Princess Alais of France travels to England to marry Richard the Lionhearted, the son of King Henry II, armed only with her dowry, the valuable Vexin. When Alais arrives in the land of her father’s enemies, she is welcomed by the beautiful and powerful queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor, the richest and most influential woman in Europe, sees a kindred soul in the young French princess. Intrigued by the girl’s strength and fire, Eleanor adopts Alais as her protégée, teaching the girl what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But Eleanor and Alais’ love for each other is threatened when the capricious and imperious King Henry meets the lovely young princess. Fascination with the king draws Alais deep into political intrigue, and she soon discovers what Eleanor is prepared to do to retain her position as queen. Alais, the one-time pawn, takes ruthless action of her own, as the two women become rivals both for the king’s love and the throne of England itself.
The blurb does say it. Princess Alais is sent to marry prince Richard, but instead when she grows up she becomes King Henry's mistress.
My second book about a mistress of King Henry, in a month, well he did get around.
This book was made into Eleanor parts and Alais parts. So it changed POV every chapter and that worked. It was interesting to see what these two women felt and needed. I must say I got truly fascinated by Eleanor, she was so strong, and she did what she wanted.
Alais then, well I liked her when she was young and naive, then when the book came to a turning point I felt she was a bitch. That might seem harsh, but she played games she was too young to play. She bedded the king for revenge and wanted to take the crown and become queen. She was saddened by Richard's infidelity but never considered that the king surely never would have stayed only by her side. But the bitchiness was needed, there had to be some drama, and she had to learn a lesson. I even felt a bit sorry of fair Rosamund, his other mistress that he had kept for years. In the end it just made me like Eleanor more because she played the game so well. And I wondered how she could be so forgiving of Alais who she had loved like a daughter.
This book is not entirely historically correct, she does play with years and what happened. She changed some things and it fitted. It made the story interesting and asked that little what if. It did also make me think, if it is true, how could we know for certain, anyway, how could he? She was a princess, what a scandal.
This book gives it a more happy ending. It does not say anything but it does hint, I like it in a way. It makes you think that all worked out while in reality they did not stand by her.
The whole book is written with such ease, which of course then makes it easy to read. The words just flow by.
Recommendation and final thoughts:
I will give it a 3,75 just because of that easy way it was written. I would recommend it to historical fans, and to others. It was a nice book to read, and it did make me wonder, was he handsome? Lol.
Reason for reading:
I didn't know anything about Alais, so I wanted to know more.
Cover: Love it.
Come back on Monday when I have Christy over and she talks about royal scandals.
I got the book from the author