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The Lion of Justice

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The death of the Conqueror left three sons to inherit his power and his wealth. Normandy for Robert, England for Rufus and for Henry, the youngest, five thousand pounds of silver.....The three were natural rivals. The feckless Robert lost his Norman dukedom in an orgy of impulsive extravagance. Red-haired Rufus scandalized the court with his perverse sexuality and contempt The death of the Conqueror left three sons to inherit his power and his wealth. Normandy for Robert, England for Rufus and for Henry, the youngest, five thousand pounds of silver.....The three were natural rivals. The feckless Robert lost his Norman dukedom in an orgy of impulsive extravagance. Red-haired Rufus scandalized the court with his perverse sexuality and contempt for the church...And Henry - cleverest of all - awaited his chance to fulfill his father's prophecy and assume the mantle of The Lion of Justice.


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The death of the Conqueror left three sons to inherit his power and his wealth. Normandy for Robert, England for Rufus and for Henry, the youngest, five thousand pounds of silver.....The three were natural rivals. The feckless Robert lost his Norman dukedom in an orgy of impulsive extravagance. Red-haired Rufus scandalized the court with his perverse sexuality and contempt The death of the Conqueror left three sons to inherit his power and his wealth. Normandy for Robert, England for Rufus and for Henry, the youngest, five thousand pounds of silver.....The three were natural rivals. The feckless Robert lost his Norman dukedom in an orgy of impulsive extravagance. Red-haired Rufus scandalized the court with his perverse sexuality and contempt for the church...And Henry - cleverest of all - awaited his chance to fulfill his father's prophecy and assume the mantle of The Lion of Justice.

30 review for The Lion of Justice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Henry I was the youngest son of William the Conqueror and and third of the Norman line of kings. He succeeded his brother William II in 1100. Henry helped unite the Normans and Saxons of England Following the first in the Norman Trilogy by one of the most prolific authors on English history, Jean Plaidy to the corrupt and degenerate successor to William the Conqueror William 'Rufus'II, who was killed in suspicious circumstances while hunting in the forest-almost certainly an assassination. William Henry I was the youngest son of William the Conqueror and and third of the Norman line of kings. He succeeded his brother William II in 1100. Henry helped unite the Normans and Saxons of England Following the first in the Norman Trilogy by one of the most prolific authors on English history, Jean Plaidy to the corrupt and degenerate successor to William the Conqueror William 'Rufus'II, who was killed in suspicious circumstances while hunting in the forest-almost certainly an assassination. William II became King in 1087. Lustful for power and openly homosexual, he ruled with violence rather than strength. The clergy denounced his brutality and his infringement on church rights. Williams reign was covered by a power struggle with the Roman Catholic church Covers the struggle between the sons of the Conqueror, William, Henry and Robert and the life of Princess Edith, daughter of the King of Scotland Malcolm and the Saxon Princess Margaret, from her life in the abbey under the heel of her cruel aunt Abbot Christina, her marriage to Henry after he became King and Henry's unfaithfulness with a host of mistresses, his favourite being the sensual and well practiced Welsh princess Nesta. Henry loved the gentle and pious Edith in a way but had partly married her to gain the favour of his Saxon subjects During his reign Henry worked to restrain the growing power of the barons, He promoted the Norman system of centralized rule and gave the royal courts great autonomy. His wars against rebellious subjects in France helped start a feeling of English nationalism. As usual Plaidy provides a rippling narrative teaching us much of English history along the way and comprehensive and intelligent dialogue.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Misfit

    Moving on, life is too short for dry as dirt Plaidy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Phil Syphe

