She also received a Juris Doctor J. When the page manuscript was stolen from her car, Penman found herself unable to write for the next five years. She has a second home in the Welsh mountains where, she says, the history inspires her and provides material for her novels. She had plenty of material to be written about the "rebellious sons and disgruntled brothers and conniving kings and willful queens" of the Plantagenets and hoped to write as many as a dozen books on the subject. Whether in Wales or in England, a noble wife had responsibility for a household, complete with household knights, whom the wife relied upon to keep the household safe. For the first time in nearly two decades, my boundless enthusiasm for the Middle Ages had begun to flag.

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Start your review of Here Be Dragons Welsh Princes, 1 Write a review Shelves: fiction-historical , physical-own , event-met-author , region-europe , , lawyers-turned-authors I used to have a rule: You will read at least 50 pages before you decide to quit a book.

Then a few years ago, I vowed to completely finish every book I start. The unintended consequence of this stricter policy is that my currently-reading shelf exploded.

I am up to 13 books most of which I lost interest in a few months or even a year ago, but feel pressure to pick back up. Honestly, looking at that shelf fills me with dread. Just when I was considering reverting to my fifty-pages rule, along I used to have a rule: You will read at least 50 pages before you decide to quit a book.

I am up to 13 books — most of which I lost interest in a few months or even a year ago, but feel pressure to pick back up. Just when I was considering reverting to my fifty-pages rule, along comes Here Be Dragons. And it takes pages to get started. Meaning I pushed through that many pages before the two main characters even meet.

To be fair, this story needs a set-up, but does it really have to take that long? Oh boy, I am glad that I stuck it out. Once I reached that rd page, I was captivated. Utterly captivated. Imagine Outlander with less sex hey, where are you going? There is probably the same amount of violence here, but it is less immediate.

Instead of fist fights, there are battles being fought off in the distance. It also brought back memories of Daughter of the Forest , yet with more sex and much more violence. So, smack this book right in the middle!

Penman imbued her book with rich emotional complexity. If this all sounds angst-ridden, it is. It is honest-to-goodness historical fiction. Joanna, John, Llewelyn, and the other big players are the real deal. There would often be a gap of years between chapters. And characters would give these odd monologues to catch readers up on what happened. What a beautiful day. Of course, Papa would only consent to such an alliance, because Prince Whoever was taken hostage by Evil Guy.

It was exhausting, but I loved it. Meeting Penman last week confirmed the obvious: this woman knows her stuff. She was out promoting her latest book, Lionheart. Most authors start off talking about their writing process.

Penman rather dove into a history lesson. When someone from the audience asked her opinion on a couple of obscure historical figures, she knew exactly who they were and broke down their life in great detail. And trust me, no one was yawning. She was really fascinating. Wait a second. Or are the facts fascinating? Royal women held captive for years, secret alliances, scandalous marriages, battles, even more scandalous divorces, rescues by ship, crusades.

Medieval Europe had considerable drama. For a moment, I questioned how much credit I can give Penman as a writer when her salacious plots are taking directly from the past. But the moment quickly passed and I gave Penman her full due for a recognizing the novel-potential in these events and people, b doing the difficult research, and c filling in the gaps and bringing everything alive so vividly with her writing.

Eventually the audience questions got Penman talking about her writing process. She recommends not jumping around when writing. During her early years, she would focus on a scene until she hit a problem. Then she would set it aside and focus on an entirely different scene forward or backwards in the timeline — only to realize later that, as a result, her characters lacked any development. Then she had to add a caveat.

Penman described how she was giving this advice at an event in Scottsdale, Arizona when the audience started grinning. They were familiar with Diana Gabaldon , who lives near Scottsdale, and apparently Gabaldon is a jumper. Penman also spoke about how her first manuscript was stolen out of her car when she was in her second year of law school. Later, after receiving an insurance claim, she quit her job as a tax attorney, moved to the United Kingdom, and devoted herself to writing.

I only gave the book four stars, because I cannot find it in my heart to forgive the slow start. But if you prefer your historical fiction to be painstakingly accurate, with a complex love story, this is the book for you.


Books by Sharon Kay Penman

A paradoxical man, he was charming, generous, clever — and he was unstable and brutal. He was capable of great kindnesses, but he butchered child hostages. He was the youngest son and favorite of Henry Plantagenet, but he would betray his father in order to seize the throne of England. For centuries, history recorded him as a bad king, upon whom the Magna Carta was forced. At 14, he began a civil war; by 21, he held all North Wales. His dream of a free and united Wales, unencumbered by English laws or lords, was to spur a lifelong crusade that left little time for peace or pleasure.


Here be Dragons (UK edition)

The Land Beyond the Sea Beschreibung bei 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 when her first novel was published. Just after completing her academic studies, Penman began to work as a tax lawyer, before going to become a full time author.


Here Be Dragons


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