Ellen Ekstrom's Reviews > To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine

To Be Queen by Christy English
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's review
Nov 16, 2011

it was amazing
Read from November 16 to 19, 2011

Yeah, I've been giving a lot of 5 stars, but that's not because I'm trying to help out my author colleagues; it's because the writing has been so darn good! "To be Queen" is no exception, and frankly, I've added Christy English to my pantheon of historical fiction authors. I think this is one of the best portrayals of Eleanor of Aquitaine in fiction. English's Alienor/Eleanor was three-dimensional and I loved and hated her at times, some "woman what are you thinking" moments and "Yes! That's would I would have done!" moments. The first-person narrative is neither stilted or egotistical for this Eleanor. She reminds herself and us that she was born and raised to be a different kind of woman in the twelfth century, raised by a liberal, free-thinking-for-the-time parent who acknowledges her as his heir and the greatest heiress of the time. Her life is not easy despite the advantages she is born to, and she takes risks, especially with her heart and body. English doesn't side-step certain issues and plows right into them. Her portrayal of Louis is of a scared, sheltered, young man who should never have been king, and as a result, the church seizes power in his kingdom and we are shown a king who is led by puppet masters. English has a wonderful career ahead of her and I can't wait for more of her work.
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