Friday 19 November 2010

Review:The Queen's Pawn - Christy English

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 373
Published: 2010

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 thoughts:
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


  1. Great honest review, Linda! This one really intrigues me for some reason...the time period fascinates me, too!

  2. You always find so many wonderful sounding historicals :) Great review, B.

  3. "well he did get around" - LOL!

  4. Really good review. Sounds like a couple of powerful women. My problem with historical fiction about real is that I get confused between the true and the fiction, you know.

  5. Eleanor of Aquitaine was an incredible woman with very strong personality. Her husband, however, was twelve years younger than herself - small wonder he got around that much. Good review!

  6. Thanks for the review. If I know enough about an era sometimes the fudging of history annoys me -- I might have to sit this one out!

  7. An easy to read historical fiction book? Sign me up! I love that cover too!

  8. Glad to hear you liked it! I liked her better when she was more naive too. And I would love to read more about Alais!

  9. Melissa
    It's my fav time period too, I always liked this time in history.

    I have been lucky lately, and they do make me happy

    He was such a dog ;)

    I do know about that, and that is why I always google ;) My constant friend

  10. Thanks for reading and for the review...I look forward to Monday...and Anachronist, you are so right...Eleanor was amazing, wasn't she?

  11. Ana
    So he was, and for some reason I do not blame him, the was king, I am sure he loved her one time.

    There was just that it took place 2 years before it should, but the rest rang true

    Esay breezy :)

    She just got so bitchy, and I wanted to slap her

  12. I know what you mean about Alais's character change. My opinion of all the characters changed throughout the book. Great review :)

  13. Thank you for stopping by Christy
    That is one lovely icon you got there :)

  14. Svea
    True, my opinions of them shifted a lot

  15. I read the general story in a Jean Plaidy novel which I thought very intriguing as well.

    Thanks for a great review.

  16. Interesting review. Great time period especially when it comes to the royals. :)

  17. All I can say is woah...

    And I do like the cover of the book as well! =) thanks for the amazing review!

  18. I might give this one a chance sometime in the future!!

  19. Well, yeah, you gotta have a bitch in the story otherwise it won't be interesting! :) ...nice review!

  20. Mystica
    I really should read a Plaidy novel, what kind of his fic lover am i when I have read none

    They were just so darn fascinating :)

    It was so interesting wasn't it

    I just love his fic covers...I think it is the dresses

    Hope you do!

    Lol, so true, they do spice it up

  21. This does sound interesting, but I really like it when they stick to the truth as much as possible in historical fiction.

  22. Hey B:

    Another great review of a historical novel I've never heard of. You are so well read B.

    I had to LOL re your description of the hero's um roving eye!!


    Thanks for sharing

  23. Bermuda
    The true story was there, she just changed the year so the story would take place before his sons rebelled.

    Lol, I just love historicals so much, the time is just so enchanting in some way.

  24. ha-ha How hot was he indeed?! Great review as always Linda. I appreciate the honesty.

  25. Jenny
    Lol, I wannt travel back in time and have a look ;)



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