Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: The Passionate Brood

The Passionate Brood: A Novel of Richard the Lionheart and the Man Who Became Robin Hood by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Publication Date: October 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Format: Paperback, 368 pp
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN-13: 9781402242052
ISBN: 1402242050

(Received for review from Sourcebooks)

Synopsis (Amazon):

A spirited retelling of King Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade

"Margaret Campbell Barnes has been one of the most reliable of England's historical novelists." - Chicago Tribune

In this compelling novel of love, loyalty, and lost chances, Margaret Campbell Barnes gives readers a new perspective on Richard the Lionheart's triumphs and tragedies. Drawing on folklore, Barnes explores what might have happened if King Richard's foster brother were none other than Robin Hood, a legendary figure more vibrant than most in authentic history. Thick as thieves as Richard builds a kingdom and marshals a crusade, 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 Plantagenents.


This book has everything a good piece of historical fiction relies on: betrayal, deceit, war, women, loyalty, love, passion, lost causes and tragedy. Throw in one of the most legendary characters in English history, Robin Hood and you have one great novel! Margret Campbell Barnes gives readers a unique and different approach to the stories of Richard the Lionheart and Robin Hood. She is adept at describing the political intrigue of the time and weaves historical facts into to her story with precision.

This what if story places Robin Hood as Richard the Lionheart's foster brother. Growing up as brothers and friends Richard and Robin have very different paths to lead, one a prince, the other a peasant. One to be a king the other an outlaw.

The characters are very well developed and the story is so well written that the reader has no problem believing that Robin Hood could have been Richard's foster brother and friend. The book is very readable. It has a fast pace and the language is easier to read than most historical fiction. It has an almost lyrical feel in some places. The author has taken a story that has been retold many times and made it seem fresh and appealing to a new generation.

I really enjoyed this one, because I have always been a fan of Robin Hood legends and stories. I recently watched Russell Crowe's version of Robin Hood and felt it was very different from previous movies about the legends surrounding Robin Hood and I got the same feeling from this book. It felt new and refreshing a different spin on an old story. This is a re-issue of a previous title and Margret Campbell Barnes is no longer with us, this story lives on. I really enjoyed it and I think you will too.

The Passionate Brood is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!


jewelknits said...

This sounds AWEsome! Heading over to Goodreads now to put it on the wishlist!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries