Being the daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine brings pressure. You're the daughter of one of the most beautiful, intelligent, strong, feared, and also controversial women in the world. You hope to be as sharp, cunning, and knowledgeable as her. You hope to have her beauty and allure to men. You also have to deal with family squabbles. It certainly couldn't be easy to be the daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine. In "The Queen's Daughter" by Susan Coventry, Princess Joan's life as the daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine is explored.
"The Queen's Daughter" follows the life of Princess Joan, daughter of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Joan grows up in a most dysfunctional family setting. Her parents barely get along, her father flaunts his mistresses and imprisons his wife, her mother is always scheming with her sons, and her brothers are always at war with their father. Joan desperately loves her family, but hates the rivalries between them. Joan thinks to escape the family drama when she marries at a young age to King William II of Sicily. She enters a loveless marriage, a smothered life, and fears for her family that are still squabbling. Joan encounters much frustration throughout the novel including a childless marriage with her weak husband and her brothers constantly disappointing her. It's when Joan encounters a friendly and attractive face from her childhood, Lord Raymond, Count of Toulouse that her life fully begins. The novel is a journey through Joan's disappointments at home, disappointments in her new land, and finally finding happiness.
"The Queen's Daughter" is a nice look at Joan. Readers will enjoy reading about her childhood torn between her strong and gruff father and her beautiful and cunning mother as well as her love for her brothers, particularly Richard. The focus on her family is fascinating.
The part of the novel that seems a bit slow is Joan's marriage to King William. Joan is never treated like a queen, is smothered by her mother-in-law, and betrayed by her friend and aunt by marriage. Her marriage to the sickly William is loveless and cold. This part of the novel may leave readers bored and have them longing to know what is going on with Joan's family.
Also frustrating is that the relationship between Eleanor and Joan is never fully explored. The novel is called "The Queen's Daughter", but readers will explore more of Joan's relationship with Richard rather than with her formidable mother. There needed to be more on the relationship between mother and daughter.
"The Queen's Daughter" is a solid read and an interesting look at a child of that complicated and feuding royal brood. This novel may make your family seem less dysfunctional!
To purchase "The Queen's Daughter": www.amazon.com/The-Queens-Daughter-Susan-Coventry/dp/B0058M5VEU
For more information on Susan Coventry: http://www.susancoventry.com/