I was disappointed with this book and would not recommend it.
In my opinion, it is very poorly written. The characters are broadly drawn, lacking depth and personality, especially the main character/narrator, Princess Alais of France, who is anachronistic and unsympathetic. The story reads like a bad romance novel filled with "important secrets" that are finally revealed so casually that the reader wonders why so many artificial contrivances were made to keep them hidden- accept that if they weren't there would be no story. The author dresses up the book by throwing in historic facts that have nothing to do with advancing the story or our understanding of the characters, while she does not provide the sort of details of character and atmosphere that make historical fiction such a delight to read.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable historical novel. As a fan of the movie _Lion in Winter_, I found it very interesting to see many of the same characters 20 years later.
Absorbing novel featuring historical characters from the era of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Intrigue, romance, history. This novel has it all.
Set in the early 13th century, this book has more of the feeling of a
contemporary mystery/suspense novel. The middle-aged heroine, an obscure
historical figure (Alais Capet, a princess who was engaged to Richard the
Lionheart but whose marriage did not occur), is a smart and feisty woman
who would appeal to many fans of that subset of mystery novels which seem
to favor such women as protagonists - but I didn't find her believable as
a character of her time period. The historical details seem squished into
the story for the sake of having historical details, rather than naturally
stemming from the story.
This aside, the story was entertaining. Alais is blackmailed by her
stepmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, into trying to retrieve some of her old
correspondence from a hiding place in Canterbury cathedral. Hoping to gain
information of the baby that was stolen from her some 20 years earlier,
Alais agrees - but ends up being violently kidnapped and plunged into a
mystery involving much royal politicking.
good historical novel with intrigue