The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick
Date read: 25th April 2018 – 29th April 2018
Page count: 478
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle Edition
I reviewed The Captive Queen by Alison Weir back in March (I think…), which, ultimately, I didn’t really enjoy. In that, Eleanor of Aquitaine is characterised as a sex-obsessed figure whose relationship with her husband Louis, King of France, ultimately falls apart because he can’t satisfy her anymore.
This characterisation of Eleanor of Aquitaine, a 12th Century figure, in this, was a lot more developed, and much more believable. The Summer Queen starts with the death of Eleanor’s father, and her engagement to Louis of France. This is exactly the kind of history of Eleanor’s life that The Captive Queen didn’t touch upon.
There are two more books in this trilogy (The Summer Queen is the first one, with The Winter Crown being the second book), which means that this book only goes up to the beginning of Eleanor’s marriage to Henry II of England. So if you’re expecting a full-length story on her life… You’re out of luck.
I bought this book on a Kindle sale, so I’m not looking at buying the other two anytime soon, but I’m definitely going to at some point. This was really well written, engaging but also pretty historically accurate (going by other people’s reviews on Goodreads – I’m no expert on Eleanor of Aquitaine, but I hope to be in the future).
So, overall, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars – mainly because I’ve been looking for an interesting, accurate book on Eleanor’s life (or ‘Aelinor’ as the author calls her in this book), and this didn’t fail to disappoint. I am going to try and read my non-fiction book on her, written by Alison Weir, in the near future so I can say for sure how accurate this is, but for now, I definitely recommend this.