I loved The Innocent Traitor and recently finished The Lady Elizabeth, both by historian-turned-author Alison Weir. I’ve noted before that Alison Weir’s writing gets a bit slow in places, and I think it’s the historian in her that needs to fill in all the gaps. However, one thing The Captive Queen had that the other two books didn’t have, was the lust. The opening chapters started very lustily and felt almost Harlequinesque. It definitely pulled me in straight away.
The story is about the passionate French queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine and her marriage to Henry II.
Renowned for her highly acclaimed and bestselling British histories, Alison Weir has in recent years made a major impact on the fiction scene with her novels about Queen Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey. In this latest offering, she imagines the world of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the beautiful twelfth-century woman who was Queen of France until she abandoned her royal husband for the younger man who would become King of England.
In a relationship based on lust and a mutual desire for great power, Henry II and Eleanor took over the English throne in 1154, thus beginning one of the most influential reigns and tumultuous royal marriages in all of history. In this novel, Weir uses her extensive knowledge to paint a most vivid portrait of this fascinating woman.
From the publisher, Random House of Canada
I loved the dynamics of the relationship between Eleanor and Henry. The lust, the desire, the want for power, as well as the strength. Even as their relationship changed, I still felt compelled to read on.
The only slow part for me was during Eleanor’s internment (hence the title, The Captive Queen). Mainly because I like a strong female character and having her locked up for a portion of the story was annoying. I noted the same feelings with Katniss while reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
Overall I think I enjoyed The Captive Queen more than The Lady Elizabeth, but my favourite Alison Weir book is still The Innocent Traitor. Methinks I shall have to read some of her historical non-fiction soon.
[Full disclosure: I received this title from the publisher upon request for review purposes only.]