Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review: The Passionate Brood by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Title: The Passionate Brood
Author: Margaret Campbell Barnes
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Republished October, 2010 by Sourcebooks
*Sent to me by Sourcebooks to read as an ARC review copy*


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, the two clash when Robin Hood so provokes the king's white hot temper that Richard banishes him. The Passionate Brood is a tale of a man 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 Plantagenets. (From Amazon.com)

 I love historical fiction books, and the first thing I do when I pick them up is to try to get dates and real historical facts out of my head, because the tend to get in the way of my enjoying the story...because historical fiction authors always twist and turn facts to suit their story, and that's what makes historical fiction entertaining. 

With this book though, I made the mistake of reading a couple of reviews where the reviewers pointed out how improbable the story being told was because of the dates being all wrong. Try as I might, I just could not get that out of my head while reading it. I think it ruined the story for me...

For having been written in the 1940s, I think that the author did a really good job of transporting the reader back to the time of Richard the LionHeart and feel like I was apart of the Plantagenet family, and if it weren't for the whole date thing combined with the fact that I seem to have lost my historical romance/fiction reading mojo I think I would have really enjoyed the republication of this book. I might have to come back to reading this book when my historical fiction/romance reading mojo returns.

Lesson learned from this: Do not read reviews from others before starting a book you are looking forward to reading, no matter how tempting it is to do so.