Sunday, August 9

Book Review: To Be Queen by Christy English

Author: Christy English
Title: To Be Queen - A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine (Eleanor of Aquitaine #2)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 380
First Published: March 2011
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

After her father's sudden death, fifteen-year-old Eleanor is quickly crowned Duchess of Aquitaine and betrothed to King Louis VII. When her new husband cannot pronounce her given name, Alienor becomes Eleanor, Queen of France. 

Although Louis is enamored of his bride, the newly crowned king is easily manipulated by the church and a God that Eleanor doesn't believe in. Now, if she can find the strength to fight for what she wants, Eleanor may finally find the passion she has longed for, and the means to fulfill her legacy as Queen. 

I simply adore Queen Alienor/Eleanor. She is one my favorite historical figures. Poor girl is born in the wrong era. Luckily, her father believed she should learn to read, write, ride horses, hunt, and even have a hand in politics. He knew she would need it when he died since he left her as his heir to Aquitaine. He also planned on her becoming Queen of France as well.

I am glad we got to see her father more. Normally books end up killing him at the beginning, but not here. It was nice to see Alienor as a child and seeing her grow up into the legend she would become. I also loved that the author made her seem human with human weakness. Many authors idolize her and make her superwoman. She was a wonderful woman, but had many weaknesses like the rest of us and she accepted her weaknesses and I loved it. Main weakness...greed. She wanted so much, which I don't blame her. Aim high, but alas, there are SO many signs to run away screaming from Louis. GAH! He's a nice guy, sure, but he is a puppet of the church. It was not worth it and it took years of marriage for her to realize this and move on with her life.

There was a chunk in the middle that bored me too tears. Nothing was happening and it just went on and on for about 30 pages. UGHHHH. Finally something happened and the flow went back to normal. Gah. But that was a long 30 pages. It was defiantly the calm before the storm, but alas, boring.

I did like how she ended it. It was a nice hopeful ending even though we all know how the marriage to Henry goes...not good. But yes, hopeful and makes me want to read more. It's been a while since I've read a book on Alienor, so I want to continue and finish her story. She is an interesting woman especially for the time period.

In the end, this was certainly a good take on the famous Alienor's life. There was a dry spot in the middle, but it ending after about 30 pages, so I am content. I was worried for a while, but I knew that it couldn't last forever. I loved the fact that we got to see Alienor as a child and learn more about her father. I still want to read a book about her father and mother and their early life. I must search for that! Let me know if that exists. ;) The ending was also good and I want more. I totally recommend this to those that like history. In the end, I shall stamp this with 4 stars.


Blodeuedd said...

I only read book 1, but I did enjoy it

Anachronist said...

Eleanor of Aquitaine is a worthy heroine; too bad the book was sometimes boring!

Carole Rae said...

B, I should read book 1

Ana, she is a wonderful heroine. Meh can't be action all the time. LOL