Historical Fiction: The Battle of the Queens, by Jean Plaidy

3.0 out of 5 stars Queen Mums

The Battle of the Queens is early Plaidy, written in a somewhat clunky, pedantic style. Isabella of Angouleme becomes the widow of the infamous bad King John, and Blanca of Castile is soon to be the bride of the Dauphin Louis of France. The eponymous battle takes the form of the intense, almost maniacal hatred that Isabella develops for Blanca, now Queen Blanche. The reasons given for this animosity are thin, but for the next two decades, these two women will play a role in the political maneuvering that has plagued France and England since 1066.

The novel is more accurately the story, in novelized form, of the jockeying that took place over territories in France that sometimes England controlled, and sometimes “France”, which was still far from a unified nation. It’s an enjoyable, entertaining way to learn about an important and colorful era that comes across as rather dry in the history books. Not recemmmended for readers with no interest in that time period, but otherwise, there’s enough here to hold your attention.


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