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Publisher's Summary

The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights. This is the era of chivalry, Robin Hood, and the Knights Templar, the era of the Black Death, the Black Prince, the founding of Parliament, and the Hundred Years’ War.

©2012 Daniel Jones (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Dan Jones’  The Plantagenets is outstanding. Majestic in its sweep, compelling in its storytelling, this is narrative history at its best. A thrilling dynastic history of royal intrigues, violent skullduggery, and brutal warfare across two centuries of British history." (Simon Sebag Montefiore,  New York Times best-selling author)
"The Plantagenets played a defining part in shaping the nation of England, and Dan Jones tells their fascinating story with wit, verve, and vivid insight. This is exhilarating history - a fresh and gloriously compelling portrait of a brilliant, brutal, and bloody-minded dynasty." (Helen Castor, prize-winning author of  She-Wolves)
"This is history at its most epic and thrilling. I would defy anyone not to be right royally entertained by it." (Tom Holland, prize-winning author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • 2 Stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Narrative History

This is one of those great overview books where you get enough of the story to be engaged, but you're also left wanting more. In short, my kind of history book. I love these kinds of launch pads into deeper research. Without a book like this, the in-depth works keep the reader on the outside. A work like this helps a person to do so much more than tread water; it makes history accessible to everyone. This is not my first dip into the Plantagenet history, but it is the first time I've had it delivered cohesively and linearly. What a difference that makes, putting it all into persective! Now I can read these longer stories about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard I, and so on with a far better understanding of how it all fits together.

Clive Chafer's narration... I have really mixed feelings about. I want so much to give him high marks. The man has an incredibly fantastic voice, the kind of voice you wish you could have so as to impress others. The problem is that his inflection and overall delivery comes across, and I hate to say this, as a parody of a BBC newscaster. Anyone remember those Monty Python skits where Eric Idle would read the news? It's that sort of thing, only with a more authoritative voice and no punchline. His cadence is very similar to this as well, where he's very "radio announcer" instead of being conversational or documentary narrative as it needs to be, and it's repetative. Let me attempt to illustrate this. You remember when your teacher first introduced you to Shakespeare and iambic pentameter, and that rhythm (da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM) was plugged in to stay for the rest of your life? Chafer isn't doing that exactly, but there is a cadence there in regard to his vocal inflection that will make itself known within just a few minutes of listening, and it goes like that to the end of the book. Maybe that's just how I'm hearing it, but if you do pick up this title - and it's well worth your credit to do so - you can judge for yourself and tell me if I'm just way off base. Based on other reviews, it seems I'm in the minority here.

87 of 87 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

fascinating story ...

... but listen carefully to the audio sample to see if the style of reading is to your taste. the narrator ends every single sentence with the same emphasis. another reviewer mentions this predictable cadence which, to me at times during the 20 hours of listening, became a distraction.
in all, the book is well-written and worth a credit, but i suspect the narrration may be off-putting to some.

56 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I should have read all the reviews!

What made the experience of listening to The Plantagenets the most enjoyable?

N/A

What other book might you compare The Plantagenets to and why?

N/A

How could the performance have been better?

I found the narration tedious and distracting, but at least I have learned to avoid this particular narrator in future, and buy the book instead! Just sorry I tried to listen several times instead of returning it within the time frame.

Any additional comments?

I wish I had read all the reviews, and listened to the sample before I bought it, as at least one reviewer advised. After several attempts to listen, I plan on deleting this from my library and putting the book on my Christmas list, because it's about a period in which I am interested. That's why overall and story are worth 4 stars, and performance receives two for
stamina!

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Read by the most droning, dull narrator.

Truly avoid this audio book. The book itself seems fine, but admittedly I only could suffer an hour of it. The narrator sends to be nearly falling asleep; I understand it is history and that can be dry, but at least feign some interest for the reader's sake.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Garth
  • San Francisco
  • 06-13-16

Omg - narrator is the worst I have heard in 280 books on audible - unlistenable . . . Also the story is a recitation - only!

