View a Slideshow of Castles from Devil's Brood
The long-awaited and highly anticipated final volume in Penman’s trilogy of Henry
II and Eleanor of Aquitaine—a tumultuous conclusion to this timeless story of love, power,
ambition, and betrayal.
Where the second novel in the trilogy, Time And
Chance, dealt with the extraordinary politics of the twelfth century, climaxing with the
murder of Thomas Becket and Henry’s confrontation with the Church and self-imposed exile to
Ireland, Devil’s Brood centers on the implosion of a family. And because it is a royal
family whose domains span the English Channel and whose alliances encompass the Christian
world, that collapse will have dire consequences. This is a story of betrayal as Henry’s
three eldest sons and his wife enter into a rebellion against him, aligning themselves with
his bitterest enemy, King Louis of France. But it is also the story of a great king whose
brilliance forged an empire but whose personal blind spots led him into the most serious
mistake of his life.
Sharon Kay Penman has created a novel of tremendous power, as two strong-willed,
passionate people clash, a family divides, and a marriage ends in all but name. Curiously, it
is a novel without villains—only flawed human beings caught up in misperceptions and bad
judgment calls. Most devastating to Henry was not his sons’ rebellion but his wife’s betrayal
in joining them. How could it happen that two people whose love for each other was all
consuming end up as bitter adversaries? That is the heart of Penman’s tale in Devil’s
"The empathetic reader can't help but be both horrified by the machinations of this grievously dysfunctional family and filled with pity for the pain they inflict upon one another. Penman does a remarkable job of depicting passionate, dramatic characters and the perilous times in which they live. For those who like their historical fiction as complex and tightly woven as a medieval tapestry, this book cannot fail to please. Highly recommended."
"Devil’s Brood does an excellent job of rendering a complex series of historical events comprehensible. Those unfamiliar with Plantagenet history will probably want to read Time and Chance first, but this long-awaited volume delivers all you can expect from Penman: a story so immediate and real that you’ll feel like you’ve lived it." Read full article
--Sarah Johnson, Historical Novels Review