Am finding Lionheart a bit of a weak read so far - only 40 pages in, but there seems a lot missed out.
For example, we've followed a few different women so far, whose only purpose appears to be to reveal different aspects of the political world of men. Penman also head hops a lot and makes no effort to get into the emotional being of any character - after one women is widowed, Penman pulls back into a short dialogue and shows us nothing of her feelings and grief, excepting for other people looking at her and thinking she looks a bit sad.
Also, there's a complete lack of social dynamics. Politics is all very well, but we're following a young girl in royal service early on - she appears to have no duties, no one treats her unfairly, no one resents her new appointment, the girl doesn't think upon work at all almost implying she's living a lazy carefree existence. There's a grating sense of "fairy tale" about this - all privilege and no labour.
The book started interesting enough, but so far, it's little more than dialogue about politics attributed to women's names.
It's not a bad read, but it's lacking basic literary strengths even at the start, which is surprising, but I'm happy to continue on.