The Summer Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

The Summer Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

4.9 15
by Elizabeth Chadwick
     
 

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New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick brings Eleanor of Aquitaine to life with breathtaking historical detail in the first volume of this stunning new trilogy.

Eleanor of Aquitaine, the legendary 12th century queen of France and later of England, is one of the most powerful and irrepressible women in medieval history, and her story of

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick brings Eleanor of Aquitaine to life with breathtaking historical detail in the first volume of this stunning new trilogy.

Eleanor of Aquitaine, the legendary 12th century queen of France and later of England, is one of the most powerful and irrepressible women in medieval history, and her story of romance, scandal and political intrigue has fascinated readers for centuries.

Young Eleanor (or Alienor as she was known) has everything to look forward to as the heiress to the wealthy Aquitaine. But when her beloved father William X suddenly dies, childhood is over. Sent to Paris and forced to marry Prince Louis VII of France, she barely adjusts before another death catapults them to King and Queen. At the age of just 13, Eleanor must leave everything behind and learn to navigate the complex and vivacious French court. Faced with great scandals, trials, fraught relationships, and forbidden love at every turn, Eleanor finally sees what her future could hold if she could just seize the moment.

The first in this highly anticipated trilogy, The Summer Queen follows Eleanor through the Second Crusade to the end of her marriage to Louis VII. The author's meticulous research (including delving into the Akashic records) portrays the Middle Ages and Eleanor with depth and vivid imagery unparalleled in historical fiction that will keep readers riveted and wanting more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A magnificent woman's story told by a brilliant historical novelist; realistic, emotional, vibrant, exciting and unputdownable." - RT Book Reviews, July Top Pick

"The Summer Queen is a fabulous novel based on the most up-to-date and meticulous research. This is historical fiction at its best and I loved every page of it." - For Winter Nights: A bookish blog

"Chadwick is extremely popular among readers of medieval historical fiction owing to her meticulous research and attention to detail. Fans of her previous novels should enjoy getting a closer look at Eleanor...while newcomers will find this to be a pleasurable introduction to Chadwick's work." - Library Journal

"Elizabeth Chadwick has once again put forth a wonderfully authentic recreation of the life of a famous historical figure. One cannot help but be spellbound with each page... Awesome characterization, a fascinating plot, and in depth research makes this story stand above all others about Eleanor of Aquitaine. Definitely a book to read and savor! " - Historical Novel Review

"Every little detail is woven in the story seamlessly, giving the reader the impression that they are standing there, just right next to the characters, witnessing history as it unfolded all those centuries ago... Meticulously researched, beautifully written, with an engaging plot and fascinating characters... It is one of the best historical fiction novels I've ever read." - History and Other Thoughts

"A rich and compelling read." - Candis Magazine

"Uses authentic period detail to bring to life a new queen and the drama and intrigue surrounding her" - France Magazine

"Ms. Chadwick did an extensive amount of research for this book and I think it is reflected in the quality of the story.
" - So Many Books, So Little Time

"Absolutely fantastic... It has it all, romance, adventure, and intrigue! I give this novel a solid FIVE out of FIVE stars!" - Historical Fiction Obsession

"Chadwick was really able to bring both the time period and the setting to life through her use of historical detail... a very exciting start to a great series on a fascinating figure!" - A Bookish Affair

"An immersion in the life of a queen who helped shape the Western world." - Kirkus

"The story line is engaging and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen. There's romance, scandal, love, treason, fighting, chivalry, deception, prayer, and so much more." - The Readathon

"A richly drawn, finely written, meticulously researched, fictionalized account of Eleanor of Aquitaine - Elizabeth Chadwick's fleshed-out characterization of this controversial and often misunderstood historical figure is loaded with vivid descriptions and a sumptuous scenography that brings the medieval setting to full life at every turn of the page... Chadwick's novel is possibly the most original and unbiased interpretation of her life. " - Mina's Bookshelf

"This is high drama indeed, so we have to thank Elizabeth Chadwick for bringing these turbulent times so excellently to life. This British author has gained many loyal fans down the years... with THE SUMMER QUEEN she has done a magnificent job and rewarded those fans, as well as being sure to delight a new generation of readers who love historical romance." - Fresh Fiction

"The Summer Queen is a fascinating look at the early life of Eleanor of Aquitaine." - Bloggers Recommend

