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Summary

Introducing Lionheart - the new novel from Sunday Times best seller Ben Kane. 

1179. Henry II's Norman conquerors have swept through England, Wales - and now Ireland.  

Irish nobleman Ferdia has been imprisoned in Wales to ensure the good behaviour of his rebellious father. 

But during a skirmish on a neighbouring castle, Ferdia saves the life of the man who would become one of the most legendary warriors to have ever lived: Richard Plantagenet. The Lionheart. 

Taken as Richard's squire, Ferdia crosses the Narrow Sea to resist the rebellious nobles in Aquitaine, besieging castles and fighting bloody battles with brutal frequency. 

But treachery and betrayal lurk around every corner. Infuriated by his younger brother Richard's growing reputation, Henry rebels. And Ferdia learns that the biggest threat to Richard's life may not be a foreign army - but Richard's own family.... 

©2020 Ben Kane (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

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Stunning narration

I have never been particularly bothered about listening to the audio versions of my books. Philip Stevens, however, has a masterful voice, so I gave this a try. He's done a bl**dy amazing job - truly brings my book alive! Over the moon.

6 people found this helpful

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Kane Goes All Modern On Us!

I've listened to several of Ben Kane's audio books and I can only imagine what his first reaction was when apparently his publisher suggested he go for something a little less ancient. He doesn't quite reveal those initial thoughts in his insightful notes at the end. I must admit I wasn't sure if it would work but it wasn't long before he had me rooting for' Rufus', a faithful hound of a character if there ever was one! An Irish noble hostage taken by the English to ensure the good behaviour of his rebellious father he's definitely one to follow into the remainder of the series! The narration by Philip Stevens is first class. Lots of big voices, emotion and a great aging King Henry all come together to complete what is a truly vivid performance that helps breathe additional life into Kane's excellent text. There are battles and skirmishes, friendships and betrayals and even love trysts and murder! It's a heady concoction befitting one of England's most iconic of historical characters and it's all tied up nicely with some fascinating author's notes at the end. I do like it when an author takes the time to explain how he drew his inspiration and to an extent where he has taken liberties with his story to give it proper context. So, an excellent start to a series that I am very much looking forwards to reading. Great characters, great action and a flowing story brought to life by an excellent narrator make this an extremely good way to spend your listening time!

5 people found this helpful

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What a wonderful book!

Just the right amount of history and fiction which makes for a gripping story that you won’t want to put down. I really like the character development in this book, it made me feel invested right from the start. Battle scenes are Ben’s speciality and this book is no different. The performance was also very well done. An easy, enjoyable and at times gripping story. A book for everyone.

2 people found this helpful

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Another great story

Great characters woven into a compelling storyline. Please continue to support and write within this historical fictional genre.

1 person found this helpful

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magnificent work

this was a facinating story with vivid characters and it kept me entertained throughout. I would highly recommend it.

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  • CT
  • 22-06-20

A positive change of era

Medieval Europe is a new direction for Kane. Excellent story, looking forward to the next

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  • 21-06-20

More Walter Scott than Hilary Mantell

Undemanding easy read only occasionally irksome when french names are mispronounced by the supposedly Irish hero with an english accent.

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Just Brilliant

I’ve read nearly all of Ben Kane’s books. They are truly brilliant. This one does not disappoint. Fascinating as ever. With lots, interesting aspects of the the time of Richard the lion heart which I never knew; his quarrels with Henry his father, and their Warring. It is also fascinating to get a picture of what life was like for a young squire in medieval Britain and France. There is so much to cover, and I think Ben does an fantastic job of this. The story interweaving the different characters - your faithful protagonist Rufus and his trusty companion Rees and how they meet and interacts with William Marshall - previously until this book - an unknown figure in medieval nobility - who now comes to life as a galant, stoic and honourable knight who had to make some very hard and very brave decisions as to who his allegiance is owed to; an aging king, or an aggressive ‘warmongering’ prince. Give this book a read. You will not regret it. I just hope he writes a sequel! Thanks Ben for another terrific book. Archie

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Truly excellent start to this series

I can highly recommend this , the first , of Ben Kane’s series on Richard the Lionheart . Well researched , great characters and rollicking good action and adventure feature prominently . Can’t wait for the second on the Crusades .

