Author(s): Blanche D'alpuget
The first book in the Birth of the Plantagenets series is sumptuous, rich historical fiction for fans of Wolf Hall and Game of Thrones.
Queen Eleanor of France, said to be the most beautiful woman in Europe, has not been able to give birth to an heir. A strategic liaison with Geoffrey the Handsome, the virile and charming Duke of Normandy, could remedy that - or lead to her downfall and Geoffrey's death.
What begins with cool calculation becomes a passionate affair. Despite his love for Eleanor, however, Geoffrey has larger plans: to help his warrior son, Henry, seize the English throne.
When Henry saves his father from discovery and execution by the French, he falls foul of Eleanor - and madly in love with her Byzantine maid. Should he become King of England, however, this dazzling woman will never be acceptable as his queen.
These intertwined relationships - heated, forbidden and perilous - are the heart of a vivid story of ambition, vengeance and political intrigue set in the glorious flowering of troubadour culture, mysticism and learning that is twelfth-century France.