"Chadwick brings a new interpretation and life to Alienor... One of Chadwick's strengths is that she brings the historical world that we will never experience to life in a way that is relatable to us in the modern day." - The Maiden's Court

Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-05
British author Chadwick (Shadows and Strongholds,2005, etc.) begins a trilogy chronicling the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, a queen equal to kings.The tale opens with William, Duke of Aquitaine, mortally ill. To ensure Aquitaine’s future, he arranges the marriage of his daughter, 13-year-old Eleanor—Alienor, as written then—to Louis, the French crown prince. Europe in 1137 was a jumble of fiefdoms, every ruler seeking alliances of power, and so Alienor acquiesces to her fate. At first, Louis proves an acceptable husband, but as king, he stumbles from one disaster to another, quickly becoming "a querulous man, old before his time, full of righteous anger, his guilt and self-loathing twisting within." Daughters are bornrather than a male heir, and the marriage collapses. Alienor demands annulment, granted only after politicized negotiations. Freedom brings peril: An "irresistible marriage prize to someone," Alienor risks being kidnapped and forced into marriage by any rogue coveting Aquitaine’s riches. Chadwick’s prodigious research sets the scene, whether in castles, trekking from one dukedom to another or on Louis’ Holy Crusade, all extraordinarily detailed, if occasionally too replete with duplicities, court manners and poisoned clerics with political agendas. Leaving court and bedroom lamentations behind,Chadwick shifts into high gearwhen Henry, Duke of Normandy and future ruler of England, seeks marriage. Only 18, nine years younger than Alienor, but her equal in intelligence and courage, Henry, "a force of nature carrying all before him," roars into the narrative with the sure-footed power of a king-to-be. Other characters abound, some sympathetic in love and loyalty, like Alienor’s vassal and first love, Geoffrey de Rancon, whom she cannot marry lest she fracture peace in Aquitaine. Chadwick layers on each page the great passions of medieval life, all murderous manipulations and aristocratic ambitions, leaving readers only to speculate how these teenagers stepped astride history to rule.An immersion in the life of a queen who helped shape the Western world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402294068
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
07/01/2014
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
104,503
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.92(h) x 1.34(d)

Meet the Author

"A star back in Britain, Elizabeth Chadwick is finally getting the attention she deserves here,"-USA Today. Chadwick is the bestselling author of over 20 historical novels, including The Greatest Knight, The Scarlet Lion, A Place Beyond Courage, Lords of the White Castle, Shadows and Strongholds, The Winter Mantle, and The Falcons of Montabard, four of which have been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Awards.

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Summer Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Chadwick has once again put forth a wonderfully authentic recreation of the life of a famous historical figure. In this case, it is the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, or Alienor, as she was officially referred to. The Summer Queen is the first in a trilogy and covers Alienor’s life from childhood until she meets Henry who will become her second husband. And the author does it with grand details, breaking down this famous woman’s life into small increments to truly make her real! One cannot help but be spellbound with each page as we follow Alienor through an unhappy marriage with a spineless, overly religiously devout king as he drags her into peril into a crusade. Awesome characterization, a fascinating plot, and in depth research makes this story stand above all others about Eleanor of Aquitaine. Definitely a book to read and savor! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The personality of Eleanor comes thru loud and clear. Altho I HAVE READ MANY BOOKS ABOUT THIS STRIKING woman,E.C. brings new insight into her amazing life and into the times into which she was born. The characters of her husbands are also brought to life as never before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. Loved it. However her second book in the seires "The Winter Queen" was nothing more than an exact copy of the first book The Summer Queen" but didn't cover Eleanor's childhood years or her ultimate imprisonment by Henry as the first book did. I returned it.
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MsDollie More than 1 year ago
As with all of her historic novels, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Summer Queen. I just wish she could write the next as quickly as I read. Well .... if she did ... they probably wouldn't be as good as they are! Now what do I read while I wait on the next Alienor novel?
Babs_luvs_books More than 1 year ago
Every one of Elizabeth Chadwick's books are excellent reads.  Enjoyed this first one in her Eleanor of Aquitaine series, and can't wait to read the rest.
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Avidel More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I love Elizabeth Chadwick's books. She is the new Anya Seton. Eleanor is one of the strongest woman in history. I highly recommend it..
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cannot wait to read the next one!