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Publisher's 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

What listeners say about Lionheart

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Yes to everything.

As above. Outstanding on all fronts.

Only negative is the 9 month wait for the sequel!

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historical fiction

I love Ben Kane's books. looking forward to the next one in this series. great to hear about one of England's famous kings.

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brilliant

i thoroughly enjoyed this...the only way it could be better is a different choice of narrator..Pbillip did a great job nut I think this story requires a harder voice. Eagerly awaiting the next book to be released on audible..

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Great listen

Been looking forward to this once since it was announced.
Great job creating characters we love and hate. Definitely feel that I wish it was part of a series of books so that Ben could really expand on certain parts.
Thoroughly enjoyed it and will be preordering the next one soon as it’s available!
Keep it up

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Compelling storyline and and capturing characters.

Entertaining plot with enthralling characters. Kept my interest peaked every chapter and gave a historical narrative based on true events and real people. Ben makes it easy to remember true history by presenting a fictional storyline based in the period.

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A worthy read

I just finished reading the book and found it a worthy read and hopefully it’s the start of several books following Rufus on his journey with King Richard.

I enjoyed seeing Rufus grow into becoming a knight of King Richard. I was confused with the role of William Marshall in the story, the book follows Rufus but then William comes more and more into the story but I don’t understand what the purpose was? Maybe this will become more apparent in further books or maybe William was used to see if from King Henry’s side in the story?

I will read the next and see how the story develops.

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Fascinating historical novel

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book. Well written and read. Engaging and intriguing. Bravo Ben!

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touroughly enjoyed.

Great novel and i look forward to the next instalment. Phillip Stevens is one of my favourite narrators and hope he stays on for many more of your books.

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Fantastic book

Fantastic listening, you don’t want the book to end. The characters really come alive in your imagination.

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  • Craig
  • 15-01-2021

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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  • K. Wilson
  • 27-07-2020

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-07-2021

Vivid adventure

I found the book to do a fine job of bringing the medieval world to life. While I thought John was portrayed to obvious a villain, the other family members fit my vision from my own reading. I especially enjoyed the interpretation of William Marshall. I would love if you wrote a book with Marshall as the main character. Great book I highly recommend.

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  • Ksenia Chabarova
  • 04-05-2021

Another great story

I love Ben Kane. I've found him from his stories of Romans, and now I'm here with a new subject. Of course I knew who Richard the Lionheart was, but I never dived in this historical period as I did with Rome. And how happy I am I did it with this book!

Kane always strides for historical accuracy (and always discloses where he doesn't), so I listened to the book while checking myself on Wikipedia about who was who. It was a bit challenging, moreover English isn't my first language, so I struggled a bit (my dear English native speakers, what are you doing with all the French words, I'm almost dying here!). But I feel it was worth it. The story was very captivating, and thanks to Philip Stevens all the characters had their own voice and character. Sometimes I felt I was present for the dialogs between the King's sons, and I think I can say this is a sign of a great reading. Listen or read it by yourself, and even if (for some unknown reason) you don't like it you'd definitely have something to think about.

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  • Dany
  • 17-01-2021

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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  • Kevin
  • 04-01-2021

Exceedingly entertaining

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

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  • shane
  • 18-12-2020

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
  • 21-11-2020

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
  • 14-10-2020

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
  • 31-08-2020

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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  • Ben Kane
  • 28-05-2020

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.

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  • Simon
  • 01-06-2020

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!

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  • Nick
  • 24-06-2020

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Alison
  • 06-06-2020

Lionheart

I loved this book. Now I want to know what happens next and am not very happy at having to wait a whole year. Please revise your plans. I was expecting Rufus’ arch enemy to be killed off and him to be awarded the hand of Beatrice but neither happened.
I enjoyed the voice of the reader and his academic professionalism with many different languages and correct pronunciation. (This happens rarely in audible books.) Do I detect a fellow classicist?

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-06-2020

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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  • Greg Day
  • 23-06-2020

magnificent work

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • CT
  • 22-06-2020

A positive change of era

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

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  • N
  • 21-06-2020

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-06-2020

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gary Bass
  • 20-06-2020

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 .

1 person found this helpful

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