Monday, November 18, 2013

Lionhart by Stewart Binns

Lionheart is the latest historical adventure novel from Stewart Binns, covering the extraordinary life of King Richard the Lionheart.

Richard of Aquitaine, the third son of King Henry II, is developing a fearsome reputation for being a ruthless warrior. Arrogant and conceited he earns the name Richard Lionheart for his bravery and brutality on the battlefield.

After the death his brothers, Richard's impatience to take the throne, and gain the immense power that being King over a vast empire would bring him, leads him to form an alliance with Philip II, King of France.

After invading his father's lands on the Continent, Richard Lionheart goes on to defeat the King's army at the tumultuous Battle of Ballans. Taking his place on the throne he begins his bloody quest to return the Holy Land to Christian rule.

Stewart Binns' Making of England series features Conquest, Crusade, Anarchy and his latest historical page-turner, Lionheart.

Stewart Binns has written an engrossing biographical novel of the life of King Richard I, known as the Lionheart, the son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Richard was a fascinating historical character, one of legendary acclaim. At the tender age of 16, Richard successfully led his first army to a victorious win against rebels who thwarted his father. History describes him as a valiant, courageous, competent military leader. Wise, gallant, and shrewd, he was fair, generous, but could also be ruthless and unwavering. 

Stewart Binns has done an exemplary job of bringing to life this fascinating man with all his faults, endearing qualities, and struggles. Of all the books written on Richard the Lionheart, this novel was particularly compelling because the author has a talent for writing historical facts without drowning the reader in an over abundance of mundane political and historical detail. Truly, the story was easy to follow, with each character being adequately introduced and easily remembered. Poignant interactions, intense battle scenes, and rich storytelling all worked together to splendidly keep me enthralled to the end. Brilliant descriptions made me feel as if I could reach out and touch Richard the duke, the knight, the warrior. This is truly one of the best books of Richard the Lionheart I have ever read. A men's adventure tale definitely worth reading.