• Lionheart

  • By: Ben Kane
  • Narrated by: Philip Stevens
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Lionheart  By  cover art

Lionheart

By: Ben Kane
Narrated by: Philip Stevens
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $21.81

Buy for $21.81

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Rebel. Leader. Brother. King.

1179. Henry II is King of England, Wales, Ireland, Normandy, Brittany and Aquitaine. The House of Plantagenet reigns supreme.

But there is unrest in Henry's house. Not for the first time, his family talks of rebellion.

Ferdia - an Irish nobleman taken captive during the conquest of his homeland - saves the life of Richard, the king's son. In reward for his bravery, he is made squire to Richard, who is already a renowned warrior.

Crossing the English Channel, the two are plunged into a campaign to crush rebels in Aquitaine. The bloody battles and gruelling sieges which followed would earn Richard the legendary name of Lionheart.

But Richard's older brother, Henry, is infuriated by his sibling's newfound fame. Soon it becomes clear that the biggest threat to Richard's life may not be rebel or French armies, but his own family....

©2020 Ben Kane (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"A rip-roaring epic, filled with arrows and spattered with blood. Gird yourself with mail when you start." (Paul Finch)

"Ben's deeply authoritative depiction of the time is delivered in a deft manner." (Simon Scarrow)

What listeners say about Lionheart

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    121
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    118
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    110
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Painfully Droll Historical Fiction

This novel listens/reads like Juvenile Ouija Board Prophecy. The narrator, a squire to Richard the 1st, is a toady, even though he suspects that his allies are implicated in the killing of his family (tangentially at least). Uhhh...this is not a novel of revenge, it is a supernumerary's sideshow, made relevant by the narrator's (an Irish Royal Hostage) loyalty to an important historical figure. His indifference to injustice is overplayed stoicism...totally fake and unbelievable. Bad actors are unrealistically bad and good ones are gruff caricatures of righteous historical icons.

There is nothing new here. A bad Robin Hood novel would tell the same story, The prose and descriptions of 1187 are lacking poetic power or historic relevance. The cliches are painful...wiley vixen to describe a girlfriend, and mornings are crisp and fresh....all the droll cliches and uninterested prose to sell pulp, but not enough to fool a connoisseur of tantalizing British historical fiction.

Don't bother starting this novel unless you are bored and expect little from your text. Two Swords Down!

2 people found this helpful

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

History during the middle ages is a dauntingly ...

morass of politics. alliances formed then broken within a couple of years, even months. The physical distances are deceptively small yet even small areas become crucial. then the dimension of time increases the details exponitionally. the USA 250yr history is relatively short compared to 1000 years of very limited written and momentous historical events.
Mr Kane brings areas of conflict into focus especially for the avid amateur history buff. I 'see' them as real people doing extraordinary things, yet born into a world very different from my own. Thank you Mr. Kane

1 person found this helpful

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

Great story

Never a boring moment and a page burner. I look forward to the next story. It's a fun way to learn about some history while not having to read boring text books.

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

Love Historical Fiction

I have enjoyed previous work by Ben Kane I love his Roman based Eagle series. Medieval history is not my area however, I really enjoy historical fiction if not taken to far afield. Bringing interesting characters alive inside a thread of history just brings me enjoyment. If known a bit about the true historical characters following a good story within the history is just fun. Done well you can learn some interesting things about the lives of the time.

Ben does this very well. I spent years reading nonfiction it gets a bit dry after many years. Historical fiction is creative work and in some cases as good a guess as any historian can make in some time period. I enjoyed this book and have listened to it a few times.

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

Narrator Issue

Took me quite a while to get through this book and it wasn’t due to the story itself. Can’t help but think I would have loved it if narration more fitting to the story. Phillip Stevens would be perfect you YA type stories but adds.. too much. Wrong narration for a book like this.

No complaints on the writing by any means. If anything, it showed how good the writing is that I wanted to finish. Personal preference, but I’m doubtful I’ll buy the next on audio if the narration is the same.

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

Never wanted to press stop!

Narrator was great, story is amazing - Ben thank you for bringing this period to light. This is my first real book on the actual King Richard (apart from the robin hood stories as a child!) Cannot wait to get into the crusades 🙏🙏🙌🙌

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

wow

shared your concerns with not doing a roman title yet this series was non the less entertaining. love listening to these while I work. look forward you your next book and I hope someday a movie preferably on the forgotten legion series.

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

Excellent book!

I love history. The author does a great job of bringing history to life. I look forward to reading more.

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

Great historical adventure

Narrator was wonderful. A delight to listen.
I will be listening to more books by this author

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

Rendering history with a pulse.

As with the author most of us a children watched the adventures of Robin Hood and bad King John and good King Richard. Mr. Kane has done us all well. Respect Sir!!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ben Kane
  • Ben Kane
  • 05-28-20

Stunning narration

I have never been particularly bothered about listening to the audio versions of my books. Philip Stevens, however, has a masterful voice, so I gave this a try. He's done a bl**dy amazing job - truly brings my book alive! Over the moon.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 06-01-20

Kane Goes All Modern On Us!

I've listened to several of Ben Kane's audio books and I can only imagine what his first reaction was when apparently his publisher suggested he go for something a little less ancient. He doesn't quite reveal those initial thoughts in his insightful notes at the end. I must admit I wasn't sure if it would work but it wasn't long before he had me rooting for' Rufus', a faithful hound of a character if there ever was one! An Irish noble hostage taken by the English to ensure the good behaviour of his rebellious father he's definitely one to follow into the remainder of the series!

