Yolande of Aragon, a Spanish princess, is 19 when she marries Louis D’Anjou, heir to the dukedom of Anjou. The marriage has to put an end to the years of struggles between the heirs of Anjou en the heirs of Aragon over the kingdom of Naples.
The moment she arrives in France, Yolande falls in love with her adopted country, and her husband. But soon, the happy moments are over and the couple has to get back to real life. Louis sets out to reclaim Naples and Yolande learns how to manage her estates and how to survive at the French court.
The marriage is a happy one and soon the nursery is full of children. But France is in a terrible state. The English won a huge battle at Agincourt, the King is half mad and to top that, the royal family is divided between the Burgundians and the Armagnacs. France is on the edge of ruin and when Louis dies, Yolande has to do everything in her power to save France from the English. And from itself.
It seems I’m on a bad streak. This is the second book in a row that’s not quite to my liking.
Yolande of Aragon had a claim on the kingdom of Aragon, Sicily, Naples and Jerusalem. She had a powerful role in the Hundred Year’s war and was Joan of Arc most important ‘believer’. But this book does not do her justice.
Throughout the story, I had the feeling that Yolanda’s character was flat. The first two chapters were about here family. How much she loves her darling husband and her adorable children. There is absolutely no flaw in them. When Louis dies and she has to take charge, I expected some change in the story, but that was idle hope. The author keep repeating how smart Yolande was, but nothing got into detail. Yolande has an idea and three sentences later, the idea is worked out and. everything is well again. It stayed very shallow.
The thing that bothered me the most, was the repetition of words as darling and bonne mère. It really got on my nerves. In the end, I did not know who Yolande of Aragon, the Queen of Four kingdoms really was. The author wanted me to believe she was a strong, independent woman, but by repeating it every single page, it created the opposite effect.
I was very disappointed when I finished it, but on the other hand I was glad it was done. On to the next one! Fingers crossed this one is better!
Publisher: Constable & Robinson – London