Amy Bruno's Reviews > Queen Defiant: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Queen Defiant by Anne O'Brien
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's review
Jul 28, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: arcs, historical-fiction, eleanor-of-aquitaine, read-in-2011, 12th-century, france
Read from June 01 to 07, 2011 — I own a copy

3.5 Stars

Eleanor of Aquitaine seems to be the historical “it” girl of 2011 and adding to the bevy of books on her is Anne O’Brien’s novel, Queen Defiant. This is truly one of the reasons why I love the historical fiction genre: you can read so many varied books on any one person and they all bring something new to the table.

In Queen Defiant, O’Brien chronicles Eleanor’s life from the death of her father, through her time as Queen of France and her unhappy marriage to the ineffectual and overly-pious King Louis. I have mixed emotions about this book, while Eleanor is portrayed as a strong- willed and determined woman, which I have always seen her as, at times she comes off a bit too haughty and kind of bitchy, which didn’t do much to endear her to me. I envision my Eleanor as a bit more subtle, and she’s definitely more outspoken here than I’ve seen her in other novels, though there were scenes that warranted it. That Louis could be so maddening! Louis’ character was pretty spot on from what I’ve read of him previously, though his piousness is taken to a whole new level. The fact that Eleanor managed to produce two children from this marriage seems to no less than a miracle and a testament to her tenacity.

Like any famous person, Eleanor has her share of rumors and scandals surrounding her and in Queen Defiant there is no shortage of drama! Not being a scholar on Eleanor I couldn’t tell you whether or not any of these are true, but they were interesting to read about to say the least! One qualm I had with this book was that I wished there had been more of a setting up of the scenes; it seemed that the characters were here and then they were there and it made the read a little disjointed in my opinion.

But, all in all I enjoyed the new perspective of Eleanor. Her story is one that I will never tire of and if you’re like me then I suggest you check out Anne O’Brien’s novel!
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06/02/2011 page 56
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Suzanne (new) - added it

Suzanne curious to see what you think. I liked it!!

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Bruno Oh yeah, that's good to know Suzanne. I will for sure post my review here!

message 3: by Suzanne (new) - added it

Suzanne woops, the changed title confused me. I did not read this one yet, though it is on my shelf! I read the other one about Anne! That one I liked :-)

message 4: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Bruno Anne? Do you mean Eleanor?

message 5: by Suzanne (new) - added it

Suzanne No, I read the authors other recently published book, about Anne Neville;

message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Bruno Oohhh, sorry Suzanne. I have that one too but haven't read it yet - glad to see that you liked it!

message 7: by Sandy (new) - added it

Sandy Vaughan i love your "overly-pious King Louis"! it's a bloody wonder he had more children and a son. but by the time he remarried, his priest/father, sugar, figure was dead so the more than likely new catholic priests must have advised him he must have intercourse with his wife more ofter so that he might finally breed a future king or 2. he had 6 children by 3 wives...2 by each; the last wife was the one who delivered the male child and another daughter.

i recently read somewhere that rather than being 15, eleanor was in reality only 13. hmmmm

message 8: by Sandy (new) - added it

Sandy Vaughan ps, you made me add this to my wish list! you little enabler you!

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