The narration by Philip Stevens is first class. Lots of big voices, emotion and a great aging King Henry all come together to complete what is a truly vivid performance that helps breathe additional life into Kane's excellent text. There are battles and skirmishes, friendships and betrayals and even love trysts and murder! It's a heady concoction befitting one of England's most iconic of historical characters and it's all tied up nicely with some fascinating author's notes at the end. I do like it when an author takes the time to explain how he drew his inspiration and to an extent where he has taken liberties with his story to give it proper context.

So, an excellent start to a series that I am very much looking forwards to reading. Great characters, great action and a flowing story brought to life by an excellent narrator make this an extremely good way to spend your listening time!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nick
  • Nick
  • 06-24-20

What a wonderful book!

Just the right amount of history and fiction which makes for a gripping story that you won’t want to put down. I really like the character development in this book, it made me feel invested right from the start. Battle scenes are Ben’s speciality and this book is no different. The performance was also very well done. An easy, enjoyable and at times gripping story. A book for everyone.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CT
  • CT
  • 06-22-20

A positive change of era

Medieval Europe is a new direction for Kane. Excellent story, looking forward to the next

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alison
  • Alison
  • 06-06-20

Lionheart

I loved this book. Now I want to know what happens next and am not very happy at having to wait a whole year. Please revise your plans. I was expecting Rufus’ arch enemy to be killed off and him to be awarded the hand of Beatrice but neither happened.
I enjoyed the voice of the reader and his academic professionalism with many different languages and correct pronunciation. (This happens rarely in audible books.) Do I detect a fellow classicist?

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-24-20

Another great story

Great characters woven into a compelling storyline. Please continue to support and write within this historical fictional genre.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Greg Day
  • Greg Day
  • 06-23-20

magnificent work

this was a facinating story with vivid characters and it kept me entertained throughout. I would highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for N
  • N
  • 06-21-20

More Walter Scott than Hilary Mantell

Undemanding easy read only occasionally irksome when french names are mispronounced by the supposedly Irish hero with an english accent.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-20-20

Just Brilliant

I’ve read nearly all of Ben Kane’s books. They are truly brilliant. This one does not disappoint. Fascinating as ever. With lots, interesting aspects of the the time of Richard the lion heart which I never knew; his quarrels with Henry his father, and their Warring. It is also fascinating to get a picture of what life was like for a young squire in medieval Britain and France. There is so much to cover, and I think Ben does an fantastic job of this. The story interweaving the different characters - your faithful protagonist Rufus and his trusty companion Rees and how they meet and interacts with William Marshall - previously until this book - an unknown figure in medieval nobility - who now comes to life as a galant, stoic and honourable knight who had to make some very hard and very brave decisions as to who his allegiance is owed to; an aging king, or an aggressive ‘warmongering’ prince.

Give this book a read. You will not regret it. I just hope he writes a sequel!

Thanks Ben for another terrific book.

Archie

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gary Bass
  • Gary Bass
  • 06-20-20

Truly excellent start to this series

I can highly recommend this , the first , of Ben Kane’s series on Richard the Lionheart . Well researched , great characters and rollicking good action and adventure feature prominently . Can’t wait for the second on the Crusades .

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Adam Michael
  • Adam Michael
  • 09-30-20

Yes to everything.

As above. Outstanding on all fronts.

Only negative is the 9 month wait for the sequel!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-20

historical fiction

I love Ben Kane's books. looking forward to the next one in this series. great to hear about one of England's famous kings.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sweetheart1
  • Sweetheart1
  • 08-13-20

brilliant

i thoroughly enjoyed this...the only way it could be better is a different choice of narrator..Pbillip did a great job nut I think this story requires a harder voice. Eagerly awaiting the next book to be released on audible..

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Victor
  • Victor
  • 06-18-20

Great listen

Been looking forward to this once since it was announced.
Great job creating characters we love and hate. Definitely feel that I wish it was part of a series of books so that Ben could really expand on certain parts.
Thoroughly enjoyed it and will be preordering the next one soon as it’s available!
Keep it up

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-31-21

Compelling storyline and and capturing characters.

Entertaining plot with enthralling characters. Kept my interest peaked every chapter and gave a historical narrative based on true events and real people. Ben makes it easy to remember true history by presenting a fictional storyline based in the period.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for r1gby1983
  • r1gby1983
  • 04-29-21

A worthy read

I just finished reading the book and found it a worthy read and hopefully it’s the start of several books following Rufus on his journey with King Richard.

I enjoyed seeing Rufus grow into becoming a knight of King Richard. I was confused with the role of William Marshall in the story, the book follows Rufus but then William comes more and more into the story but I don’t understand what the purpose was? Maybe this will become more apparent in further books or maybe William was used to see if from King Henry’s side in the story?

I will read the next and see how the story develops.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-17-21

Fascinating historical novel

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book. Well written and read. Engaging and intriguing. Bravo Ben!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Owen Ward
  • Owen Ward
  • 01-06-21

touroughly enjoyed.

Great novel and i look forward to the next instalment. Phillip Stevens is one of my favourite narrators and hope he stays on for many more of your books.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Helene
  • Helene
  • 12-16-20

Fantastic book

Fantastic listening, you don’t want the book to end. The characters really come alive in your imagination.