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Isabella: Braveheart of France

(Famous Women)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,371 ratings  ·  210 reviews
Obey your husband. Make him love you. This is your duty to me and to France.

With these words, King Philippe of France sent Princess Isabella to marry the dashing King Edward of England. She’s determined to fulfill her father’s injunction, but once wed, the young queen quickly abandons her romantic illusions: her husband has a secret, one that will stand between them and t
Paperback, 298 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Lake Union Publishing (first published September 3rd 2013)
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This was a quick, light read covering the life of Isabella of France from the time of her marriage to Edward II of England to his death. The controversial path of her life once her son was crowned as Edward III is not covered. With the exception of the sex scenes, much of this book felt like a YA approach to her story.

Isabella begins her life in England with a devotion to her husband, despite his obvious preference for Piers Gaveston. It does not take Isabella long to understand the true nature
I'm giving this one star, because GoodReads doesn't seem to want to let me give no stars.

Isabella de Valois, the wife of Edward II, makes for a wonderful subject for a novel, this novel, however, is a let down on a large number of levels.

Firstly, it was impossible to form any sort of emotional connection with any of the characters. They were all mind numbingly bland. Piers Gaveston, one of the more interesting characters to sway across the stage of English history, is reduced to a giggling man-w
Heidi The Reader
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. FTC guidelines: check!

The only bit of history that I knew about this Queen of England was that she lived during the time of Robert the Bruce because of that short cameo in Braveheart that suggests her son was actually the son of William Wallace. There's none of that in this historical fiction novel, but I learned a great deal more about her life.

I love books about English royalty. Almost anything that Philippa Gregory writes, I g
Sherry Sharpnack
I really like Isabella, Princess of France who married Edward II of England. She was a child at the time and did not understand why her husband spent so much time, and her dowry, on his friend. She turned from an obedient child into a “She-wolf” who overthrew her husband’s reign in favor of her son. Oh, and she did this alongside her lover, even though she witnessed what happened to her sisters-in-law after they committed adultery. She was apparently a fiery, courageous woman. It’s not addressed ...more
Jenny Q
**Updated 5/14/14: Bumped down from 3.5 to 2.5 Stars after hearing from several readers who purchased the book and told me it is just as full of errors as the "accidental unfinished" copy I received. This sort of disrespect for readers--knowingly selling an inferior product--is unacceptable to me.**

I knew the basics of Isabella's story, but I'd never read a book about her, and so I was really looking forward to Colin Falconer's new novel about her. The story opens on the eve of twelve-year-old I
Tara Chevrestt
This story is infuriating. Imagine being married to a man who not only takes a lover under your nose, but also flaunts it in front of the entire court? Imagine being a queen only to watch another advise your husband and king, gather all the riches, lands, and titles for himself while spreading lies about you. Imagine watching your husband think with the wrong head not once, but twice, each time causing civil war in the nation. And yet you stand there and constantly try to placate the nobles, wri ...more
My predilection for historical fiction about royals is well-documented, so when I was approached about reviewing Colin Falconer's Isabella: Braveheart of France I was easily convinced, especially as I had just watched the episode of the BBC4 series She-Wolves: England's Early Queens about Isabella. And while Falconer's novel covers all the pertinent information of Isabella's life and gives us some inkling of what may have driven her to take over the English throne, I had a hard time connecting o ...more
France, 1308: Twelve years old Isabella is being told by her father, the king of France, to love, serve and obey the man he chose for her.

Edward of England enchants her from the first sight. But he is a man in his prime and she is a very innocent girl.

Edward wants Gascony back from France, she dreams of love.

But there is Piers Gaveston. The barons want him away from the King or they threaten with war. The story spins in circles about Gaveston and barons threatening with war, at least the first 2
May 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Not having known a lot about Isabella of France, I was rather excited to read this book and learn more about her.

