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The Young Lion (House of Plantagenet #1)
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The Young Lion (House of Plantagenet #1)

2.61  ·  Rating details ·  57 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The first novel in a compelling series about the House of
Plantagenet, the mightiest royal dynasty in English history.

To seize England's throne, he had to marry the most dangerous woman in Europe.

Returning from the Crusades with her pious husband, Louis of France, the beautiful French Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, starts a dangerous affair with Geoffrey, Duke of Normandy. Ge
Paperback, 480 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by HarperCollins Australia
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Jennifer (JC-S)
‘A young Lion steps forth from his den.’

This is the first of a projected quartet of novels about the Plantagenet dynasty, and opens as the king and queen of France, Louis VII and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine return from the Crusades in 1149. Unhappy in her marriage to the monkish Louis, Eleanor begins an affair with Geoffrey le Bel, Duke of Normandy. Geoffrey wants a spy in the French court and sees Eleanor as ideally placed to assist. Although Geoffrey and Eleanor’s affair becomes passionate,
Sep 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014, historical
This is the first book I've read by Bob's missus and I'm not sure I'll read any more. Clunky and unclear phrasing that can require re-reads to understand it is matched with poor characterisation. Eustace was either flinging himself around screeching like a banshee of else Henry and Geoffrey were either sitting around giggling or having a regular sob. Women were relegated to being whores and mothers and the author did not allow them to deviate from those roles. Sexual scenes were often unnecessar ...more
Julie Haydon
Having read and enjoyed several of Blanche d'Alpuget's earlier novels I was keen to begin The Young Lion. However, I'm not sure whether it's my taste that has changed or her writing style, but I found this novel a challenge to finish. When d'Alpuget writes well, her descriptions are beautiful and her characters are gritty and realistic. The problem is she does not write well all of the time. Some scenes are confusing, as though connecting sentences are missing. Certain characters are completely ...more
This novel is a rather fanciful take on the Henry & Eleanor story. We have swashbuckling action, fantasy, telepathy and swan knights (as in Lohengrin). I felt as though I was watching a lavish TV saga loosely based on history, rather than reading historical fiction. Some of it was entertaining, but towards the end it became somewhat tiresome, and I found myself skimming the pages. I don't intend reading the rest of this series.
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not a patch on Margaret George or even Phillipa Gregory. Blithly posing that the young Henry can telepathically communicate with horses and expecting this historical novel to be taken seriously seems a stretch to far. If it's the first in a series of four, I won't be bothering with the next three.
Clare Smith
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
As others have said there are parts of this book where the author writes very well and gives life to the story. Unfortunately there are more parts that are disjointed, awkward and inconsistent. I had a problem with regular inconsistencies such as Henry describing how he enjoyed licking Eleanor's arsehole when he assaulted her but then later on a sentence where he spies someone sticking their finger in a duck turd and licking it which disgusts him. I'm just not sure there is much difference betwe ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is the first novel I’ve read from author Blanche d’Alpuget. Suffice to say I struggled with her writing style so greatly that I began to do research on her other books and was surprised to find she’s an award winning writer….

I found her syntax to be disjointed and clumsy, and the constant shifting in character point of views became frustrating, confusing and interrupted my reading flow as I found myself having to re-read paragraphs to establish what was going on.

The supernatural element of
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
With a stronger editor, this book could have been great. It felt more like I was reading the penultimate draft, rather than the finished thing. I had no problem with the sex or violence, but found the telepathy thing a little distracting and gratuitous. The biggest problem I found was the constant shifting of point of view. In almost every chapter there was a moment when I had to go, 'hang on, that doesn't make sense, let me back track and see if I can find whose point of view I'm in.' But it wa ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure how I feel about this one. D'Alpuget's style is frenetic and she head-hops all over the place. I often had to back track a few sentences to work out who was saying/thinking/feeling what, which makes for frustrating reading. This book doesn't even come close to the brilliance of Sharon Penman's epic tomes on Henry & Eleanor and the Plantagenets, or reach the same depths as Margaret George or Sandra Worth. I found the supernatural elements (telepathy) annoying and out of place, an ...more
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I realise that English is not Blanche's first language, but what was the editor thinking?

If butterflies could write a story, this is how I would imagine it. With a flitter, flutter occasionally past, sometime present tense all used in the one page from a different POV and no clear way of discerning who. This book was hard to read due to lack of structure, what a book this could have been if it was in skilled hands. I loved the storyline and had to read it till the end and that is why I gave it
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really loved the historical detail combined with the easy to read fictional style of this book. I especially liked the acute awareness of how much 'politics' formed what we now think of simply as 'history'. Maybe I read too much fantasy, but the telepathy didn't worry me - people's beliefs were different then and even now some people believe things I find irrational, but it doesn't stop me being interested in what they are doing.
Sherryl Caulfield
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it
While I can appreciated comments already posted on the rapidly changing points of view in this book, which I did find confusing and the telepathic aspects, which did distract from the believability of this story, it did hold my interest. There were some passages that were beautifully written and I liked the relationship Henry had with his half-brother Guilliam and his father.
Claire Baxter
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Fifty shades of historical fiction! While I would never cite an historical novel in an academic essay, I do enjoy reading them to get more general knowledge of history. This book however I didn't really feel like I got that from. What I got was soft porn. I didn't have the same problem with syntax that other reviewers have mentioned, but the book really wasn't what I was after.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
I am very disappointed in this book. I realise it is fiction, but the lack of basic research and the ignorance of some actual known facts diminishes the books credibility. I could write paragraphs on the faults in this along with the average writing, but easiest to say I won't be reading anymore of the series.
Debbi Skeen
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
I didn't know what to expect with this author's take on Henry and Eleanor. It's definitely different to any other book I've read on them, but that just makes you wonder more about how accurately history is portrayed with so few personsl records there were back then. I enjoyed reading a different take on these, the early years of the young Lion.
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
If like me you think to start the year of reading some historical fiction this is not the book. I know the book was set 1000 years ago however it just keep upsetting my feminist sensibilities. The fantasy elements were odd and Aelbad was just to unbelievable.

Aug 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish it. For mean, it read more like a schoolgirl romance novel which is a real shame because it's obvious she's gone to a lot of trouble with research on the period, but her writing style just left me cold.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
not enjoying her style of writing at all. Sorry, I have read a lot of historical fiction from many many different authors but Blanche just confuses me.
Carol Doherty
Apr 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
Dreadful... didn't finish... my time is too important to read rubbish.
Andrea Baker
Jan 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
Lost interest an didn't finish.
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Sep 18, 2013
Sarah Davies
rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2014
rated it it was ok
Sep 04, 2014
Lisa Woods
rated it it was ok
May 03, 2017
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May 15, 2015
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Aug 28, 2013
Blake Liddell
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Blanche d’Alpuget has returned to fiction with the publication of ‘The Young Lion’, the first novel in a compelling new series about the House of Plantagenet, the mightiest royal dynasty in English history.

An acclaimed novelist, biographer and essayist Blanche has won numerous literary awards including the prestigious Australasian Prize for Commonwealth Literature in 1987. Her previous novels incl
More about Blanche d'Alpuget...

Other Books in the Series

House of Plantagenet (2 books)
  • The Lion Rampant (House of Plantagenet #2)