Thursday, August 11, 2011
Book Review: The Queen's Daughter
Joan, the youngest child and only daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, is The Queen’s Daughter in this novel by Susan Coventry. I must admit to having forgotten most of the details of this medieval time period when Henry II, Eleanor, and Joan's brother Richard the Lionhearted took center stage. I read this solely as a novel, without being able to fit all this into a solid historical context.
I enjoyed the book. I wish I had brushed up on all the battles, the Crusades, and medieval history in general before I had read it. But as a story of a princess who is forced to choose between loyalty to her father, mother, or brothers and who has no choice but to marry the King of Sicily when she is only 12, the novel was good. There were way too many confusing battle scenes and political references for me, but someone who knows the historical details would probably love all this. My father, for example, who pretty much knows every single bit of history ever, loved The Queen's Daughter.
I actually read this book because I thought it might be fantastic for a European history class. This could be a good book to enrich a study of medieval history, but I wouldn't really recommend it for kids under 15, as there were several scenes focused on her sexual relationship with her husbands.
If you're a history buff, you may love this; otherwise, well, I'm not sure the writing was compelling enough for me to give it an enthusiastic thumbs up.