Release Date: 16/06/11
Two very different women are linked by destiny and the struggle for the English crown. Matilda, daughter of Henry I, is determined to win back her crown from Stephen, the usurper king. Adeliza, Henry's widowed queen and Matilda's stepmother, is now married to William D'Albini, a warrior of the opposition. Both women are strong and prepared to stand firm for what they know is right. But in a world where a man's word is law, how can Adeliza obey her husband while supporting Matilda, the rightful queen? And for Matilda pride comes before a fall ...What price for a crown? What does it cost to be 'Lady of the English'?
This book has been a struggle from start to finish for me. Sadly the author chose to write the key character as one of history’s most disliked royalty members and didn’t do anything to either try to endear her to the reader or to make them stand out other than out of sheer annoyance. It grated, it made this a hard book to read and above all else it seemed pretty pointless as a reader who hates the lead character will more than likely give up without reading to the end.
Back this up with too much information on menses, pretty dire sex sequences and an overall arc that seemed to pick all the most mundane and boring times to delve into in minutiae and it really didn’t achieve anything. Had I decided to write a book set in this time, I’d have either invented a lead character who could have driven it forward or gone for Adeliza of Louvain who was by far the more interesting of the two.
All in I really won’t be reading another Elizabeth Chadwick title if this was standard fare for her as I felt that it was an uphill struggle from start to finish. A great disappointment and one that suggests I should stick firmly with Philippa Gregory for some of my Historical Fiction needs, a far superior writer.