Author: Sophie Perinot
Genre: Historical fiction
Challenges: Chunkster, Support Your Library, Historical Fiction
Description: Patient, perfect, and used to being first, Marguerite becomes Queen of France. But Louis IX is a religious zealot who denies himself the love and companionship his wife craves. Can she borrow enough of her sister's boldness to grasp her chance for happiness in a forbidden love?
Passionate, strong-willed, and stubborn, Eleanor becomes Queen of England. Henry III is a good man, but not a good king. Can Eleanor stop competing with her sister and value what she has, or will she let it slip away? (via Goodreads.com)
Thoughts: I read this book after hearing a description from one of the blogs that I follow, I was intrigued and so I requested a copy of the book and I wasn't disappointed and in fact I really, really liked it to the point that it renewed my interest in historical fiction. I have always been a fan of historical fiction, but I have always found historical fiction to be rather cliched in that you had fictional characters involved with well-known historical figures and events instead of being historical figures themselves.
While I won't spoil the book for people who follow this blog, I will say that I did appreciate the author taking the time and effort to write an expanded author's note to explain why she wrote the book and also to let people know of dates that she changed to help out with the narrative (I didn't even notice the change), in case they were picky. Nonetheless, I appreciate the effort that Sophie took to write the few pages of Author's Notes, that I usually note.
Back to the book, I like how the author introduces each chapter basically through a letter that either Eleanor or Marguerite write. I don't know how accurate the letters are, but I found it to be a great jumping off point for the chapter and also how one also knew what time of year and what year it was when the particular events were taking place. You could tell that the author had done her research before she had written the book, or at least a large majority of the research (I always found that when writing my papers sometimes that I would find more information about a particular topic as I was going through my notes, but that was rare).
Bottom Line: A very enjoyable book and very readable and if you enjoy historical fiction, I would highly recommend this book.
Pages for 2012: 14064