Pub. Date: June 8, 2010
Pages: 384 pages
From goodreads.com:I will start off by telling you that it is hard for me to get into a historical fiction novel. I have been looking for one for a long time and haven't been able to find one. It may just be that the genre isn't one for me, but I have insisted on finding one that I love. I now have to look no farther.
Joan’s mother is Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most beautiful woman in the world. Her father is Henry II, the king of England. She loves them both—so what can she do when she’s forced to choose between them? As her parents’ arguments grow ever more vicious, Joan begins to feel like a political pawn.
When her parents marry her off to the king of Sicily, Joan finds herself with a man ten years her senior. She doesn’t love him, and she can’t quite forget her childhood crush, the handsome Lord Raymond.
As Joan grows up, she begins to understand that her parents’ worldview is warped by their political ambitions, and hers, in turn, has been warped by theirs. Is it too late to figure out whom to trust? And, more important, whom to love?
I've recently been fascinated with the history of the English monarchy and was excited to find out about this book. Although it does not center around one of England's more influential or noted royalty, it sounded good. Especially since it hinted at a romance.
Joan was a wonderfully written character. I found her not necessarily relate-able (I am no princess), but still interesting to read about. I was able to feel the Joan's confusion, pain, anger, and just Joan. It was odd to see how grown up she was at such a young age though. I was surprised to when it said she was only 8 or 9 at some points. I realized from the book that she had to grow up fast though because of the world she lived in.
Susan Coventry did a great job of putting Joan's life into a novel. Although many do not know Joan very well and she is not mentioned too much in history, I love Susan's take on her and her life. Susan also notes that her take on Joan's relationships are speculated as to whether they were happy or unhappy, but the way she wrote them was perfect (in my opinion).
Overall this has become one of my favorite historical novels. If you aren't necessarily a fan of historical fiction and find it a bit dry, I recommend reading this book. It has changed my views of historical fiction and I hope Susan will write more soon!
Rating: 5 stars / 5 stars