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excellent book

great story well written and excellently narrated. finished it in 4 sessions hard to put down

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  • Dany
  • 17-01-21

Can't wait for the next instalment of this gifted author!

Ben Kane is a freak of nature! I couldn't stop listening to this audiobook. I kept having to 'rewind' the book because I was constantly distracted by my day to day commitments. Fantastic read!

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  • Craig
  • 15-01-21

Painfully Droll Historical Fiction

This novel listens/reads like Juvenile Ouija Board Prophecy. The narrator, a squire to Richard the 1st, is a toady, even though he suspects that his allies are implicated in the killing of his family (tangentially at least). Uhhh...this is not a novel of revenge, it is a supernumerary's sideshow, made relevant by the narrator's (an Irish Royal Hostage) loyalty to an important historical figure. His indifference to injustice is overplayed stoicism...totally fake and unbelievable. Bad actors are unrealistically bad and good ones are gruff caricatures of righteous historical icons. There is nothing new here. A bad Robin Hood novel would tell the same story, The prose and descriptions of 1187 are lacking poetic power or historic relevance. The cliches are painful...wiley vixen to describe a girlfriend, and mornings are crisp and fresh....all the droll cliches and uninterested prose to sell pulp, but not enough to fool a connoisseur of tantalizing British historical fiction. Don't bother starting this novel unless you are bored and expect little from your text. Two Swords Down!

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  • Kevin
  • 04-01-21

Exceedingly entertaining

Outstanding writing and narration. I can't wait for the next book in the (hopefully long) series.

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  • shane
  • 18-12-20

A story greatly told of a time long forgotten

I have 106 historical fiction titles in my library, this one just became my favorite. thank you MR. kane for enthralling in this wonderful story.

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  • goose
  • 21-11-20

thank you

I enjoyed book and narrator. Look forward to June 2021 and hopefully more of the same

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  • me_little_armalite
  • 14-10-20

One of the best of this category

of books. Kept my interest all the way through. Reader was perfect. Book wasn't too long or short.

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  • Kira G
  • 31-08-20

Incredibly enjoyable

I thoroughly enjoyed every word of this book and performance! It was like traveling back in time and going on an epic adventure!!!! Thank you Ben Kane, very much looking forward to the next.

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  • K. Wilson
  • 27-07-20

History during the middle ages is a dauntingly ...

morass of politics. alliances formed then broken within a couple of years, even months. The physical distances are deceptively small yet even small areas become crucial. then the dimension of time increases the details exponitionally. the USA 250yr history is relatively short compared to 1000 years of very limited written and momentous historical events. Mr Kane brings areas of conflict into focus especially for the avid amateur history buff. I 'see' them as real people doing extraordinary things, yet born into a world very different from my own. Thank you Mr. Kane

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  • Daniel P. Fradl
  • 30-06-20

well, that was fun! More great stuff from Ben Kane

If you've read any of Kane's earlier works, set in the ancient world, then you'll not be disappointed. As he often does, Kane plants a young protagonist in the midst of a historical setting of conflict, scheming political players, characters heroic and villianous (or both). Our young hero becomes privy to much of the doings of the powerful and influential, working his way farther up the ladder via his deeds and a good bit of luck. Well researched and well written as always. Dang, that was fun! I can't wait for the next one.

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  • Polarbear
  • 17-06-20

struggle to finish

Definitely no where near as good as the eagles at war series. Characters fall flat and uninteresting. I kept thinking to myself during the entire story, " why is the main character is so weak?" The author's writing a story essentially about his young son and had a good idea of what he's like etc. that's not explained to use very will as the audience. Doubtful that I'll pick up the second book in this series. Ben Kane had been a sure thing for a great book for me in the past. I seriously struggle to finish this book as compared to Eagles at War. I literally stayed up many of nights and going the next day with the little to no sleep because I continue to read that series on the edge of my seat the whole way