A.D. 1135. As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's beautiful daughter Maude, Countess of Anjou. But before Maude could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned.
Sharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacular medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come—the glorious age of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets that would soon illumine the world.
About the Author
For many years while she was a student and then a lawyer, Sharon Kay Penman slowly but steadily worked on a novel about the life of Richard III. However, after finishing the manuscript, her only copy was stolen from her car in a busy parking lot. Devastated but resolved, Penman rewrote the entire novel, which became "The Sunne in Splendour". Originally published in 1982, it became a favorite of readers and critics alike, and she soon quit her job to write full-time. Penman is the author of several critically acclaimed historical novels and medieval mysteries, one of which, "The Queen's Man, " was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best First Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America.
"[A] marvelous medieval pageant of a novel. . .Another jewel in [Penman's] already glittering crown."—Orlando Sentinel
"Penman once again tells a tale of kings and queens, singular destinies, and double-crosses. . . .[She] inventively animates a large cast [and] continues to base her narrative on the firm ground of fact."—Kirkus Reviews
"A COMPELLING, WELL-WRITTEN EPIC…Penman is an accomplished novelist and certainly has staked a claim to medieval England as her literary fiefdom."—Philadelphia Inquirer