Orphaned at a young age, Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, seeks a strong husband to keep her hold on the vast lands that have made her the most powerful heiress in Europe. Read more...
Orphaned at a young age, Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, seeks a strong husband to keep her hold on the vast lands that have made her the most powerful heiress in Europe. But her arranged marriage to Louis VII, King of France, is made disastrous by Louis's weakness of will and fanatical devotion to the Church. Eleanor defies her husband by risking her life on an adventurous Crusade, and even challenges the Pope himself. And in young, brilliant, mercurial Henry d'Anjou, she finds her soul mate-the one man who is audacious enough to claim her for his own and make her Queen of England.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-04-25
- Reviewer: Staff
O'Brien's fairly straightforward latest (after The Virgin Widow) follows Eleanor of Aquitaine throughout her first marriage and the years leading up to her second marriage to Henry Plantagenet, wherein she swaps her French crown for the English crown. Eleanor was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in medieval Europe, but an arrangement made when she was young seals her fate as the new wife of Louis Capet. The young duchess, who shortly after becomes queen of France, quickly discovers her assertiveness does not win her any friends, particularly among the abbots who advise her husband. The book documents her struggle with the church and its influence on her husband, and, later, her quest for an annulment as intrigues pile up and she gains the attentions of other prominent men. Eleanor is the picture of defiance, and her bold, fiery voice (not to mention impressive bio) is the strongest asset of this successful historical. (June)