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Devil's Consort Paperback – 15 Apr 2011
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Praise for Anne O’Brien
‘Joanna of Navarre is the feisty heroine in Anne O’Brien’s fast-paced historical novel The Queen’s Choice.’
‘O’Brien is a terrific storyteller’
- Daily Telegraph
‘A gripping story of love, heartache and political intrigue.’
-Woman & Home
‘Packed with drama, danger, romance and history, The Queen’s Choice is the perfect reading choice for the long winter nights.’
- The Press Association
‘A gripping historical drama.’
About the Author
Anne O’Brien was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in the East Riding for many years as a teacher of history.
She now lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire on the borders between England and Wales.
Top customer reviews
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Eleanor is clearly not to be married for love, but determines to make the best of the situation with her young, blond and not unpleasing bridegroom. However, she very quickly finds that as she said herself "she thought to marry a king, but found she had married a monk". Louis knows his duty as a husband, but prefers the life of the church with its rituals, prayers, fastings and austere clothing. Eleanor on the other hand wants a proper man and one who appreciates the lifestyle she has enjoyed in the lush, romantic and lavish court of Aquitaine. Louis becomes king, but seeks his advisers from within the church and will not include her in decision making. He is also, in an age of warrior kings, a truly dreadful commander of troops and a disastrous soldier.
The dynamic, passionate Eleanor will not accept that this is to be her life and begins to take matters into her own hands in an effort to find physical and intellectual satisfaction. Louis on the other hand seeks his route to heaven by taking the Cross and leading a futile Crusade: the fallout from this failed venture leads ultimately to the ending of the marriage, which has produced only two daughters, and not the vital heir. In the wings, however, bursting with energy, courage and skills is young Henry Plantagenet, son of the Empress Matilda and challenger on his mother's side for the crown of England. These two are made for each other and born to rule: thus begins Eleanor's real destiny as she leaves behind her suffocating life as Louis' bored consort and heads for passion and power as Queen of England, and future mother of the Plantagenet dynasty - the Devil's brood!!
This book cracks along at a fast pace and it sometimes feels like its key protagonist is driving her own narrative. Powerful stuff.
I needed have worried... I loved this story. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a fascinating character anyway and to have her brought to life and given voice added a richness to what I already knew of her. It's an easy read and clearly a great deal of thought has gone into looking at what happened and trying to imagine how she would have thought or felt about her life. The pay off for this is that she has a strong and clear voice throughout and the story is all the more powerful for it. The history of Eleanor's early life is woven cleverly into the plot... vases, uncles, Papal bed linen all deftly included.
Definitely worth reading. All that's left for me to do now is head off to buy another O'Brien book...
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Most recent customer reviews
Loved this book very easy reading and I will read the rest of her books in order