Reviewed byLouise LeetchAs a lifelong admirer of Eleanor of Aquitaine, I'm always excited to seea book about her and her remarkable family.
The Sixth Surrender
, anovel by
Hana Samek Norton
, focuses on her son, King John, whoacceded to the throne of England after his brother Richard I and father,Henry II.Author Norton chooses a minor player, Juliana de Charnais, as a link tothe machinations of Alienor (the French spelling used by the author), her son and the nasty oldLusignan dynasty. If you've avoided the morescholarly tomes about thePlantagenets, this is just the book for you.It's light and simple and the players are easy to keep track of by the author's animateddescriptions. Norton scrupulously delivers her 13th century history characters well woveninto a story that's sure to tantalize the casual reader to press on to a bit more serioushistory.Armand de Lusignan and his family suffered enough degradation under the rule of KingsHenry and Richard, they were not about to put up with John 'Softsword' and his attemptto destroy them. John usurped a pending alliance by marrying Isabelle of Angouleme.Juliana's marriage to Guerin de Lasalle saves her from the convent and makes him beholden to the queen. However, all is not well in the arranged marriage, as any reader of historical romance would know. Luckily, Norton doesn't dwell on the usual attempts atseduction and rather focuses on King John's quarrels with Philip Augustus of France.John's nephew, Arthur of Brittany, has aligned himself with Philip and the Lusignans totry to wrest the crown he feels should be his. Of course, Philip and Armand de Lusignanhave plans of their own. Guerin de Lasalle proves to be John's best weapon to preservehis Norman holdings, easily re-taking the fortress of Mirbeau away from the haplessArthur.
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critiqued the new $149PW Selectprogram for self- published authors--generating a healthy debate about paid book reviews.Strauss'informative essayexplored "sponsored review programs" at other book review outlets, including
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