the Sharon Kay Penman corpus

Sharon Kay Penman is probably my very favorite author of historical fiction. Her books are generally quite long (the exception is the shorter books in her mystery series starring Justin de Quincy), and so effortlessly create whole worlds that I just love to fall into. I turn to her books when I’m looking for a comfortable, engrossing read that won’t be over in a day or two! I’m slowly working my way through all her work; I’ve only read a few so far but have collected most of them. In chronological order, they are…

Standalone:
The Sunne In Splendour (1982) – reading now

The Welsh Trilogy
Here Be Dragons (1985) – own it (edit: read it)
Falls The Shadow (1988) – own it
The Reckoning (1991) – this was my first Penman, and I reread it several times before branching out, I loved it so much. Now I guess it’s time to go back and read the first two in this trilogy!

The Henry II Trilogy
When Christ And His Saints Slept (1995) – loved it
Time And Chance (2002) – own it
Devil’s Brood (2008) – own it
Lionheart (2011) – have it in the library

The Justin de Quincy Mysteries
The Queen’s Man (1996) – enjoyed it
Cruel As The Grave (1998)
Dragon’s Lair (2003)
Prince of Darkness (2005)

The other aspect of Penman’s work (which I’ve discussed before) is that she does meticulous research. I consider her to be an excellent example of a responsible author of historical fiction; the author’s notes at the back of each of her books details where history ends and where fiction begins, so that the responsible reader can be careful about how much she takes away from these books as fact. I definitely recommend her work.

4 Responses

  1. I’ve got her new book Lionheart, which I started and loved, and then had to put it down because of other reading commitments. I’m antsy to get back to it! I do need to read her other works as I’ve heard so much about them!

    • Ohhh, and I won’t get there for so long… but I love knowing that there’s plenty out there to read by an author I love, you know? Unlike an Emily Bronte or something. 😦

  2. […] my reading time is deliciously available, free and uncommitted, and I’m considering the next Sharon Kay Penman in line for my attention, Here Be Dragons, as well as the copy of The Home-Maker that Thomas sent […]

  3. […] and easily as possible. This stands out in contrast to a historical fiction author I really like, Sharon Kay Penman, who takes her historical accuracy very seriously and takes the time to spell it all out […]

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