The Queen's Choice Kindle É The Queen's PDF \

The Queen's Choice Kindle É The Queen's  PDF \ France,The Duke of Brittany is dead and his widow, Joanna of Navarre, has inherited control of their land a testament to her intellect, integrity and political prowessThen comes an unprecedented proposal from Henry IV, King of England The price of becoming his Queen Abandoning her homeland, leaving her children and sacrificing her independence Henry s hold on the crown is unsteady and war is brewing With the constant threat of rebellion, Henry will trust no one not even his new Queen Crossing the channel is a dangerous prospect But the union between Joanna and Henry would bring the chance of a vital alliance between two proud states if they will allow itOne question Two paths A choice that will make history This was the worst I ve read from this author Joanna had moments when I liked her but waymoments when I thought she was an unlikable shrew Quiet honestly, she picked two of the dullest, most unlikable characters in history to write about Tolerable but not good I wouldn t read it again Narration was good.2.5 Joanna of Navarre is not a popular choice as subject in straight history or HF If she was anything like the character imagined by Anne O Brien, it s no wonder not a very likable character Poor old Henry IV, no matter what he did, he was blamed for it Nobody really wanted Richard II to remain as king but it seems no one wanted Henry IV either and he wasn t such a bad old stick, just very hamstrung by circumstance I break with populist feeling over Henry V I think he was pretty dire but Joanna of Navarre is not a popular choice as subject in straight history or HF If she was anything like the character imagined by Anne O Brien, it s no wonder not a very likable character Poor old Henry IV, no matter what he did, he was blamed for it Nobody really wanted Richard II to remain as king but it seems no one wanted Henry IV either and he wasn t such a bad old stick, just very hamstrung by circumstance I break with populist feeling over Henry V I think he was pretty dire but I have a softish spot for Henry IV So, if Joanna was as unhelpful, high handed and arrogant as she comes across in this tale, he was truly beset on all sides As Ms O Brien would have it, even after she realised he was in trouble, Joanna carried on being mulish, self centred and sulky And this is portrayed as a love match I d say this book was too heavy on the romance and not enough on the history except there seems to be little romance either.I suspect there is not a great deal of recorded information about Joanna so Ms O Brien had to make it up That being the case did she have to make her so slappable Edit Thinking overnight and want to add that Henry V was not just dire he was cynically amoral Why is it that we look back at the various monarchs and say he was strong vis Edward I or Henry V for instance and he was weak vis Edward II, Henry VI for instance We don t look for justice, care of the common weal, excellent lawmaking we look for ruthless, controlling machismo and interpret it as strength Sad reflection on enduring human values, no Some queens of England are much better known and have been written about muchoften than others I think it s fair to say that Joanna of Navarre is not one of them As Henry IV s second wife, Joanna or Joan as she is sometimes known , doesn t seem to get a lot of attention as far as historical fiction is concerned Anne O Brien s new novel, The Queen s Choice, is the first book I ve read with Joanna as the main character.As the novel opens in 1396, Joanna is the wife of John, Duke of Britt Some queens of England are much better known and have been written about muchoften than others I think it s fair to say that Joanna of Navarre is not one of them As Henry IV s second wife, Joanna or Joan as she is sometimes known , doesn t seem to get a lot of attention as far as historical fiction is concerned Anne O Brien s new novel, The Queen s Choice, is the first book I ve read with Joanna as the main character.As the novel opens in 1396, Joanna is the wife of John, Duke of Brittany While she doesn t love her husband, who is much older than herself, they have had several children together and their marriage is not an unhappy one To the court of Brittany comes Henry Bolingbroke, having been banished from England by his cousin Richard II, and Joanna is given a brief taste of the love and passion which has so far been missing from her life.Three years later, things have changed Henry has returned to England, taken the crown from Richard and imprisoned him in Pontefract Castle, while Joanna herself is now a widow and acting as regent of Brittany on behalf of her young son When Henry sends one of his men, Thomas de Camoys, to approach Joanna about the possibility of a marriage alliance, she must make the difficult decision to leave her sons and her regency behind and come to England as Henry s queen.I won t say muchabout the plot, because I m sure future readers will prefer to watch the rest of Joanna s story unfold for themselves What I will say is that the marriage between Joanna and Henry takes place fairly early in the novel after this, the focus is on their attempts to make their relationship work which is not always an easy task Although their marriage is portrayed as a love match it seems that there could be some historical evidence to support this , they are both proud people and a lack of communication sometimes causes misunderstandings After Henry s death in 1413, Joanna s life takes adramatic turn during the reign of her stepson, Henry V.I knew almost nothing about Joanna of Navarre before reading this book, but what little I did know was negative It seems that she was greatly disliked by the English people because of her strong connections with France and Brittany at a time when hostilities between England and France were ever present Her unpopularity and how she felt about it is covered in the novel and sometimes her pride and unwillingness to take advice are frustrating but Joanna is also given lots of good qualities and I liked her overall There were times when I felt she reacted to certain situations in the way I would expect a modern day woman to react rather than a medieval one, but otherwise I thought she was a believable and strongly drawn character.I may have had very little prior knowledge of