Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Review: Passionate Brood by Margaret Campbell Barnes
Category: Historical Fiction
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The private lives of the Plantagenets, that 'passionate brood' who were the children of Henry the Second and Eleanor of Acquitaine, Richard and Johanna, Henry and John.
Margaret Campbell Barnes explores the Crusader King’s triumphs and tragedies in a compelling novel of love, loyalty, and lost chances. The fierce Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine birthed a Plantagenet dynasty before her marriage to Henry II became a mockery, and her family’s future hinges on Richard. Linked persistently with the Lionheart in folklore is Robin Hood, portrayed here as Richard’s foster brother and conscience, who so enraged the King that he is banished. The Passionate Brood is a tale of a man driven to win back the Holy Land, beset by the guilt of casting out his childhood friend, and shouldering the burden of being the lionhearted leader of the Plantagenets
I wrote and rewrote my synopsis, and I was going nowhere. I opted to include the Goodreads description. I’m sorry, but I was really going nowhere...”The Passionate Brood” is a reissue from Sourcebooks, and one I was very excited to read. I liked it but didn’t love it. Richard is highly romanticized and it you’re reading to learn more about Robin Hood, he really is only a secondary character. I loved reading about the Royal family, and their every day lives but there were a few issues I had with the book. There are a lot of characters in this one, and I had to do a lot of research to understand who was who. I felt lost when beginning this book. However, I realized that the timelines were not very accurate which to me is an issue with a “historical” book. However, I think this was the better Margaret Campbell Barnes novel I read, you have to be willing to move past the details though. I really felt that this novel was timeless. The language and flow was very easy to read. I did find the story interesting, and captivating. So, if you’re looking for an interesting read, you can try this one. I suggest allotting a good portion of the day when starting this one, it takes some time to get into it.