read Penman's other books--Sunne in Splendor (Richard III), and the Welsh Trilogy, starting with Here Be Dragons.