Open Road (29 Jan 2013)
The Fatal Crown
The political alliances formed in the aftermath of the conquest of England in 1066 had repercussions for generations and the rulers in twelfth century Europe are depicted as a scheming combination of political aspiration and ruthless ambition. Caught in the middle are two royal heirs to the English crown, whose supporters will bring England to civil war in the fight for supremacy.
In A Fatal Crown, Ellen Jones has woven the historically accurate story of the fight for power between Maud, daughter of King Henry I, and her cousin Stephen of Blois, and has created a story of illicit passion, and royal subterfuge. I am not sure that there is any historical evidence to suggest that Maud and Stephen ever embarked on an illicit love affair, and yet within the context of this story it works well and ultimately offers a more romantic version of what after all was a supreme power struggle.
If you are upset by slight variations in history then this book is not for you, but if you want a lively historical romp with a smattering of sex and romance then you won’t be disappointed.
Originally published in 1991, the book is now republished with new and more appealing cover art. It continues to be a fascinating and sensuous account of this troubled period in English history.
My thanks to NetGalley and Open Road for an e copy of this book to review.