The Summer Queen (Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1) – Elizabeth Chadwick
I picked up this book completely by accident. In fact, I had picked up the third in the series, thinking it was the first. Only when I flipped into the book to look at the front cover I realised it was a series at all, and so I simply bought all three. The reason was two fold. First, like so many, I love historical fiction, especially when it’s well done. And the nerd in me loved the fact that there’s a bibliography at the end of the book. Because while we know consciously that historical fiction is in fact… fiction … we still learn from it, and the characters stay with us, because they are so interesting, but also because they are real. Second, because I know very little of Elenor of Aquitaine (except in her portrayals in movies about Richard or else Robin Hood … I know, I know…) and I love the story of a strong woman, and even better a medieval queen. The Summer Queen is the first part of her story – her love for her family, for Aquitaine, and her marriage to King Louis of France. A queen at a young age, she is fierce and intelligent, qualities that only grow as you progress through the book. No book is ever perfect, and I found the steamy sex scenes a bit much since she was so young when she married, but it is a minor complaint of what is otherwise an excellent book. Highly recommended.