How to explain - this is a recitation of names, dates, and places - no more. When combined with the narrator - the first UNbearable narrator I have listened to in the 280 books on audible that I have listened to. I had to stop and write this I can listen to it no more. Like I said OMG!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a Wild Group of Monarchs!

I have long wanted to get the audible version of one of my favorite historical novels, "Katherine" (Anya Seton), but decided I should brush up on my Plantagenet history first since I get some of this period confused. I couldn't have asked for a better, more interesting overview. Dan Jones hits the highlights of each of the kings and this presentation done in precise linear fashion makes it very easy to follow. I did find that keeping a family tree handy on my computer helped, but this was not difficult to follow in spite of the fact that the same 3 or 4 male and female names were used by those people over and over. (Keep wanting to holler back 800 years and suggest someone throw in a Tammy or a Larry!) One of the biggest reasons I used to get confused is that at about the 4th Matilda and the 3rd Edward, my brain wants to wander, but this book kept me plugged in the whole time. I was not thrilled with Clive Chafer's highly declarative style of reading - as one reviewer aptly put it, Chafer's delivery is more suited to a broadcaster than a narrator. However, the material is so interesting, I didn't get too hung up about the narrator. I will definitely read Jones' next book, "The War of the Roses", as soon as I finish my beloved "Katherine".

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A rare and amazing look at the Plantagenets.

A true Masterpiece.
I have no idea why this book has anything less than straight 5 stars. It is a very readable, compulsively addictive, in-depth story of the kings and queens who were the early ruling class: the Plantagenets.
If you want something as a quick beach read, go back to Phillipa Gregory. This is actual history, and amazingly the author does a fantastic job showing both the good and negative sides of each Plantagenet King (and one Queen).
This is historical NONFICTION, people.

I think it's exceptional, and I eagerly look forward to Jones' next book. As for Narrator, he is flawless!! The negative reviews shok me!

If you have a brain and are interested in the Plantagenets (early English kings beginning with Henry I and part of the war of the roses, with the Lancastrians) this is the best treatment of the subject on audible! Hands down!!

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great broad history of an important dynasty.

I had listened to Dan Jones book on the Wars of the Roses and had decided that this would be my next listen. Before purchasing I read reviews and found myself unsure due to the narration. I still decided to go with it and I am glad I did. The story itself is riveting, which helped me get through the first part of the narrative. The reading style of Clive Chafer can be distracting at first, but I found that by hour five his style mellowed and I was used to his groove. His quoting voices are very good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Toney, AL United States
  • 03-08-14

Riveting

From the beginning of the Plantagenet Dynasty thru the end of the reign of Richard, the history of the Plantagenet’s is simply riveting. These leaders, though called Kings of England, were actually French Norman until well into the 14th Century. The marriage alliances, the intrigues, the betrayals, the pure brutality, the military campaigns, the plagues and ultimately the advances towards modern day governing all contribute to make this a fascinating book. The Kings and leaders were certainly not gentle people, yet many of actions they took played a significant role in how England, and ultimately Europe developed into what it is today. I guess I thought there was more National identity during these times than there actually seemed to be – the spheres of influence were in actuality more aligned with ruling families than nationalistic. Most of the coastal areas of modern day France were frequently under the rule of the Plantagenet Kings, until nearly the 15th century. Through each ensuing reign, you can see small advances in curbing the ultimate power of the Kings to the point of removing later Kings Edward II and Richard II. And while the Kings power was slowly being curtailed, the power of the legislative part of Government slowly grew – from the inception of the Magna Carta during King John’s reign until the removal of King Richard II. If you enjoy History of the middle Ages you will enjoy this book. Well worth the credit.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting content

Loved the content. Very interesting. Narrator's voice is a bit monotone and harsh. Got used to it though.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful