The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III by Sharon Kay Penman
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this book because it came highly, highly recommended by a friend [kunstarniki -- thanks!], so maybe I was going into it with my expectations set too high. This is not to say I didn't enjoy it -- I did, very much. I hadn't realized that there was controversy over the common conception of Richard III, and I'm always interested in getting a different take on historical figures, especially when the new perspective is well-backed by the historical record. History is written by the winners, and Richard III was most definitely not a winner as far as the historical record goes.
The story was fascinating and engaging, well written, an excellent balancing act of dozens of characters. The only thing holding me back from five full stars: reams of exposition. Something like a quarter of the book is expository; to be fair, it's hard to cover some twenty years of eventful history without some level of exposition, but many places could have been pared or streamlined without affecting the story, and some segments would have been more effective if Penmen had detailed at least some of the action.
This is my only negative, though. Overall I would say this was a lovely book, and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in English history.