My Rating: 4/5
Author: J M Barlog
Title: The Lion Unleashed
Genre: Historical Fiction
The thrilling adventure of The Heart of the Lion continues in The Lion Unleashed, Book 2 of this intense historical fiction series.
With her son, King Richard the Lionheart, a prisoner of Germany’s King Henry, Queen Eleanor struggles to raise the steep ransom he demands. Henry holds all the leverage, and he’s forcing his stranglehold on the English crown. Deliver or Richard dies.
Princess Joanna needs to keep Prince John off the throne, while staving off an expansion-hungry King Philip of France. Her only solution is to rescue her brother. But can one woman defy incredible odds to lead a small band of valiant knights to free her king?
The Lion Unleashed chronicles Joanna’s perilous quest to infiltrate Henry’s domain, locate their imprisoned king then flawlessly execute a daring rescue. The forces opposing them, at times, are insurmountable. Secrecy is paramount–bravery and courage tantamount to success. Prince John will stop at nothing to uncover Joanna’s intent so he might destroy her before she can foil his play for the crown.
Joanna and her men pledge their lives for their cause. But must it come to that to free their king?
True courage arises not from the heart but from the very soul. Joanna and her men must reach deep inside if they are to succeed in their quest.
Tense and action-packed, The Lion Unleashed shifts the Plantagenet battle from the verdant English countryside to the dark forests and impregnable castles on the continent.
The Lion Unleashed is the second book in The Heart of the Lion series. It continues right where the last book leaves off (without much recap.) Therefore, if you have not read the first and want to read this one, you know what to do. Also, you are in for possible spoilers from the first book in this review.
In this book, Joanna with the help of Rynhawker and Thomas plan to rescue King Richard. With Prince John and King Philip against bringing Richard home alive and King Henry impatient for his ransom, the trio has a lot of work to do.
One thing I am surprised with is how Rynhawker got over his wife’s death. There was only one moment that really touched upon her death. If he loved her as he had hinted in the last book, I was expecting a little more mourning (either in intensity or length) before moving on. It would have also been nice to get a little more background on the few knights that appeared in this story. Prince John makes less appearances in the story than the first. Instead, the story mainly revolves around Joanna and her plans to rescue her brother – while trusting only a few.
The plot moves along well. The story has action and some twists the characters must overcome. I think there should have been some mention of Eleanor sometime in the latter half of the book and what England was doing. The same goes for Prince John and the one knight. The story slightly veers from history and instead follows a little medieval folklore. [Just a heads up for the history buffs out there. This is, after all, a historical fiction.] The story ends with room for the next book (if there is one) just like the last one.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. If you like medieval historical fiction with King Richard, then you should try this book.