This is an historical novel about Eleanor of Aquitaine, the famous Queen of France, then Queen of England, who died in 1204 after a tumultuous life that included 17 years of imprisonment. As Duchess of the highly coveted, rich lands known as the Aquitaine (now southern France,) she was beautiful, highly intelligent and schooled in the art of governance. She went on Crusade to the Holy Land with her first husband Louis of France, then served as Queen consort to Henry II of England, her second husband. She outlived both men and all her sons (including Richard the Lionheart) but one, John, all of whom she moved as chess pieces throughout the period from about 1137 to her death in 1204. A remarkable and unusual woman to say the least, she almost certainly broke ground for women rulers.
Though written as a novel, introducing some romantic story lines not confirmed by history, the author spent almost 15 years researching the scarce extant historical materials and traveling to the original geographic sites. So if you enjoy a fine story laced with true historical facts, you will enjoy this book about an incredible woman.
Excellent book about the Crusades. Eleanor is a strong character who affects the history of France.