Saturday, 1 October 2016

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: The Stolen Queen - Lisa Hilton

Release Date: 01/10/16
Publisher:  Corvus


The year is 1199, and King Richard the Lionheart is dead, leaving his brother John to inherit both his French and English lands. Young Isabelle of Angouleme is betrothed to the son of her father's enemy, Hugh de Lusignan, and taken to his castle to be educated, where she is initiated into the 'Old Religion'. Isabelle is then told that she is to be married not to Hugh de Lusignan but to King John of England, in a complex and treacherous plot to gain the English succession. The Lusignans envisage an empire ruled by their young puppet queen, which will eventually oust Christianity and restore the Old Religion to Europe. But when Isabelle takes matters into her own hands, passions will rage and dynastic fortunes will rise and fall. Set against the vivid backdrop of the great political struggles of medieval Europe, The Stolen Queen will delight lovers of intrigue and adventure.


As a fan of historical novels, I often like to take time out with authors like Philippa Gregory as I love to see a different side to the genre. Whilst I still love my hard hitting action, there are times when I can't wait to get into the nitty gritty of seeing how the ladies of the day interacted in the world. Its not only an eye opener but also gives you a different view of history.

So picking up this book by Lisa I was expecting a hell of a lot, not just because it set around a time period I love but because I wanted to see the world protrayed after the death of RIchard the Lionheart.

So picking up this title, I settled back for something epic. Except that wasn't what I got. What unfurled within this title was a book that to me felt quite messy. I didn't like the principle character of Isabelle, as I felt i didn't get to grips with her as for me she didn't have any traits that I could form a bond with. The authors choice of language was convoluted, way to flowery for me and at the end fo the day seemed to take an age to say something simple that could easy have been written in a line or two.

Back this up with a tale that really doesn't do too much and all round I was a pretty annoyed reader as I felt that so much more could have been done with a woman who was a historical centre piece rather than the character protrayed here.

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