Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: The Queen's Pawn by Christy English

Synopsis: (From the Publisher)
"A historical novel of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine and the one person she loved more than power-her rival for the throne. 
At only nine, Princess Alais of France is sent to live in England until she is of age to wed Prince Richard, son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Alais is an innocent pawn on the chessboard of dynastic marriage, her betrothal intended to broker an uneasy truce between the nations.
Estranged from her husband, Eleanor sees a kindred spirit in this determined young girl. She embraces Alais as a daughter, teaching the princess what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But as Alais grows to maturity and develops ambitions of her own, Eleanor begins to see her as a threat-and their love for each other becomes overshadowed by their bitter rivalry, dark betrayals, conflicting passions, and a battle for revenge over the throne of England itself."

My Review:
Leaving her beloved country of France behind, Princess Alais sets out for England prepared to fulfill her duty by marrying Prince Richard. Wary and guarded, Alais arrives at the court of her fathers enemy. Having thought England would be a cold and friendless place, she is taken by surprise when she is welcomed as a daughter by England's queen and fathers former wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. A close bond forms between the two, and with Eleanor's direction, Alais blooms into a young lady of courage and strength. When Alais meets her betrothed, a tender and blissful love ensues. So in love and ignorantly happy, nothing could possibly tear her world asunder...

Alas, as time goes on, Alais soon realizes everything is not as it seems. With bitter betrayals, harsh retaliations and struggles for power and love, Alais soon realizes she is but a pawn in the life she leads. Ignoring all consequences, Alais sets out on a path that will give her the power she needs to control her own destiny...

The Queen's Pawn is an exciting and emotional journey that takes you through the intriguing courts of medieval England. Told from the alternating perspectives of Eleanor and Alais, the reader is given an intense understanding of their feelings and the knowledge of what really motivates these two women to such dramatic actions. From the beginning, I knew that I would completely enjoy this reading experience. I was entranced by the authors ability to change the readers sympathies whenever the same scene was told from both their perspectives. The only issue I had with this novel was that after such a brilliant beginning and intense plot build up, the last 1/4 of the book seemed to be a bit rushed which deflated some of the plots build up. Overall this was a great read and a stunning debut. With The Queen's Pawn, Christy English has definitely shown her talent for writing historical fiction, and I am absolutely looking forward to reading her next novel!

A Little Extra:
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a great interview with the author, Christy English!

Are you intrigued by The Queen's Pawn? Great news! I have a brand new copy available for one lucky winner...enter in this exciting giveaway here: The Queen's Pawn Giveaway.

Copyright © 2010 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.


Blodeuedd said...

Great review.
This one sounds so good and I am loving that cover

Priya Parmar said...

sounds fantastic! i am going to read it!

Staci said...

This one sounds fantastic!! I love historical fiction but never make enough time to read too many per year...I need to change that!

Jenny Girl said...

I enjoy reading about strong women in history. Ever since I saw Glenn Close in Lion in Winter I have been interested in Eleanor. Thnaks for recommendation and wonderful review Svea.

Alaine said...

Great review and I can't wait to read it!