Thursday, 12 December 2013

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Lionheart - Stewart Binns

Release Date: 07/11/13
Publisher:  Penguin UK


Lionheart is the latest thrilling historical novel in Stewart Binns' epic Making of England series. 1176 - England King Henry II reigns over a vast empire that stretches the length of Britain and reaches the foothills of the Pyrenees. But he is aging, and his powerful and ambitious sons are restless. Henry's third son, Richard of Aquitaine, 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 of 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 France. And so, Richard 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. Praise for Stewart Binns: "A fascinating mix of fact, legend and fiction ...this is storytelling at its best". (Daily Mail). "Stewart Binns has produced a real page-turner, a truly stunning adventure story". (Alastair Campbell). Stewart Binns began his professional life as an academic. He then pursued several adventures, including a stint at the BBC, before settling into a career as a schoolteacher, specializing in history. Later in life, a lucky break took him back to the BBC, which was the beginning of a successful career in television. He has won a BAFTA, a Grierson, an RTS and a Peabody for his documentaries. Stewart's passion is English history, especially its origins and folklore. His previous novels Conquest, Crusade and Anarchy published to great acclaim.


The culmination of a pretty epic series that has entertained me since the release of the original title Conquest back in 2011. As with the other books, they take the very best of historical fiction, blend it with some great combat sequences and give the reader the chance to walk the roads with the heroes who helped shaped our nation.

Its wonderfully addictive, has some great twists and whilst there is some factual discrepancies within the title its not done in a malicious way but to purely give the reader a better story. Add to this great prose, cracking dialogue and a hero you really can’t wait to spend time with and all round it’s a cracking gift for this time of year to help that special person in your life a break from the humdrum of the holiday period.

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