Joanna, but I didn t know much about Henry IV either and it was good to have the opportunity to learnabout him from this book Henry only ruled England for fourteen years but his reign was an unsettled one as well as the threat from overseas, he faced rebellions in Wales and in Northumberland, and rumours surrounding the death of his cousin Richard II, said to have been starved to death in captivity Although The Queen s Choice is set several decades before the conflict we know as the Wars of the Roses, we can see how it has its beginnings here, with tensions between rival branches of the family of the late King Edward III Henry s claim to the throne coming through the Lancaster line.This is the third book I ve read by O Brien the other two are The Forbidden Queen the story of Katherine of Valois and The King s Sister Elizabeth of Lancaster and I have enjoyed them all I ll look forward to finding out who will be the subject of her next novel Review originally published here of Navarre is one of ourforgotten queens as Henry IV s second wife, she bore no children and thus seemed to drop out of the historical radar The only thing I knew about her before I read this book was that her stepson had accused her of trying to kill him after the death of his father and had her imprisoned for several years Despite the tendency for authors of historical fiction to be drawn to feisty wom Review originally published here of Navarre is one of ourforgotten queens as Henry IV s second wife, she bore no children and thus seemed to drop out of the historical radar The only thing I knew about her before I read this book was that her stepson had accused her of trying to kill him after the death of his father and had her imprisoned for several years Despite the tendency for authors of historical fiction to be drawn to feisty women I hate that word, it s only ever applied to women and it s so patronising , making Joanna of Navarre likeable is no easy task.The novel picks up with Joanna companionably married to her first husband, the Duke of Brittany Having borne the necessary heirs, theirs is a relationship of amicable convenience and atthan twenty years Joanna s senior, the Duke isof a mentor figure than a lover According to chronicles, a friendship sprung up between Joanna and Henry during his exile abroad at the pleasure of Richard II and this is what the author picks up on here O Brien depicts the dutiful Joanna as a woman glimpsing at the possibilities of passion adultery is firmly off the cards but there is a spikiness to her interactions with Henry that mean that the reader knows almost before she does that there is a spark between the two.I remember hearing an interview with a writer of Mills and Boon stories who explained that she tended to either make her heroine a virgin or as near to it as possible, to emphasise the drama of her discovery of physical pleasure at the hands of the romantic hero This is a notable pattern in much of historical romance too Joanna makes much of the physical pleasure she experiences with Henry when they are finally united it is this which has chiefly drawn her to him Joanna left her position as Regent for her son, her position amongst her children all of it to move to a foreign land She actually gave it all up for a man.In our post feminist world we most definitely do still need feminism , it is interesting to read of a woman embracing passion over work All too often authors of historical fiction attempt to transplant contemporary feminist s into a world that had yet to understand them but here the reverse is almost true Certainly if I heard of a friend who was about to abandon her children, leave her job and move to a different country, I would at the very least encourage her to have a good think before she did so Yet that is what Joanna did, she upped sticks and she left and when she got there, she became one of England s most unpopular queens due to her lavish spending and habits of hiring only her fellow expatriates.Another way in which The Queen s Choice breaks the mold is the way in which O Brien embraces the fact that Joanna s life did not turn out as she might have planned I had previously noted that one of her earlier novels, The Virgin Widow dodges the fact that its central character and her child died young and what became of her husband There is none of the same footwork with this novel Joanna and Henry had no children of their own, many of her offspring with her late husband died young, her stepchildren were not fond of her Her marriage to Henry was marred by difficulties in communication and political disagreements their love was true but the times were not Henry dies young and leave her to make her own way there is so much death Joanna transparently does not make things easy for herself, being unprepared for what her choice has given her a life subordinate to Henry.As her step son turns against her, Joanna becomes bitter and angry with her lot, her reduced circumstances as she is imprisoned, ignored, set up as a traitor Her own lack of personal popularity means that she has few to fight her corner and her furious tirades are understandable but do not make her any softer of a character The finest moment of the novel comes however when Joanna s long standing friend persuades her that since she cannot change her circumstance, her best option is to accept them To make peace with her self and those around her To me, I found this message startlingly beautiful it is so easy for authors to create iconoclastic Mary Sues who challenge the status quo and win back what is their due but here, Anne O Brien draws out a less anachronistic and farbelievable other option.Women had few choices in the medieval world Joanna s choice might be seen as an unfortunate one, but it only becomes less so by her own attitude towards it There must have been scores upon scores of medieval women in her situation betrayed by a system that robbed them of their wealth, their rights even the rights over their own bodies They could not rebel The odds were never in their favour In those situations, the only choice left is to go easy on yourself It is not a joyous ending those all too often did not fit but it is a positive one, to emphasise that even for a strong woman like Joanna, this limited life did not have to be one of misery if she chose not to let it be

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