    Although I don’t feel this second instalment in the Norman series is in the same league as the first, I do still rate it highly. I think there’re too many elements in “The Lion of Justice”, which prevents this reader at least from being absorbed by, say, two or three key themes. Perhaps the author would’ve fared better to have focused on William II (aka Rufus) and his term as England’s monarch, rather than covering so wide a scope, as certain plotlines feel rushed or underdeveloped. One storyline Although I don’t feel this second instalment in the Norman series is in the same league as the first, I do still rate it highly. I think there’re too many elements in “The Lion of Justice”, which prevents this reader at least from being absorbed by, say, two or three key themes. Perhaps the author would’ve fared better to have focused on William II (aka Rufus) and his term as England’s monarch, rather than covering so wide a scope, as certain plotlines feel rushed or underdeveloped. One storyline in particular – I won’t say which for fear of spoiling anything for people considering reading this novel – felt anticlimactic. For those who have read it, I’ll just state that I’m referring to Nesta, her cousin, and Henry’s later involvement. A four-book set rather than three would maybe have served better. Either that or this novel should’ve been extended by 100 pages or so. It’s also hard to get to know the main characters with such a lot of co-stars involved. In short, I consider this a good read that has not realised its full potential.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marie Burton

    2.5 stars. http://www.burtonbookreview.com/2013/... This took me almost 2 weeks to read. It was a fairly short book, and should have been easy to read because the tone of the writing was very middle grade or young adult in nature. Because of this style of writing I was bored out of my mind and had no desire to pick up this book which was a chore. I am very interested in these characters however & I would love a book on this era if anyone could recommend one. Group read starts July 28: http://www.goo 2.5 stars. http://www.burtonbookreview.com/2013/... This took me almost 2 weeks to read. It was a fairly short book, and should have been easy to read because the tone of the writing was very middle grade or young adult in nature. Because of this style of writing I was bored out of my mind and had no desire to pick up this book which was a chore. I am very interested in these characters however & I would love a book on this era if anyone could recommend one. Group read starts July 28: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_... #retroreadalong

  5. 5 out of 5

    Monica Hills

    An excellent recounting of Henry I and Matilda. I enjoyed their story and loved learning more about their lives. A great historical fiction book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Nature's takin' over my one-track mind Believe it or not, you're in my heart all the time All the girls are sayin' that you'll end up a fool For the time being, baby, live by my rules The Lion of Justice focuses on three of William the Conqueror's sons: William Rufus (William II), Robert (duke of Normandy), and Henry (Henry I). It tells the story of William II's brief reign, his mysterious death in the forest, and Henry I's reign. In part the story is told through his queen. We meet the future-quee Nature's takin' over my one-track mind Believe it or not, you're in my heart all the time All the girls are sayin' that you'll end up a fool For the time being, baby, live by my rules The Lion of Justice focuses on three of William the Conqueror's sons: William Rufus (William II), Robert (duke of Normandy), and Henry (Henry I). It tells the story of William II's brief reign, his mysterious death in the forest, and Henry I's reign. In part the story is told through his queen. We meet the future-queen as a young woman named Edith. She is royal: the daughter of the king and queen of Scotland. She is also among the last of the Saxon royal dynasty. The novel opens with Edith and her sister, Mary, going to a convent for safekeeping. They have an aunt there who is convinced that Edith should take vows and become a nun. Edith finds the idea repugnant. Equally repugnant to her is marrying an old man of the William II's choosing. There are two close calls before she is married to King Henry. Readers definitely know more of Henry than she does! One other thing that you should know: he makes her change her name to Matilda; Matilda was his mother's name. There is a good reason why I quoted Lou Christie's Lightin' Strikes at the start of this review. Henry I is depicted as arrogant and lusty and selfish. He's repugnant. And he's able to fool Matilda for several years at least. She actually believes all his lines. She actually trusts him. He seems a bit surprised that there is any woman so gullible and naive to buy what he's saying. He almost seems relieved when she confronts him to see if it is the truth. In my opinion, the back of the book LIED. Its description: A DAZZLING PORTRAIT OF A MAN FOR WHOM COUNTLESS MISTRESSES WEREN'T ENOUGH--AND ONE GIRL WAS EVERYTHING. Henry married Matilda because she was Saxon royalty. It was a politically advantageous match for the kingdom's good. He didn't dislike her. But she was never his everything. I get the impression that women were completely interchangeable to him. One being very much like another. Did I like it? It wasn't so much a matter of liking or not liking. I found it quite readable. I often found Henry infuriating, and I suppose I thought a lot of conversations to Matilda, not that she could hear me. I am glad I read on in the series!

