Sharon Kay Penman Books

Sharon Kay Penman is an American author that writes Historical Novels. Sharon comes from New York City. That is where she was born, though she ultimately grew up in New Jersey. A student of the University of Texas at Austin and Rutgers University from where she studied history and law respectively, Sharon’s initial foray into the job market was as a tax lawyer. She eventually decided to pursue her love for history by writing novels set in medieval times, though the task proved to be harder than she expected.

Order of Welsh Princes Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Here be Dragons 1985 Description / Buy
2 Falls the Shadow 1988 Description / Buy
3 The Reckoning 1991 Description / Buy

Order of Queen's Man Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Queen's Man 1996 Description / Buy
2 Cruel as the Grave 1998 Description / Buy
3 Dragon's Lair 2003 Description / Buy
4 Prince of Darkness 2005 Description / Buy

Order of Plantagenets Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 When Christ and His Saints Slept 1994 Description / Buy
2 Time and Chance 2002 Description / Buy
3 Devil's Brood 2008 Description / Buy
4 Lionheart 2011 Description / Buy
5 A King's Ransom 2014 Description / Buy

Order of Sharon Kay Penman Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Sunne in Splendour 1982 Description / Buy
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The Sunne in Splendour was Sharon’s first novel and it nearly broke her because she wrote four hundred pages of the manuscript only to have it stolen from her car. Any author with experience writing lengthy novels can attest to the devastation Sharon Kay Penman felt. Her distress was such that she didn’t write for five years.

But eventually, she got back on the horse, rewrote the book and saw the 900-page novel finally published in 1982.

Sharon Kay Penman is best known for the Welsh Princes Trilogy and the Plantegenet series. The author has an unrivaled passion for history and medieval times. She derives pleasure from reaching into the annals of history and exploring the lives of real historical figures, not only educating her readers about forgotten periods and eras, but also entertaining them.

Sharon Kay Penman does an incredible amount of research for her books. She likes delving into the daily existence of her favorite historical figures and determining the sorts of everyday lives they pursued.

A common trait of Sharon’s books is political tension and power struggles, not to mention war. The author’s books also include conflict either between characters and their family members or characters and their belief systems.

Sharon has a way of accurately recreating medieval Europe even while injecting vivid storytelling into the mix. Sharon’s novels never feel like lectures. She seems to know how to turn historical figures into engaging characters.

Sharon Kay Penman Awards

Sharon’s first notable form of recognition was when The Queen’s Man earned her a nomination for a First Mystery Edgar Award in 1996.

In addition, Sharon took home the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Historical Mysteries in 2001.

Best Sharon Kay Penman Books

Sharon Kay Penman has become an unrivaled force in the arena of historical fiction, with some of the best books from the author including the following:

Here be Dragons: Wales was at the mercy of King John, the ruthless Monarch ruling over England. Llewelyn was the Prince of North Wales who sought to change things by bringing peace between his people and King John.

He did this by marrying Joana, John’s illegitimate child.

Joana wasn’t particularly fond of the prospect of marrying her father’s bitter enemy. However, she has since come around. Llewelyn’s charisma has proven difficult to resist, and his courage is all but infectious.

However, it is clear that King John and Joana’s husband are operating at opposite ends of the spectrum. Llewelyn wants to unite his country. King John seems determined to subdue Wales once and for all.

Joana is caught in the middle, uncertain as to which powerful man she should give her loyalty to.

The first book in the Welsh Princes series introduces readers to a time in Europe when Welsh People and the Norma-French were at one another’s necks, and the marriage to a beloved illegitimate daughter that was supposed to bring peace only elicited more complication.

Joana is the female lead of this book. After marrying a Welsh Prince, Joana struggles to maintain neutrality in her father’s unending conflict with her husband. Joana is particularly torn about the way she should perceive a father, a man she has always known as a doting figure but whose reputation she cannot help but question when word of his cruelty become rife.

When Christ and His Saints Slept: When King Henry I dies in 1135 A.D. the barons are irked by the prospect of being ruled by the Countess of Anjou, Henry’s beautiful daughter. The Barons are spared this ordeal when Maude’s cousin Stephen takes the throne before she can seize it.

Maude’s conflict with Stephen brings chaos and strife to all of England.

The first book in the Henry and Eleanor of Aquitaine series takes place in the twelfth century. The book begins the eighteen-year struggle between Maude and her cousin after King Henry’s only legitimate heir dies.

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