The Queen’s Pawn by Christy English★★★★★
Synopsis: Nine year old Alais, Princess of France, is sent to England to marry Henry Plantagenet’s son, Prince Richard. Their betrothal was made in order to secure an alliance between France and England once and for all.
Princess Alais of France is sent to live with the Queen of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was once married to Alais’s father, King Louis the seventh. Alias was brought up thinking Eleanor was wicked and evil for betraying and leaving her father. Throughout her entire childhood she feared France’s mysterious Queen. Unfortunately, Alais’s mother died while giving birth to her and her father gained only her, another daughter to be used as an innocent pawn shuffled around and played with for the benefit of others.
Upon meeting Eleanor for the first time, Alias for got her hatred for her. Eleanor was kind and she immediately looked upon Alias as her own daughter. Eleanor teaches Alias how to be a strong woman able to hold her own in the world of men. Once Alias develops her own ambitions, she wins the love of King Henry II and sacrifices her love for both Eleanor and Prince Richard. It doesn’t take long for Eleanor to view Alias as a threat, which changes everything that was once cherished between Princess and Queen.
Review: Eleanor of Aquitaine is easily one of my favorite women of history. She is so fascinating to study and to try and understand, which is why I just had to read Christy English’s book The Queen’s Pawn! Every book that I have read about Eleanor only briefly mentions Princess Alias. So it was nice to finally read and learn her life story.
The Queen’s Pawn showed Eleanor of Aquitaine in a totally different light then any book I have ever read about her, which is where I had a little problem with this book. It showed two different sides of Eleanor; one being loving and caring and the other being selfish, corrupt, and full of dark betrayal. No fault to the author, Christy was just staying true to Eleanor’s character. I just wasn’t ready to see Eleanor’s dark side where she was able to sacrifice her adopted daughter and the happiness of her beloved son in order to benefit herself.
This book was a real eye opener for me and I thank Christy English for that. I still love Eleanor and think she is the most fascinating women in history, but I have to face reality. In order to live in the world of royalty and not be brought down by others ambitions you have to be willing to make sacrifices even if it means betraying some of the most important people in your life.
Opinion: Overall, I LOVED this book! It was a great easy read full of passion, ambition, betrayal and revenge! I would recommend it to all book lovers’ not just historical fiction readers. The Queen’s Pawn was a great debut novel for Christy English and I can’t wait to read her next novel To Be Queen due to be released in early April.