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Sharon Kay Penman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Plantagenets Books

When Christ and His Saints Slept (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time and Chance (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Devil's Brood (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lionheart (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
A King's Ransom (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Queen's Man Books

The Queen's Man (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cruel as the Grave (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dragon's Lair (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prince of Darkness (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Welsh Princes Books

Here be Dragons (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Falls the Shadow (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Reckoning (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Sunne in Splendour (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Land Beyond the Sea (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Dangerous Women(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sharon Kay Penman is one of the famous American novelists who loves to write her novels based on the historical fiction genre. Most of the novels written by her revolve around the Welsh and English royalty and are set during the Middle Ages in England, France and Wales. She is well known to do a lot of research work before writing her novels, which can be seen easily in the quality of her novel writings, such as the events, characterizations, various settings, etc. Author Sharon Kay Penman began her writing career in the year 1982 when her first novel was published. Since then, she has gone on to write a number of successful novels under five different series’. All of her novels series’ are known for her distinctive works and superior quality of plots. She was born on August 13, 1945 in New York City, New York, United States and was raised in New Jersey. Penman went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in the subject of History from the University of Texas, Austin. Then, she joined the School of Law at the Rutgers University and obtained her Juris Doctor degree. Just after completing her academic studies, Penman began to work as a tax lawyer, before going to become a full time author. During her college days, she used to do research on the life of Richard III for her first novel. However, it was half done when it got stolen, which made her unable to write again for 5 years.

Eventually, she was able to finish writing it again in the next 12 years. And after publishing it successfully, Penman went on to become an established author. She is particularly known for writing the Plantagenet series and the Welsh Princes trilogy. Because of her successful novels, author Penman has received many awards and nominations in her career. Her recent work has also reached the New York Times Bestseller List. Even the critics have praised Penman for her meticulous research works on her novels as well as her settings and characterizations. In the UK, she often publishes her novels under the name Sharon Penman. Currently, she lives in New Jersey and has a second home in Wales. Penman says that she is greatly inspired by the history of England and Wales, which provide her materials for writing the exciting novels. The novels written by author Penman are typically set in the everyday life of the medieval history and against the backdrop of power struggles, hardships, political tensions, personal drama, war, conflicts, etc. A number of reviewing journals have praised the author Penman for paying attention to the details for writing her novels based on the emotional drama between the 12the and 15th centuries by combining the in-depth knowledge with vivid storytelling and recreating the complicated events. She has frequently set the narratives and the characters of her novels in those medieval sites which exist even today and can be visited such as the churches, castles, archaeological sites, etc. Two of the very famous areas, Dolwyddelan Castle and Aber Falls have been depicted in very important ways in the novels of author Penman.

Among the successful novel series’ written by author Sharon Penman is the Plantagenets series, which consists a total of 5 novels published between the years 1994 and 2014. The series deals with the life and times of the initial English Plantagenet royal kings during the turbulent and difficult times of war. The first novel of the series was published by the Ballantine Books in the year 1994. It was titled ‘When Christ and His Saints Slept’. The plot of the novel is set in France and England, United Kingdom and features the main characters in the form of Henry II, Stephen, Empress Matilda, Adeliza, Robert Fitzroy, Geoffrey of Anjou, Brien FitzCount and the first Earl of Gloucester. The novel deals particularly with a dark period in the history of England and gives an account of the colorful and rich textures of the era. It also deals with the sufferings and pain of the innocent people, the duplicity of the barons, the reality of the lawlessness of that time. The novel very well explains the hardships faced by men during that time by showcasing the ravaged countryside, burning towns and the fearful people. Above all of this, the novel gives an account of a man and a woman. The man named Stephan, who was very charming and valiant in friendship as well as in battle, and who was left to live his life with a treacherous lie and a broken oath. He was destroyed by the tragic flaws. The woman, Maude, who was courageous and thought that she was bound by her skirts. The two began as friends and ended up being bitter enemies. Maude never had the intention of wearing the crown, if Stephan loses it. However, it turns out to be an irony for both of them as her eldest son Henry goes on to establish the Plantagenet dynasty and Maude becomes the mother of kings. He is joined by Eleanor of Aquitaine in his attempt to electrify the world in the medieval period.

The second novel of the series was published in the year 2002 by the Ballantine Books publishing house and was titled ‘Time and Chance’. This novel is set in medieval England and deals with the lives of the characters, Thomas Becket, Henry II, William Marshal, Eleanor, Empress Matilda and the Young King, Henry. After giving a depiction of the danger, drama and deceit during Henry II’s ascension to his throne, the author continues with the captivating tale. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine marry each other, bound by ambition and passion. However, they were surrounded by deceit all the time that endangered their love. Soon, they were divided because of lust, but it was their friendship that caused a lot of bloodshed. First, it was the closest confidant of Henry II, Thomas Becket, who gets murdered. This betrayal went all the way and ended with the murder of the king. The plot of the novel shows that there were enough scandals, scheming, seductions and betrayals during the medieval period that were able to topple any kingdom during that time. The critics and readers praised author Sharon Kay Penman for her recreation of the medieval period. She has depicted the love of the royal couple for each other as well as for the power of the kingdom in a very interesting way.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sharon Kay Penman

2 Responses to “Sharon Kay Penman”

  1. Lindsay: 1 year ago

    I am currently reading my way through her books and was upset to hear she had passed away. Brilliant story texts. RIP Sharon.

  2. Frank Hancock: 2 years ago

    It is rare to read a novel that creates a 3D effect of people and events, especially when such factors are indeed part of our history.
    Being an American makes it all the more special since it is written objectively by someone whose own country is just 300 years (ish) old.
    The attention to detail is to be applauded; just a damn pity Sarah had to die. RIP.


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