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The Queen Of Four Kingdoms (Anjou 1) Paperback – 6 Mar 2014

35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472108469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472108463
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

It was a time of high stakes and high risk, where the right choice might bring a throne in its wake, but the wrong one could lead to the scaffold, of lives wrapped in gilded velvet, but drenched in ambition and blood. Princess Michael takes the reader to the heart of this glamorous, dangerous world, and holds them spellbound. I loved it. (Julian Fellowes)

Meticulously researched and powerfully evoked, Princess Michael uncovers the extraordinary life of Yolande of Aragon, the power behind the throne of fifteenth-century France, and the mentor of Joan of Arc. (Philippa Gregory) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent unveils a seldom told story, enriched by her own insider's perspective of royal life. The Queen of Four Kingdoms is the epic true story of a rich and riveting period of French and English history, all witnessed by the captivating and complex heroine Yolande.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carrot top on 17 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I think this author should stick to non-fiction, the conversations she imagines that take place are unreal and too flowery, i was looking forward to reading this as i knew very little of this lady. I agree with a review of Mills &Boon meets History. The only way i found to read it was to skip the so called conversations and concentrate on the historical content which i enjoyed. I would not recommend this to other readers as i think it is possible the worst historical novel i have read, to say it compares with Alison Weir, who also is writing fiction is farcical as Ms Weir far outstrips HRH, i suspect book was published on the back of her non-fiction titles.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. E. Utley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to say I was impressed. Once one gets past the early stages of this book (which could certainly have been published by Mills & Boon) the story begins to grip the reader. Princess Michael has done well to choose as her heroine, Yolande, an outstanding woman who played a massive part in saving the House of Valois from destruction in the early fifteenth century, but whose life is not generally well known to British readers. It says a lot for the author's ability that this British reader (brought up on stories of English heroism at Agincourt) almost found himself longing for French victories against the English.

It is undoubtedly true that Yolande was a political strategist of immense ability. She had fingers in almost every pie (not just in France). She was a guide and mentor to Charles (Dauphin and later King Charles VII). She was an early supporter of Joan of Arc. She preserved her husband's French lands against all the odds.

But can it really be true that she was as faultless as Princess Michael portrays her? Every time Yolande meets someone new she, according to the author, makes an instant and entirely accurate assessment of his or her character, often without a word being spoken on either side. Never once, in a long life of political intrigue, does she do anything from a selfish motive. Never does she make a mistake. Her beauty (matched only by that of her incredibly handsome husband) and her glorious clothes, described in the sort of detail which may appeal to some readers but which left this one yawning, help to keep up the Mills & Boon side of the book. But one does wonder how accurate all that is. Maybe it is, but it seems too good to be true.

I mustn't carp. The story, the facts of which are essentially true, is genuinely gripping.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By EleanorB TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Princess Michael clearly has a great gift for historical research and this book pleases on quite a few levels. Firstly and most importantly, there is a detailed family tree showing the key historical characters, their dates, and relationships. This is something many historical writers do not get right and it helps so much when trying to place people in context irrespective of whether the book is fact or fiction.

The heroine of this novel, for this is clearly how HRH sees Yolande of Aragon, was another of those little transplanted brides, sent far from home to cement political alliances through marriage and the production of heirs: in her case from the ruling house of Aragon to the Anjou family in France who were part of the country's troubled Royal Family. Their King, Charles VI suffered intermittent bouts of insanity and had a number of powerful uncles who took advantage of this to build their own personal power at the expense of their unstable monarch. Yolande's husband, Louis of Anjou, is fiercely loyal to the Crown and also consumed by his own ambition to regain his lost kingdom of Naples. All of which sets the scene for the mix of high drama and low politics which thread through Yolande's colourful life and her passionate marriage.

Yolande's life is indeed a fascinating one; later in life, during the vicious Franco/English wars in the post-Agincourt period, she comes into close contact with The Maid, the charismatic young Joan of Arc, whom she actively supports in her successful efforts to crown the mad King's son as Charles VII. Yolande had been the young Dauphin's foster mother, and took her commitment to his cause very seriously.
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By Mr. G. Johns VINE VOICE on 27 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book took me too long to read - if it hadn't been this author, i would have skipped many of the chapters out; it was interesting to read a different slant on this period of history - through the eyes of a Spanish lady who adopts France after marrying a French Duke. The descriptions of the various battles, in particular, Agincourt, were good to read, and what really happened to Joan of Arc, not the version by English historians - it's true what they say - history is written by the victors!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a good idea writing history from a woman's perspective but it just hasn't come out right. I don't know how accurate the history is and sometimes it seemed a text book and sometimes a fairy story, but did one women sort out all of France's problems at this time? Was it really her who pushed the Maid of Orleans on? The writing is only OK and I really think that the publisher has overlooked this because they think her name will sell the book.
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