Monday, November 01, 2010

Passionate Brood


Passionate Brood: A Novel of Richard the Lionheart and the Man Who Became Robin Hood. Margaret Campbell Barnes. 1944/2010. Sourcebooks. 368 pages.

Blondel de Cahignes was fifteen and homesick.

Passionate Brood might not be for every reader, but it is an enjoyable historical novel all the same. It focuses on Richard the Lionheart, the king of England who cared more about his crusades than the welfare of his own country. It focuses on the spirited (and quite dysfunctional) Plantagenet family. We get glimpses of Richard, John, and Johanna--three of the children of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. (Others are mentioned here and there, but we get more from these three--particularly Richard and Johanna.)

Did I like it? Yes and no. On the one hand, it's an interesting story. It follows Richard's adult life--his 'exile', his crowning, his crusades, his battles, his marriage, his private life. We get a glimpse of a man raised as Richard's foster brother who "becomes" the Robin Hood of legend. Though this isn't his story. While Robin is "being" Robin Hood--readers are stuck with Richard and his wife, Berengaria, in the crusades. We see this husband and wife quarrel. Again and again.(Where Robin does come into the story is his raising the money to ransom Richard.) If you're looking for a happy story with a happy ending--a historical romance--this is not the one for you. I'm not sure I liked Richard. I'm not sure he made the best decisions for himself, for his wife, for his country. I found his obsession a bit tiring. I definitely found myself agreeing more with Robin who refused to go on the Crusades because he thought it was a waste--of time, of energy, of money, of lives. 

While I've enjoyed other Margaret Campbell Barnes titles more, I would still recommend this one to those that like reading historical fiction.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Tribute Books Mama 1:42 PM  

Thanks! for sharing

Marg 5:32 PM  

I liked this one a lot. I am not sure that the Robin Hood aspect was in the book enough to warrant it being part of the subtitle of the book though.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP