The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick
Date read: 4th May 2018 – 5th May 2018
Page count: 483
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback (Library)
Yes, I’ve already finished this book. And yes, it was just as good as the first book in the series.
You can see my review for The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick on this blog as well, I read it a couple of weeks ago, so go check it out if you want to know more about my thoughts on the first book! It isn’t spoilery – although I find it hard to see how historical fiction is spoilery, as the majority of the plot points, especially in novels like these, are common historical fact.
So, normally I’d issue a major spoiler alert for this review, but it’s still there, somewhere in limbo, if you do want to treat this series like fiction with no historical basis (which I did with The Captive Queen).
The Winter Crown begins where the first book stops, with the ascension of Henry II to the throne of England, and Eleanor’s (Alienor’s) move to become Queen of England. n.b. I will be referring to Eleanor as Eleanor in this review for ease of spelling but Elizabeth Chadwick does use Alienor in the books. So it’s a pretty tumultuous time, and Henry is immediately presented as our villain figure, even more so than Louis was at the end of his marriage to Eleanor.
Eleanor is confined to the palace, having child after child, her husband ignoring her wishes at having some kind of authority, as, unfortunately, was common for women at the time. But the queen will not be silenced.
I loved this just as much as the first book, I did wonder about the villainisation of Henry II in my reading of Alison Weir’s novel, but I feel like it seems to be a common feeling after reading this. Again, I still want to read Weir’s biography of Eleanor, but I digress.
The one thing I liked less about this one was that it felt a lot more rushed in some places? That might just have been my interpretation of the writing style, though, and in the end it didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the book.
Overall, I gave this book 5/5 stars, just like the first book, and I’m really really hoping I can pick up the third one soon.