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The Queen's Choice Hardcover – 14 Jan 2016
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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.
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As Queen of England, Joanna is not accepted by many of the nobles who would have preferred a different marriage alliance for their King, and her undoubtedly deep love for Henry is tested many times as misunderstandings and a serious estrangement threaten to pull them apart. However, compromises are reached, love remains and grows over the years into devotion, particularly in later years of the reign although Henry's ambitious heir, Prince Hal, is desperate for battle and aims to win the crown of France to add to his English inheritance.
As people, Joanna and Henry can both be difficult to like at times and it is a credit to Anne O'Brien's storytelling that you do still care what happens to them. Joanna herself, as Queen Dowager, comes under great threat and has to call on all her undoubted strength and intelligence to survive in her adopted country as Prince Hal (now Henry the Fifth) gives his military ambitions full rein..
This is an excellent and pacy book: sometimes I thought that the proof reading could have been a bit more scrupulous, but that is a minor quibble and fans of this author and this period in history will thoroughly enjoy O'Brien's latest offering.
This period of history is raw and convoluted, and dare I say English at its very best. With Anne's talent for bringing a turbulent time to life and weaving the romance throughout the book, this is historical fiction of epic proportions and of the highest quality. I loved the way her words inspired my imagination to bring the colours to life, and for Henry and Joanna to become more than names on a page, leaving me with a need to know more about them and to travel in their footsteps....of which Anne has been so kind at the end.
Today she is only remembered because her step-son Henry V accused her of witchcraft, after her husband's death. A charge of political expediency that eventually proved groundless. Her life is wonderfully portrayed by O'Brien with all the certainty of a full-scale historical biography. Joanna's dramatic life in both Brittany and England is fully described. Its an entertaining tale full of intrigue, treachery and rebellion all guaranteed to keep turning the pages of any good historical novel. Through this turbulent era The real Joanna emerges as a wise and competent ruler who put political stability ahead of the interests of her own family in Brittany, and chose the security of wealthy and prosperous England to enhance her own reputation. Its a wonderful read and one I thoroughly recommend.
school years. I have searched for books on her and was fascinating reading this one. Anne as usual has a penchant for description that is par excellence. Other book's have shown her as a much harder personality than this book. I suspect the truth of the matter to be between the two. But she served this country and loved a very difficult King. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to you, a must for all history lovers.
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