Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Review: THE QUEEN'S PAWN by Christy English

I have been waiting what feels like an eternity to read this book. I have had the ARC since the beginning of the year but because of my tight reading schedule I was not able to get to it sooner. Finally I have done it I have read it and I really enjoyed it. Christy English is by far one of the nicest authors I have ever come into contact with and I am so glad that she found me and offered me "The Queens Pawn" for review. Since I am new to this whole medieval time period of the 11th century I genuinely can say that this is a period that I am falling in love with. It started first with Elizabeth Chadwick and now continues on with Christy English.

Alais, Princess of France was the daughter of Louis VII. Louis was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine but as many know that did not work out and Eleanor left him for the King of England Henry II. Alias’s father married her mother after Eleanor left and sadly her mother died when she was a baby. It is hard for me to think of any child growing up with out a mother but for girls it is so much harder. They need that extra maternal devotion and when Alais was sent to England to marry Eleanor and Henry’s son Prince Richard she was immediately taken under Eleanor’s wing as a true daughter. The two women shared a deep kinship more like kindred spirits of a special kind. Eleanor saw in Alais some of her own defining qualities and took on an instant unconditional love for Alais.

It was a mess what Alais walked into in England, Eleanor and Henry’s relationship had already turned sour and the whole family were on the verge of war. It was a good thing for Alais that at one point she spent some time in a nunnery when Eleanor was being shady to the king. The whole book took a drastic turn when Alais went to court at Whitehall to be with Eleanor and Richard. I believe Alais deeply loved Richard and that since she had been so sheltered in her life at France she had no idea that when Richard swore his oath to her that it might not all be true. She wanted real love and would not accept anything less.

As we all know revenge is a dish that is best served cold but Alais made her revenge a steaming hot plate of deceit. An unexplainable force drew her to the king and she reacted out brashness and made the biggest mistake of her life. Turning her back on Eleanor and Richard she destroyed all that was in her path. Alais rejected Richard and Eleanor’s love and only accepted the Kings. Hum lets see bad idea or good idea? To love a man that locked his wife up for over 20 years, and who easily turned on his own children. It just made me wonder what she saw in him.

4/5 I really enjoyed this read but I have this little nagging feeling that other avid lovers of this period might not enjoy it as much as me. For the only reason that maybe since I am new to this period that I might just not have enough of the whole history to really understand if things were left out or events changed. I would highly recommend this book to newbies of this time period. All in all it was a easy read that was not complicated and flowed very nicely. No confusion here which is very important to me. Plus I love this beautiful cover the ladies are just too pretty in those dresses.

Thank you Christy for sending me this wonderful book I really enjoyed it. I can not wait for the next one on your ladies!
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  1. A great review Lizzy =) I think we mirrored each other's thoughts in our reviews. Mine will be up Friday.
    But I must say that this cover was awesome, I am so tired of the 'headless' HF covers for the past two years.

  2. sharon kay penman is also wonderful for this period. this book looks fantastic!

  3. Marie, I can not wait to see your review. I swear we are too much alike in our reading choices. I too enjoyed that the ladies kept their heads for this cover.

    Priya, I wish I could say I have read her the moment I can not commit to a book that is so long. I have heard they are great but books that long make me cringe.

  4. The only thing that I have read about this period so far was The Greatest Knight and it didn't really focus on these women too much - so I hope I will love it. Can't wait to get to it! Great review.

  5. Oh this one is up next for me! Loved your review- I like books that don't get too complicated and tell the story. (I'm a newbie too when it comes to this new can't wait to read it;)

  6. I think you both would be a perfect match for this one. I enjoyed it and it really brought out Eleanor's character.

  7. but once you get into them you will be over the moon that there is so much of it! they are seriously addicting!

  8. Great review. I just read a great book about Eleanor called Power of a Woman, which had that addictive quality. A great read if you love historical fiction.

  9. Priya, I kind of have that feeling that once I get into it there is no stopping it.

    Kate, thank you again foe the heads up on Power of a Woman. Eleanor was so ahead of her time she memorizes me.


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