Margi is the smart queen. Eleanore is the warrior queen who can hunt as well as any man. Sanchia is the pretty one with little in the brains department. Beatrice is the baby...and as a result may have to fight a little harder for respect.
Margi marries the King of France only to discover his mother will never step aside. This was my favorite part of the book. So much scandal, indecent hints, and the MIL problem aroused incredible anger in me. I was just that sucked into the story. I found myself gritting my teeth and just hoping that soon Margi would take control. The White Queen is horrible. This is a story about lunatics and religion and a woman putting up with it all.
Eleanore is my favorite queen, the Queen of England. Ambitious, fair, strong-willed. Her own husband even kicks her out for a month because she outshines him, refuses to take orders. She has a lot of spunk. She even attacks a harlot in the street. The people hated her, but I could not see why. This was a story of love (most of the time), a woman who constantly must prove herself, and constant strife within a kingdom.
Sanchia promises to marry Jesus, but instead, her parents promise her a cruel man who is attacking Provence. They know he is evil and they do not expect the pope to annul his marriage. Boy, are they surprised! This part of the story was riveting too. I was on the edge of my seat, dreading the day this horrid man came to collect her. It was also fascinating how much whatever pope was in control was finagling everything. In the end, she becomes the queen of Germany, after marrying the wealthiest man in England. Her tale involves lies, adultery, murder, guilt, drunkenness.
Beatrice also barely escapes the bad man who wants Provence. Instead, she is literary carried away by Charles, brother to the King of France. This was a passionate, volatile, bordering on abusive relationship. It, however, seemed they were made for each other, but he hates her sisters and in the end, the trouble this causes... Here we have passion, a woman torn btw family and husband, and desire to conquer.
It's quite sad to see how greed, secrets, spite, jealousy, and constantly comparing oneself to others can really set one back in life and family relationships.
You are only a queen as long as you have a king (at least back then.) but your sisters are forever...hmmm.
A spine tingling, exciting ride of a historical story as it bounces court to court, country to country, queen to queen. I was set to give it five stars, but some little things bugged me, some odd moments where I found myself scratching my head.
Example: In the beginning of one scene, Margi is arguing with her husband and it's noted she is heavy with child. A few paragraphs later, she is having relations with another man. A few paragraphs later, she realizes she was "unsafe" and rushes to have relations with the husband. If you're already preggers, what are you worried about? *If this was not the same night, the book wasn't clear with scene/time changes.*
But the final thing I had a hard time with: death by chess piece? Just how big were chess pieces back then?
Otherwise, I absolutely loved this. Four bikes. I received this via Paperback Swap.