Top positive review
on 12 August 2013
Some authors can establish intimacy with a character with well chosen analogy. Marguerite is an intriguing vixen, Robert of Artois a tree trunk of a man, Beatrice D'Hirson a captivating and possibly vicious femme fatale. Knowing them, their individual motivation becomes obvious, colouring in the history they influenced, for there is more history than fiction in here even if the fiction is absorbing. If all medieval history was blessed with as learned a story-teller as Maurice Druon, we would all want to know much more about our past. I have ignored the George Martin controversy expressed in some reviews, but am delighted that his sponsorship facilitated the reprint of a series of books I might never have discovered otherwise. Introducing the Valois era as clearly as it does, this story clarifies the link between Normans of the 11th and 12th centuries and Bourbons of the late 16th, but also starts you off on Edward III's precedents in England. Before long, thanks to the story-telling ground laid by this author, I expect to have a decent command of The Hundred Years War, which will bathe pre-Tudor English history in bright sunlight. Edward III was Isabella's son and his victory at Crecy in 1347 is as pivotal as was his great grandson Henry V's victory at Agincourt in 1415. Read all about Isabella and her times in this fabulous series of books.