I am a big fan of European history, but it was at times a drag to read this book. It reads like a pile of facts put together in paragraph/chapter form with a bit of dialogue thrown in to compensate. The book is more shallow than I had anticipated or hoped, and by the end I was slightly confused as to what k
I was not impressed with this book. The narration was dry and not a lot of detail that would have brought the daily world and life of Isabella to life. I have read other historical fiction that was rich and transported you to that time and place.
Ruth Hill
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been a while since I have read a historical book about European kings and queens, and I am quite happy to report that this book was not a disappointment. Before reading this book, I only had heard about Edward and Isabella, and probably only in passing. When it comes to European monarchies, I know very little. Author Colin Falconer has brought a very easy-to-read historical novel about Queen Isabella of France/England, and I would venture to say that this book would be enjoyable reading f ...more
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit to not knowing much about Isabella prior to reading this new novel by one of my favorite authors. I must further admit that she really got a loser of a husband even if he was King of England. Isabella was only 12 when she was sent off to marry Edward II. Her father, Philip IV taught her well, though - she knew her duty and she had a political intelligence far beyond her years. What she wasn't prepared for was her husband's relationship with his best friend, Piers Gaveston. Nor were ...more
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Isabella was the daughter of the King of France. When she was four years old she was promised to the King of England as his wife. The King came for her when she was 12 years old and they were married. All her life she had been raised to be a Queen so she was very clued in as to her status in life. I cannot imagine a 12 year old with the ability to endure what she did. King Edward ignored her most of her life as he was more in tune with his male friends, especially his cousin ,who he loved and wa ...more
Girl with her Head in a Book
Another day, another piece of historical fiction. Ho hum. Sometimes I think that the tagline for this site should be 'Reading bad historical fiction so that you don't have to.' I really need to stop doing that, it's not as if I don't have other things to read. This time, rather than various members of the Houses of York or Lancaster flouncing about, Colin Falconer chooses to focus on Isabella of France, wife to Edward II. Brief background: Isabella of France was posted off to England to marry Ed ...more
Book of Secrets
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isabella of France is one of those intriguing historical figures I've come across who I'd love to know more about. I was thrilled to learn that Colin Falconer had written a novel about Isabella from her point of view, and the book did not disappoint! She was called the "she-wolf" of France because she raised an army against her husband (the King of England) and tossed him off his thrown. She then acted as regent for their young son, Edward III.

Isabella was the daughter of King Phillip IV of Fran
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I went into this book having no idea who Isabella was nor even when this book was set. (In my copy, the first time a date appears is Chapter 16.) Despite that small hindrance, I had no problem getting into the story; Falconer plunges the reader into a world of arranged marriages, foreign courts, and royal intrigue with a clever, observant, and fierce heroine I loved from the start.

Married at 12 to the handsome Edward, Isabella finds herself with a kind but disinterested husband. Citing her age a
Jen La Duca
Apr 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: would not recommend
I didn’t know very much in regards to Isabella's story so I was really looking forward to reading Isabella: Braveheart of France. The story begins on the night before twelve-year-old Isabella is to wed Edward II, this marriage has been arranged to mend relationships between England and France. Isabella has been raised to be a queen and considers herself a “true daughter of France”, she wants nothing more than to please her father and fall madly in love with her husband. She soon learns that alth ...more
Isabella: Braveheart of France by Colin Falconer portrays Isabella in a much more sympathetic light than earlier writers. They called her a She-Devil. But she did not seem cunning and cruel in this book.

Isabella was betrothed to Edward II of England when she was only twelve. Her father counseled her to make the King love her, it was her duty. Her marriage was to be an alliance between England and France. She was slender and smart but created an idealized idea of Edward when she met him. He was
A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher as part of the blog tour.

Isabella: Braveheart of France is the story of Queen Isabella and her husband Richard II. I had thought I knew everything I needed to know about there ugh of Richard II after reading Shakespeare's play and studying it in college. Turns out there's quite a bit that isn't covered in the scope of Shakespeare's historical play, and much of it is very interesting.