  7. 4 out of 5

    MaryKate

    If I'm going to judge this novel based on the first in the trilogy, The Bastard King, then it fell short of my expectations. If I'm going to judge this novel as a standalone? Disappointing at best. I love Plaidy but I was bored bored bored by this! If I'm going to judge this novel based on the first in the trilogy, The Bastard King, then it fell short of my expectations. If I'm going to judge this novel as a standalone? Disappointing at best. I love Plaidy but I was bored bored bored by this!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lise

    This is not the first time I read this book. Something about it made me keep it. I know what it is as I used to be very romantic in my younger years and I hoped Henry would love Edith Atheling as much as she loved him and abandon Nesta of Rys Mar. Well I'm not as romantic now. This is basically the story of Henry Beauclerc, the youngest son of William the Conqueror. Henry was the one who should have been landless and without a title if fate hadn't worked in his favor. On his death bed, the Conqueror This is not the first time I read this book. Something about it made me keep it. I know what it is as I used to be very romantic in my younger years and I hoped Henry would love Edith Atheling as much as she loved him and abandon Nesta of Rys Mar. Well I'm not as romantic now. This is basically the story of Henry Beauclerc, the youngest son of William the Conqueror. Henry was the one who should have been landless and without a title if fate hadn't worked in his favor. On his death bed, the Conqueror told him he would have all that his brothers had. After the death of his oldest son Richard, The Conqueror had made of William Rufus his heir to the throne of England and his other son Robert, Mathilda of Flanders' favorite, the heir to the Duchy of Normandy. Rufus a pederast wasn't well liked by his subjects as he kept taxing them and flaunting to them his lifestyle. As for Robert he had none of the good sense of the Conqueror to rule properly over Normandy let alone England. When Rufus died in a hunting accident, Robert was at the Crusades and Henry hurried to claim the throne of England. In spite of having had numerous bastards with Nesta of Rys Mar, princess of Wales, and of even having strong feelings for her, he didn't find her worthy enough to become his queen. He had already met Edith Atheling at an abbey when his nephew William Warren, Earl of Surrey, went to court her. Henry found her fair, pretty and although not as passionately taken by her, he made her his queen. He made her change her name to that of Mathilda and they had 2 children, the fierce and strong-willed Mathilda who at the age of 12 became empress of Germany and William who would drown along with 2 of Henry's illegitimate children with Nesta. Henry fought with his brother Robert for Normandy which he also wanted to rid of Henry of Bellêmes a monster who would torture his subject. While away fighting for Normandy, Henry lost Mathilda who at the age of 40 died. Soon after 3 of his children, the first one William, his heir to the throne and his 2 illegitimate children, Mathilda, Countess of Perce and Richard also drowned. When the book ended Henry was thinking of remarrying and getting sons and daughters. This time I'm not holding on to this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    This was a very good book. It is the first Plaidy that I have read. I love historical fiction, but read more recent novels. I liked her style and will read more of her books. I will definitely read the other 2 books in this trilogy. Plaidy made characters from the 1100s tangible, though I did not like the Lion himself. However, she probably represented him fairly accurately or as accurately as an author can research represent a person who lived 900 years ago.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nightwitch

    Obviously scrupulously researched (for when it was written), it nonetheless has a "march of historical doom" quality to it, where it is clear that Plaidy is wedging in every amusing anecdote and important historical fact she can find and just kind of stringing them together. Henry is a charming jerk; Edith/Matilda is obnoxiously virtuous (I'm guessing that most of her characterization came from a literal hagiography). Kind of fun, but kind of a slog at the same time. Obviously scrupulously researched (for when it was written), it nonetheless has a "march of historical doom" quality to it, where it is clear that Plaidy is wedging in every amusing anecdote and important historical fact she can find and just kind of stringing them together. Henry is a charming jerk; Edith/Matilda is obnoxiously virtuous (I'm guessing that most of her characterization came from a literal hagiography). Kind of fun, but kind of a slog at the same time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Louis

