This second book in the Eleanor of Aquitaine series is just as interesting as the first, and just as well written and sourced. In this book we are now onto Eleanor’s second marriage, now to King Henry of England (Henry II). At the end of the Summer Queen we see the passion and love they have between them, and are hopeful for Eleanor after the disaster that was her first marriage to Louis of France. However, as we go through the book, and accompany her through both pain and anger, we see the kindness that was an integral part of her during her youth disappear and be replaced by a fierce pragmatism, and an increasingly keen political mind – constrained by the fact that she was a mere woman in a time where women were considered for nothing except what they could bring to the table financially and the children they could bring into this world. And if she should die trying, it didn’t matter, they were replaceable. I love this story because it’s one about a woman who refuses to be replaced, or even sidelined, even if all the men in her life insist on doing so.
Well written and researched, I am very excited to start the third, and am really glad that I bought all three on the same day instead of having to wait for them to come out one by one.