Isabella is the daughter of France and very obedient to
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I was half of the way through the book I realized that Falconer was trying to write a book in 300 pages that should have been at least 400, if not 500. The character development was lacking. I didn’t feel like I knew why anyone was behaving the way they did. The book was entertaining but could have been so much better. Read or don’t, you won’t miss a lot if it’s skipped.
Isabella: Braveheart of France by Colin Falconer

Princess Isabella of France was married at the age of 12 to Prince Edward II of England. Isabella was bound by duty to obey and love her king, to rule by his side and have him seek her council when affairs of state need her advice . However, Edward couldn't love Isabella wholeheartedly for he loved a man more. When she was older she had born him four children, Edward III, John, Elanor, and Joan.
Hugh Despenser was not only her husband's lover but al
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I truly enjoyed this book. Isabella was a princess of France, married to King Edward of England as part of a peace negotiation. It is hard to imagine a time when daughters were seen as assets to be used in order to gain advantages. Isabella was tasked with the duty of loving a king, regardless of anything that might occur, including the lack of returned favor from her husband. Obviously, these were real people and real situations. History comes alive in this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed learning ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
See my Blog:

Isabella and Edward's story has been told in a variety of ways and from many viewpoints but this one is my favorite.Since Isabella was a very young girl when she was married to Edward, Colin Falconer's understanding of the complexities of their relationship was right on target. Isabella had such resilience and resourcefulness that she actually held the kingdom together much longer than seemed possible. Far from being a she-devil, Isabella did
G Mcdaniel
I enjoyed the book, however, I have read books about Isabella that were more engrossing. This one did not build the characters as well, but did give insight into the relationships between Edward II and the notorious patronage he lavished on Piers Gaveston during their controversial relationship. After the death Of Gaveston, Hugh Despenser the Younger took the place of Gaveston in Edward's affections and helped further the isolation of Isabella. Isabella's later affair with Roger Mortimer and the ...more
At twelve years of age, Isabella of France is married to Edward II of England, a match that is designed to bring peace between their warring nations. She falls instantly in love with Edward in a childish flight of fantasy (he is very good-looking), but soon realises that their marriage will not be the match of her dreams when he is more interested in his favourite, Piers Gaveston, than her. As time goes by, Isabella carves out a place for herself, forced to be content with Edward’s kindness rath ...more
Wytzia Raspe
The daughter of the French king is given in marriage to the English one. But he has a boyfriend.

It must have been confusing in those days to be married off to a homosexual king as she must have not known what it was. And a mistress was just bed sport in those days when women were just a procession but a male lover who was given titles and holdings could wield real power and was seen as a danger by the nobles.

The reason mr Falconer gives at the end for the king's behaviour sounds crazy to me. Oh
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(reposted from my blog)
It's hard to write this review because it almost seems like I can't put into words what I found wrong about this book.  The general story is good, but then its a story brought from real life.  The things wrong are found in other elements.

This story feels self Published in that it seems unedited.  The tenses shift, and the phrasing doesn't flow well.  At first I thought perhaps it was written for a younger audience, but some of the language disagrees with that theory.

It als
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

With these words, King Philippe of France sent Princess Isabella to marry the dashing King Edward of England. She’s determined to fulfill her father’s injunction, but once wed, the young queen quickly abandons her romantic illusions: her husband has a secret, one that will stand between them and threatens to plunge England into civil war. As lonely Isabella grows into womanhood amid the deadly maelstrom of Edw
Fay Pretty
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hallowed-history
“The truth, your grace? A dangerous thing. I should hesitate to be caught telling the truth anywhere within a king’s palace.”

Isabella’s history (1295 – 22 August 1358) is one that I don’t know well, all I had heard in reference to her was the ‘She Wolf of France’. The title itself has been debated frequently in recent years as the negative name given by history was perhaps mainly due to a strong female figure in a time when there weren't any strong female figures. Falconer writes his book on thi
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 May 19, 2015 07:13PM  

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I write crime fiction and historical fiction. I’ve published twenty-six novels so far, and been lucky enough to have them translated into 23 languages. Real ones too, not just Esperanto and cockney rhyming slang.

My favourite character is DI Charlie George, who you may have met if you’ve read Lucifer Falls. Charlie was originally named after our two spaniels, Charlie and George. Charlie is the ext

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