    I found this an excellent read focusing on the three children of William the Concorer, King William II and Henry I of England as well as Robert of Normandy. Much of the book is about Henry's Queen Matilda who he married as she was of the Saxon Royal Family. I really like Jean Plaidy's style and feel excited for the next instalment. I found this an excellent read focusing on the three children of William the Concorer, King William II and Henry I of England as well as Robert of Normandy. Much of the book is about Henry's Queen Matilda who he married as she was of the Saxon Royal Family. I really like Jean Plaidy's style and feel excited for the next instalment.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Makoto Neuer

    Jean Plaidy nunca decepciona, siempre me inspira a leer más sobre los personajes secundarios de los que habla en la historia.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Incredibly boring. Couldn’t wait to finish.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Therese

    $.69 + $3.99 shipping -- yes, I had to get a real book. I never knew Jean Plaidy wrote under the name Victoria Holt (along with others), an author I have read many, many years ago. This book begins during the reign of King Rufus, and while nobody really knows what happened in his court, the author has definitely embellished his homosexual proclivities and total disdain for the church, although perhaps they are not embellished. Rufus has Anselm exiled, and along with would be stories, rumors, and $.69 + $3.99 shipping -- yes, I had to get a real book. I never knew Jean Plaidy wrote under the name Victoria Holt (along with others), an author I have read many, many years ago. This book begins during the reign of King Rufus, and while nobody really knows what happened in his court, the author has definitely embellished his homosexual proclivities and total disdain for the church, although perhaps they are not embellished. Rufus has Anselm exiled, and along with would be stories, rumors, and other things that may or may not be true, the author has woven an entertaining story of what might have happened during this time period. When Rufus is killed, she does not name who killed him or whether it was an accident but leaves the conclusions up to the reader although she does place, Tyrell in the new Forest along with Prince Henry. Not as much is said about Robert in this book, and that is fine because he was off on his crusade, and after Rufus was killed, Henry actively pursued and married Edith (later Matilda) the Scottish princess and knees of Edgar, the true heir to the English throne although faithfulness was at the bottom of Henry's priorities. He was well known to have fathered many children in England, most notably by Princess Nesta of Wales. Matilda was devastated (I wonder how she really felt and if she was really raised as strictly as this book describes) when she found out about how he slept around, but he told her (finally) that he had fathered many children, probably more than any other man in England. Henry was opportunistic, educated, and very cunning and this is what probably made him a good king. Robert didn't seem to be able to control Normandy and/or his own finances, and it was sad (to me) that Henry had to imprison him for the rest of his quite long life. I'm looking forward to reading about Henry's feisty daughter and the stormy times she had with her cousin Stephen, all of whom play a part in this book so we are ready for the next stage. The author ends the book when Prince William drowns in The White Ship, and although King Henry still has 15 more years to live, nothing more is written about this time even though we do know that he married again although never had children from his second marriage.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tania

