About the Book:
It’s Anno Domini 1200. King Richard the Lionheart is dead. And in the final years of her own eventful life, queen-duchess Aliénor of Aquitaine launches a deadly dynastic chess game to safeguard the crowns of Normandy and England for John Plantagenet, her only surviving son.
To that end, Aliénor coerces into matrimony her two pawns: Juliana de Charnais, a plain and pious novice determined to regain her inheritance, and Guérin de Lasalle, a cynical and profligate captain of a band of Richard’s mercenaries, equally resolved to renounce his. But Aliénor wants their marriage to save Jonn’s patrimony from the plots of Philip, the king of France, and her own vassals, the traitorous lords of Lusignan, descendants of the legendary half-serpent Mélusine.
Preferring the company of his routiers, bawds, and barrel houses, Lasalle does not intend to be a husband to the shy young woman, nor to become entangled in John’s own matrimonial mire, but at the heart of Aliénor’s scheme is the mystery of his own past that could cost John his thrones—and Juliana her life.
About the Author:
Hana’s passion for the Middle Ages dates to a childhood exploring the ruins of castles and cloisters in the (now) Czech Republic. She also developed that “lurid taste in fiction,” by reading dog-eared novels full of the drama and melodrama of history. She graduated with an MA from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, and a Ph. D. (both in history, of course), from the University of New Mexico where she currently resides. She is married to an Englishman, teaches part-time, and works as a historical consultant.
Her latest book is The Sixth Surrender.
You can visit her website at https://www.thesixthsurrender.com
As a book reviewer, I read LOTS of genres by many, many different authors, so when I signed up to read The Sixth Surrender, to me it was excitement because I don’t review books like this one, much. I am pleased to say that this novel met my tastes and it did not disappoint!
I was instantly taken with this novel, both with the beautifully created characters and with the writing style of Hana Samek Norton. I was confused a bit during the first few chapters because of the terminology used from that time period of 1200, but, I pushed myself past all that, and WOW! It really packed an intense punch for me. after that. I was totally one of the many people of the story. It came alive to me, as I walked about the medieval streets with Juliana, LaSalle, and the queen Duchess. That feeling was simply breathtaking.
Juliana was my favorite character. She was so real to me, like a sister, or a close, close friend. So much so, that I felt all of what she endured, from pain and heartache to love and passion. She was a brave woman in my eyes.
LaSalle, on the other hand, hmmmm….I was mad at him more often than not! He was certainly not my first choice as a husband for poor Juliana. But, the story would not be the same without his daring character and by the end of this incredible historical novel, I am happy that his truth finally came forth.
There is, however, one downside to this amazing book. There is some language and mild, mild talk of passionate moments(definitely not OVERLY detailed like some books published now a days). But, know this was not of the Christian variety, I was able to go into the story with an open heart, and overlooked it.
This book is fictional, yes. But, the power and vivid detail that Norton uses, and the research put forth for this novel, feels like a true story and is worthy of 5 stars. I definitely recommend this book and I can’t wait for another book like from this fantastic author-perhaps a sequel???
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*This book was provided for review by PumpUpYourBook!*