To Be Queen by Christy English

To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Christy English

After her father’s sudden death, fifteen-year-old Eleanor is quickly crowned Duchess of Aquitaine and betrothed to King Louis VII. When her new husband cannot pronounce her given name, Alienor becomes Eleanor, Queen of France.

Although Louis is enamored of his bride, the newly crowned king is easily manipulated by the church and a God that Eleanor doesn’t believe in. Now, if she can find the strength to fight for what she wants, Eleanor may finally find the passion she has longed for, and the means to fulfill her legacy as Queen. (Goodreads)

When Eleanor of Aquitaine was young, she was raised to be her father’s heir to be Duchess of Aquitaine. Soon after her father’s death, Eleanor is wed to Dauphin Louis of France and the young pair has mutual affection for each other from the start. Louis was meant for the church but his elder brother’s death changed everything. He remained very pious his whole life, preferring church to his wife.
Eleanor tries to be a good wife but she soon learns that she may not compete with the church her husband is so devoted to. When her marriage starts to deterioate, she starts to think about divorce.
And when she meets Henry Plantagenet, Eleanor sees a new start for herself.

I liked that the book focused on Eleanor’s early life because it’s less often written about. Eleanor’s marriage to Louis is usually overshadowed by her marriage to Henry II of England and I was intrigued to read about them and I wish there was more books about them.

Eleanor was determined, fierce, no-nonsense person but there were just times I wanted to shake her and yell “Why did you do that?!”. And of course all the rumours of affairs had to be included. It would have been interesting to hear Louis side of the story too.

Book was ok; it was fairly quick and easy to read.

Published: NAL (2011)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 380
Source: my own

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