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Second in the trilogy of the Norman conquerors and their reign over England, we now see William the Conqueror’s youngest son Henry’s rise to power, along with the fall of his older brothers Robert and Rufus. King Henry I is a strict but just ruler, and he brings with him to the thrown his new wife, Princess Edith of Scotland, renamed to Matilda. This English-born Norman and his Saxon wife quickly win the love of their people. Queen Matilda is clever in the ways of state and does much to further Second in the trilogy of the Norman conquerors and their reign over England, we now see William the Conqueror’s youngest son Henry’s rise to power, along with the fall of his older brothers Robert and Rufus. King Henry I is a strict but just ruler, and he brings with him to the thrown his new wife, Princess Edith of Scotland, renamed to Matilda. This English-born Norman and his Saxon wife quickly win the love of their people. Queen Matilda is clever in the ways of state and does much to further her husband’s interests while also playing the part of his conscious. And while King Henry can’t stay faithful to his loving and patient wife, he holds her in high esteem, always appointing her Regent in his many absences. As did the first in this series, The Bastard King, this book clipped along at a good pace. Mixing adventure, romance, piety and practicality the reader can become entranced in the not so perfect romance of King Henry I and Queen Matilda, while respecting the changes brought to England and Normandy during their reign.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I really enjoyed this book. At the moment this is my favourite genre. I love how Historical Fiction helps you learn (or remember) the things you didn't listen to in school but are now eager to learn. I like Jean's writing style and her attention to detail. This book is about 3 brothers, the surviving sons of the Conqueror amd 1 son too many. One having been left the crown of England, the next the duchy of Normandy and then nothing but money for the third and youngest. The book takes you on the j I really enjoyed this book. At the moment this is my favourite genre. I love how Historical Fiction helps you learn (or remember) the things you didn't listen to in school but are now eager to learn. I like Jean's writing style and her attention to detail. This book is about 3 brothers, the surviving sons of the Conqueror amd 1 son too many. One having been left the crown of England, the next the duchy of Normandy and then nothing but money for the third and youngest. The book takes you on the journey with Queen Matilda the Good where you learn of Rufus' strange antics and cruel ways to then be joined by King Henry 1. In each of Jean's books i've read so far you make it all the way to the end of someones life which I like because you really get to know them. I really do appreciate that she doesn't leave out the less interesting bits and, in a strange way, it gives me closure at the end of the book. I did really like this one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    After King William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror is killed in a hunting accident, Henry I claims the throne. With his bride, Matilda of Scotland he wrests control of Normandy from his brother Robert and spends the rest of his life trying to hold on to his realm. When his only male heir William drowns in a shipwreck he becomes desperate to produce a legitimate male heir. England may have justice and peace for now but things won't stay that way without an heir. After King William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror is killed in a hunting accident, Henry I claims the throne. With his bride, Matilda of Scotland he wrests control of Normandy from his brother Robert and spends the rest of his life trying to hold on to his realm. When his only male heir William drowns in a shipwreck he becomes desperate to produce a legitimate male heir. England may have justice and peace for now but things won't stay that way without an heir.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Collin

    First read this in the 70s when I first discovered Jean Plaidy. Now I've rediscovered her I'm loving catching up with the fab Norman Trilogy all over again. There's so much I'd forgotten! I just love the way she writes. Looking back over the last 35 years I've come to regard her as my passionate and engaging history teacher. Recommended! First read this in the 70s when I first discovered Jean Plaidy. Now I've rediscovered her I'm loving catching up with the fab Norman Trilogy all over again. There's so much I'd forgotten! I just love the way she writes. Looking back over the last 35 years I've come to regard her as my passionate and engaging history teacher. Recommended!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Although not written as well I would like (and the covers are cheesy), I love this series of books because it is novelized history. As I read, I seem to sense what's going to happen because of an English history class that I took years ago. It's quite exciting and enlightening at the same time. Although not written as well I would like (and the covers are cheesy), I love this series of books because it is novelized history. As I read, I seem to sense what's going to happen because of an English history class that I took years ago. It's quite exciting and enlightening at the same time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    K.L.

    Love the history of the Norman Kings, here is the much romanticized story of Henry I and his Saxon bride Edith. Gets quite emotional towards the end with the affair of the White Ship. Very good reread

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Good historical fiction

  22. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Probably better written than the other two in this Plaidy series, but still a bit laughable. History's all right though. Probably better written than the other two in this Plaidy series, but still a bit laughable. History's all right though.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara W

    William (Rufus) II and Henry I (sons of William I)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    I read a lot of Jean Plaidy in my youth, but this just didn't hold up for me. Perhaps because I tried to read it right after Georgette Heyer's The Conqueror, which was so much better. Ah well. I read a lot of Jean Plaidy in my youth, but this just didn't hold up for me. Perhaps because I tried to read it right after Georgette Heyer's The Conqueror, which was so much better. Ah well.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carol Hornby Clements

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rayna (Poindextrix)

  27. 4 out of 5

    thetis

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sandra De Leacy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janet

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rose Dernoncourt

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