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The Land Beyond the Sea  By  cover art

The Land Beyond the Sea

By: Sharon Kay Penman
Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
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Publisher's summary

From the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Sharon Kay Penman comes the story of the reign of King Baldwin IV and the Kingdom of Jerusalem's defense against Saladin's famous army.

The Kingdom of Jerusalem, also known as Outremer, is the land far beyond the sea. Baptized in blood when the men of the First Crusade captured Jerusalem from the Saracens in the early 12th century, the kingdom defined an utterly new world, a land of blazing heat and a medley of cultures, a place where enemies were neighbors and neighbors became enemies.

At the helm of this growing kingdom sits young Baldwin IV, an intelligent and courageous boy committed to the welfare and protection of his people. But despite Baldwin's dedication to his land, he is afflicted with leprosy at an early age and the threats against his power and his health nearly outweigh the risk of battle. As political deception scours the halls of the royal court, the Muslim army - led by the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, Saladin - is never far from the kingdom's doorstep, and there are only a handful Baldwin can trust, including the archbishop William of Tyre and Lord Balian d'Ibelin, a charismatic leader who has been one of the few able to maintain the peace.

Filled with drama and battle, tragedy and romance, Sharon Kay Penman's latest novel brings a definitive period of history vividly alive with a tale of power and glory that will resonate with listeners today.

©2020 Sharon Kay Penman (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"[A] riveting page-turner, and Penman's well-honed skill for weaving deeply researched details into epic tales is on full display. Fans of medieval historical fiction won't want to miss this." (Publishers Weekly)

“Penman is justifiably renowned for her medieval epics….Working on a large canvas, she illustrates the era’s political movements and the personalities of its movers and shakers with equal dexterity….From fierce battle maneuvers to the emotional corridors of an unexpected love story, readers will feel intimately drawn into the characters’ dramatic lives in Penman’s splendid historical novel. Historical saga fans will pounce on best-selling and always thrilling Penman’s latest, which offers a particularly alluring setting.” (Booklist)

“Penman excels at depicting medieval warfare and the unintended, often disastrous consequences of the best-laid strategies. She is equally adept at depicting the rivalries and internecine strife that roil Baldwin’s court….This book amply illustrates the extent to which fortune and personality dictated victory, détente, and defeat on both sides. A teeming 12th-century tapestry which Penman renders coherent, even eloquent.” (Kirkus Reviews)