Loved this book! I was completely enthralled by the characterisations and the plot.  Obviously as it is a novel based on real people and historical events, if you know your history of the Englsh Monarchy then you already know how it ends but somehow because of the fantastic writing weaving a perfectly believable lifelong lovestory into what is already there I found myself hoping for different outcomes, even though logically I already knew what I hoped for was already impossible by dint of time.

For me the measure of how much I enjoy a book is how much of my sleep am I prepared to forego (I was a sloth in a previous incarnation) in order to read it and with book I can genuinely say, I lost significant z's.

Whilst much is made of King Charles I and his beheading the story of his French Princess Bride is glossed over in history lessons, all I remember being taught about Henriette Marie of France was that she tried to turn England back to Catholicism and that she was the reason in the end that Charles ended up sans noggin.

But perhaps this was not so, perhaps in the mists of time and he chroniclers of the time just painted that picture for convenience... After all histories are not written by the dead, are they? 

Anyway, I liked the version of Henriette Marie I was introduced to in this story, beautiful, full of life and determination and with a backbone maybe not of steel, maybe willow, bending and swaying with circumstance, bending but never breaking and always returning upright when the storm has passed. This woman was more than a Queen she was a builder, a creator, a woman of vision.

Fiona Mountain is a wonderful writer, her descriptive style draws you in and really paints a picture that I was seeing in my mind as I read. 


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