Monday, 21 July 2014

Devils Consort
by Anne O'Brien
Rating:  3/5


(also known as Queen Defiant in United States)
Pages: 603
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7783-0427-2

Summary (via Goodreads)

A riveting novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s early adult years from the author of The Virgin Widow.

Orphaned at a young age, Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, seeks a strong husband to keep her hold on the vast lands that have made her the most powerful heiress in Europe. But her arranged marriage to Louis VII, King of France, is made disastrous by Louis’s weakness of will and fanatical devotion to the church. Eleanor defies her husband by risking her life on an adventurous Crusade, and even challenges the Pope himself. And in young, brilliant, mercurial Henry d’Anjou, she finds her soul mate—the one man who is audacious enough to claim her for his own and make her Queen of England.


I have always found Eleanor of Aquitaine to be one of the most interesting and incredible women in English history and due to this, was really looking forward to reading this book about her. In general, I wasn't disappointed in terms of the story and description used to portray the characters, particularly that of Louis VII, Eleanor and Henry.

I think the portrayal of Eleanor as a strong, determined and intelligent, a wondrous beauty amongst her contemporaries, for me is what made this book successful. I really enjoyed reading the fictional account of how O'Brien presents her marriages and rumoured love interests. I think the book presents the hardships of women of the day perfectly and really enjoyed the humour included too.

I fell for Henry and his character immediately. I love O'Brien's representation of him and the ways in which it links to the historical figure I have read about in the past.  I think that the love story between Eleanor and Henry was believable based on what is known of each person and their marriage, something I tend to look for in historical fiction.

The only criticism I can really find for this book is the fact that in areas, the book seemed to lack the enthusiasm that other areas were rich with. However, this doesn't make the book unenjoyable.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Eleanor of Aquitaine and her earlier life and first marriage.

Overall verdict - an enjoyable read.

No comments:

Post a Comment