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Book 217: The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick

Book 217: The Summer Queen (Eleanor of Aquitaine #1).
Author: Elizabeth Chadwick, 2013.
Genre: Historical Fiction. 12th Century France.
Other Details: Paperback. 458 pages.

Young, vibrant, privileged, Eleanor's future is golden as the heiress to wealthy Aquitaine. But when her beloved father dies suddenly in the summer of 1137, her childhood ends abruptly. Forced to marry the young prince Louis of France, Eleanor is still struggling to adjust to her new role when Louis' father dies and they become King and Queen of France. Leaving everything behind, the vivacious Eleanor must face the complex and faction-riddled French court. She is only 13. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

This first novel in a trilogy covers the period from Eleanor's marriage to Louis in 1137 through to 1154 when she and her second husband, Henry, Duke of Normandy, prepare to set sail for England to assume the English throne.

It is also the first novel by Elizabeth Chadwick that I have read and I came away very impressed. She manages to capture a sense of the period while keeping a freshness so the dialogue remains accessible to a modern reader. In this first novel she highlights Eleanor's youth as well as her coming to terms with the political realities of her time.

I found myself intrigued by Chadwick mentioning in her author's note about her use of the Akashic Records to assist in her research. The novel was very good and I certainly plan to continue with the trilogy and likely will explore her other works.
Tags: historical fiction
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