Author: Susan Coventry
Published: available now from Henry Holt
Source: author sent copy for honest review
Description: Joan’s mother is Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most beautiful woman in the world. Her father is Henry II, the king of England and a renowned military leader. She loves them both—so what is she to do when she’s forced to choose between them? As her parents’ arguments grow ever more vicious, Joan begins to feel like a political pawn. When her parents marry her off to the king of Sicily, Joan finds herself stuck with a man ten years her senior. She doesn’t love her husband, and she can’t quite forget her childhood crush, the handsome Lord Raymond. As Joan grows up, she begins to understand that her parents’ worldview is warped by their political ambitions, and hers, in turn, has been warped by theirs. Is it too late to figure out whom to trust? And, more importantly, whom to love?
I Give This ...
I've had a thing for historical fiction lately and this one seemed right up my alley. Especially since I know next to nothing about the children of Queen Eleanor and King Henry II. I enjoyed it a lot.
I find Joan particularly fascinating. What a world to grow up in and surrounded by some of the most talked about rulers in history. I think she was a little naive in her relationship with her parents, but what child would honestly think they would use her in such away against one another. I especially enjoyed her world travels. In a time were I don't think many people got to see much more than the area surrounding them, Joan got to see a lot. She live in France, England, and Sicily. Plus she travelled with her brother King Richard during the crusades. She saw much more the women of her time period would ever dream about seeing. I also enjoyed her whit. She spoke openly and sometimes without thought. While, it got her into trouble, I also think it showed her true spirit.
I was expecting some sort of romance, but was not prepared for it to happen towards the end of the book. I was beginning to think she was going to be miserable in Sicily forever. I'm use to reading about women being married off in their teens and being expected to perform their "wifely" duties. But, sometimes it still comes as quite a shock to read about it. It's always interesting to read about the way women were used in political schemes.
The book is marketed to young adults, which I'm afraid might be the wrong genre. It doesn't have a lot of romance and action that I think a lot of teens are looking for. I think teens who already enjoy historical fiction might enjoy this though. I also think a lot of adults would like this.