Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Queen's Lover-Vanora Bennett

The Queen's Lover
Vanora Bennett
Morrow, Mar 16 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780061689864

As the English cross the Channel invading France, French princess Catherine de Valois feels neglected and alone as she always has, but now her fear has increased dramatically. She knows she cannot turn to her father insane King Charles VI or her mother self-indulgent Queen Isabeau. A timorous person by nature, who would choose flight over fight, , she realizes her escape from war torn France is as the wife of English King Henry V. Her only haven in the royal storm is her tutor, poet Christine de Pizan.

Soldier-poet Owain Tudor is part of the Welsh royalty imprisoned by the English monarchy. He has become a page in the court of King Henry V. Christine introduces her only student to Owain. They become close friends although she is now the Queen of England and mother to the ruler of France and England.

This is a strong historical biographical fiction of a woman surviving royal intrigue in two countries. Title aside, this is Catherine’s tale although Owain plays a major role. Readers will relish this strong look at the French and English courts before and after Agincourt through the eyes of the person who knew first hand the good, the bad, and the ugly of both monarchies.

Harriet Klausner

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