Time and Chance by Sharon Kay Penman

Time and ChanceIt was medieval England’s immortal marriage—Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, bound by passion and ambition, certain to leave a legacy of greatness. But while lust would divide them, it was friendship—and ultimately faith—that brought bloodshed into their midst. It began with Thomas Becket, Henry’s closest confidant, and his elevation to be Archbishop of Canterbury. It ended with a perceived betrayal that made a royal murder seem inevitable. Along the way were enough scheming, seductions, and scandals to topple any kingdom but their own. . . . (From Goodreads)

It’s greatly recommended – no actually you SHOULD read When Christ and his Saints Slept. Not only does it give you the background, an introduction to some characters that are featured in this book, and a lot of history, Time and Chance is a continuation of previously mentioned novel.

There’s just something about Penman’s words that weaves the entire story into one very long epic movie like book. Everything is so well written, and descriptions are spot on and accurate. There are a lot of characters, yet maybe around 3 or 4 will stand out to you and you’ll take a liking to them. All the characters are written, and have distinct personalities to make them easier to remember. Some from the previous novel are also mentioned (Ranulf for example, who is one of my favorites). You do find yourself attached to some characters – I was happy to see William Marshall! he quickly became a favorite of mine.

It was interesting to see the friendship between Thomas Becket and King Henry. It just deteriorated as you progress through the book (sometimes you feel like they’re bickering like children and you want to send them to their respective corners) it was interesting to see what happened that led up to Thomas getting killed.

What was also interesting was when Rosamund enters the picture. Now, I’m all Team Eleanor when it comes to this issue (in fact, if I was Eleanor things would have ended up bloody if I were standing face to face with someone like Rosamund). I didn’t really like her, not just because she ended up breaking the band but because she just seemed like an empty headed bimbo with no purpose whatsoever except to make Henry happy (I’m sure he liked it that way too). I really did sympathize with Eleanor in this book. Not only was she extremely strong in so many ways (seriously Henry? making her pop out child after child and having Rosamund on the side? wow. Talk about having the cake and eating it whole) and I loved reading about her. She’s a fascinating character, especially for being a woman during that particular time period.

This was a great book to read. A lot of information to swallow, a lot of rich fantastic characters that make the plot interesting and run smoothly. A must read for historical fiction fans, and fans of Sharon Kay Penman. Those curious would be better off with When Christ and his Saints Slept (where everything begins).

I give it a 9 out of 10.


Sunday Salon: Can I finish?????

There’s been a conspiracy around the house where I’m just now allowed to read. It’s not very nice. In fact it’s making me turn into an evil hag by the name of Baba Yaga. However! whatever reading I can muster up for the Sunday Salon will be the following:

When Christ and his Saints Slept – Sharon Kay Penman – 200 or so pages left. I can do this!!!

Contagious – Scott Sigler – this one is getting so bloody good I can’t put it down..until I get interrupted..

Those two are my main focus right now. I’ll post again if there’s something else on the reading menu.

Also another note, I haven’t forgotten the lovely comments made over the past few days! sorry I haven’t been around! this is just to let you guys know you are not forgotten! 🙂

So what’s on your reading menu today?

Booking Through Thursday 9/10

Today’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

What’s the most informative book you’ve read recently?

– It’s a tie between When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman (History) and Contagious by Scott Sigler (Science). The first book has a lot of history that I am not very familiar with and I found myself wanting to look up these characters on Wikipedia to get a feel for who they are and how they played a part in this book. Whether it’s historically accurate I am not sure, but it sure seems like it. I found myself learning a lot about this time period and it’s become a very rewarding experience. Whereas in Contagious there’s a lot of science involved in the book but it’s not complicated or difficult. It’s easily explained with simple examples (as I’m not very scientifically oriented) so you can picture and understand what’s going on there’s hardly any huge scientific words so it’s not as intimidating as you think.

That’s really as informative as I can get! what about you guys?

Sunday Salon: More Finishing up to do.

I love Sundays. I get to catch up on reading and it’s a great day to stay in (it’s raining). Today I plan on finishing up some books and trudging along in some other ones:

Finishing up:

The Light of Burning Shadows – Chris Evans

The Blue Notebook – James Levine

Trudging along:

The Sweet Far Thing – Libba Bray

When Christ and his Saint Slept – Sharon Kay Penman

Getting started (not sure if I will read today):

Intertwined – Gena Showalter

So what’s everybody reading today?

Sunday Salon Finish and Playing Catch Up

I have lots of reading to do. This week I couldn’t do much (living in a house with three needy men and two needy boy kitties is very difficult!) and I was getting a little moody as it felt as if I wasn’t reading AT ALL. So! for this Sunday I’m going to play catch up and try and finish some books:

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (need to finish)

Dark Time – Dakota Banks (almost there!)

The Sweet Far Thing – Libba Bray (catching up)

When Christ and His Saints Slept – Sharon Kay Penman (catch up)

the rest is all up in the air. Need to read a lot for Sunday! *hangs up do not disturb sign and locks door*