Betrayal, death, power plays, passion and drama flow through the pages
of this conclusion to Penman's trilogy.
A novel of immense power, it brings
the final years of the lives and marriage of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine into sharp focus. Readers
will see a family disintegrate and the world change.
The anger Hal and his brothers feel boils over, allowing Eleanor to encourage their open rebellion against Henry. Years of battles, treachery and hate between them explode in the climax, which leaves a dysfunctional family in shambles. (Putnam, Oct., 752 pp., $28.95)