What: The Queen's Daughter
When: June 8th, 2010
Where: Henry Holt and Co.
Why: Historical Fiction!
Joan's mother is Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most beautiful woman in the world. Her father is Henry II, the king of England and a renowned military leader. She loves them both--so what is she to do when she's forced to choose between them? As her parents' arguments grow ever more vicious, Joan begins to feel like a political pawn.
When her parents marry her off to the king of Sicily, Joan finds herself stuck with a man ten years her senior. She doesn't love her husband, and she can't quite forget her childhood crush, the handsome Lord Raymond.
As Joan grows up, she begins to understand that her parents' worldview is warped by their political ambitions, and hers, in turn, has been warped by theirs. Is it too late to figure out whom to trust? And, more importantly, whom to love?
Historical Fiction! It's actually been a while since I read one, so i'm happy to go back to one of my favorite genres.
The Queen's Daughter takes place a few years before the Hundred Years War between France and England and is centered around a girl named Joan, the only girl out of 5 brothers, and her journey while her brothers fight with not only France, but their own father during the time of the crusades. Joan is shipped out to Sicily in an arranged marriage with an awkward and shy man named William, and her journey from being a child to a brave, independent, and free-thinking women while still being conscious of her role in her family was intriguing, well-written, and full of character development and a continuous plot.
Joan starts out in the novel at the ripe age of eight, when the conflict between her father and her brothers starts, raging across her entire life span in off and on wars inside the family. Then it skips to her at fourteen-sixteen and her struggles with trying to give her new husband an heir while simultaneously dealing with rising conquests and the growth of the Holy Roman Empire as well as the countries own problems inside the court. William made me laugh with just how awkward he was (he had no idea how to handle Joan; who was out-spoken and had a mind of her own) and they frequently had spats but ended up being good friends. All of her brothers were exactly as I would have imagined them: Richard, Geoffrey and Henry especially. They were ambitious and willing to do whatever it took -- even pledging themselves to the French King -- to get what they wanted! John was the only brother who didn't start problems, and that was just because he was even younger than Joan.
The ending was so sweet and perfect and i'm happy Joan got the happy ending (as well she the man she TRULY wanted) in the end. Overall, totally recommend to lovers of historical fiction!