Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review + Giveaway: To Be Queen by Christy English

To Be Queen by Christy English

Book Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Release Date: April 5th 2011

Setting: France 1132 – 1152

Book Synopsis: Taught by her father, the Duke of Aquitaine, how to be powerful in the midst of the ruthless politics of the court, Eleanor learned at an early age to inspire love and royalty in the people around her. Those lessons serve the fifteen-year old well when after her father’s sudden death she is crowned Duchess of Aquitaine and becomes the most eligible, sought –after woman in France.

Enamored of the young and beautiful Eleanor, King Louis VII claims her as his own, but the newly crowned monarch is easily manipulated by the Church and therefore bound to a way of life Eleanor does not believe in. Trapped in a loveless marriage and met with opposition at every turn, Eleanor fights to dissolve her estranged union with Louis and return to Aquitaine.

But Eleanor is soon charmed by the English upstart Henry of Normandy. If she can find the strength to leave her homeland behind, she may finally win the passion she has longed for and the means to fulfill her legacy as queen.

My Review: As some of you may already know Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of my favorite historical women of all time. In her second historical novel based on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Christy creates a story where she brings the character of Eleanor to life. This story is told in Eleanor’s point of view where it begins when she is a fifteen-year old girl in her father’s court of love in the Aquitaine Duchy. We get to see Eleanor grow into a strikingly beautiful and strong willed woman, who later inherits her father’s lands after his sudden death while away on crusade. She later becomes Queen of France and becomes trapped in a loveless marriage to the overly pious King Louis VII. However, Eleanor sees her way out once she’s enamored by Henry of Normandy who is all man, so unlike Louis in every way!

I really enjoyed To Be Queen and I thought Christy English did an amazing job with telling Eleanor’s story during her earlier years as the Duchess of Aquitaine and Queen of France. However, I must be truthful by admitting I liked The Queen’s Pawn a lot more. I think this is because I find her marriage to Henry of Normandy who later becomes King of England so much more fascinating than her earlier years while she is still married to Louis VII. I don’t know what it is but I find Louis VII a true bore who couldn’t live up to both his manly duties as well as his duty as King of France. I commend Eleanor for high tailing it out of Louis’ court once she finally had the chance.

Please don’t let my preference for Eleanor’s later life as Queen of England to her younger years as Queen of France to sway you from picking up this book. It’s definitely worth the read especially if you’re not very familiar with Eleanor of Aquitaine. This in no way changes my opinion about Christy English as an author! I LOVED The Queen’s Pawn and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!

Christy has so grasciously offered up 1 signed copy of To Be Queen to a lucky winner! This giveaway is only open to US residents & it ends April 6th. Here are the guidelines:

-You must me a follower of this blog through GFC follower.
-Leave your name and email address so I can contact you. If no email address is provided then you will not be entered into the giveaway.

-+1 entry if you're a new follower. Just tell me below in the comments that you are a new follower.

-+2 entries if you tweet, blog or facebook this giveaway. Please leave a link or else it wont count.

If you would to learn more about Eleanor of Aquitaine please click her to read an amazing post by Christy English where she discusses "Who is Eleanor of Aquitaine?"


  1. Hi Taylor;
    Count me in. I'm already a follower.
    Mike Draper

    Also, please stop over at my blog, I'm having a giveaway of "The Lincoln Lawyer"

  2. Eleanor of Aquitaine is one queen I need to learn more about.
    I follow you and I sidebarred it!
    You can reach me at!

  3. I'm a long time follower
    I posted to facebook:
    thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  4. I'm an old follower.


  5. THis sounds like an intersting story.I love historicals so this one is right up my alley.Would love to win.


  6. I'm an old follower.


  7. Hi! I found your blog through BookBlogs! I am now a follower! Will you follow my blog at

  8. New GFC follower. jenniekitchens at gmail dot com

  9. I'm a follower.

    tiredwkids at live dot com

  10. This book looks fascinating, I love the Plantaganets! I am a new follower. (I didn't know about this blog until today.)

  11. Ever since I saw K.Hepburn's Eleanor in "The Lion in Winter" ("We shattered the commandments on the spot!")I have been amazed by Eleanor of Aquitaine. She was a woman way ahead of her time, brilliant, passionate and cunning. What would she have been like if she lived in the 21st century? Hillary is a wimp in comparison! I want to read everything I can get my hands on about her. Please enter me: annfesATyahooDOTcom.
    I am going to tweet and FB but I am not sure how to 'link' it. Thank you for the giveaway.

  12. Tweeted at All Things Historical Fiction: Review + Giveaway: To Be Queen by Christy English

  13. Just found this blog tonight from All Things Considered. I signed up and will like on fb for news updates. Thanks for your reviews, suggestions, and discernment!

  14. Please count me in as I'm a new follower.

  15. Shared on Facebook also.

  16. I am a follower of your blog on Google Friends Connect.

    I tweeted: Giveaway of 'To Be Queen'

    My Twitter name is Carolee888

    My name is Carol Wong and my e-mail address is CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    I would really love to win this book so I can learn about Eleanor's early life. She is such an
    inspiring woman so intelligent and independent.

  17. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a new GFC follower.

    susanna dot pyatt at student dot rcsnc dot org


  18. I am a new follower to your blog. I would absolutely love to win this book, as this is my favorite time period for this genre. Great review of the book! Thanks for a chance to win this.

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