21 July 2014

A Triple Knot by Emma Campion

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The critically acclaimed author of The King's Mistress brings another fascinating woman from history to life in an enthralling story of political intrigue, personal tragedy, and illicit love.

Joan of Kent, renowned beauty and cousin to King Edward III, is destined for a politically strategic marriage. As the king begins a long dynastic struggle to claim the crown of France, plunging England into the Hundred Years’ War, he negotiates her betrothal to a potential ally and heir of a powerful lordship.

But Joan, haunted by nightmares of her father’s execution at the hands of her treacherous royal kin, fears the king’s selection and is not resigned to her fate. She secretly pledges herself to one of the king’s own knights, one who has become a trusted friend and protector. Now she must defend her vow as the king — furious at Joan’s defiance — prepares to marry her off to another man.

In A Triple Knot, Emma Campion brings Joan, the “Fair Maid of Kent” to glorious life, deftly weaving details of King Edward III’s extravagant court into a rich and emotionally resonant tale of intrigue, love, and betrayal.

Emma Campion’s A Triple Knot is quite the tangled, messy, knotted web. I had never before known much about Joan of Kent and the drama surrounding her relationships, but from Campion’s telling, I gained much insight into what her life might have been like in England’s medieval court. At many points, her story verges on dark, with the ever-present undercurrents of suspicion and jealousy, scheming and manipulation that surround her, but Joan is a character full of strength and determination, ever the diplomat yet unwilling to simply play the pawn in the king’s maneuvering. She deserves to have her story told, and I really enjoyed getting to know this portrayal of Joan and the numerous obstacles and challenges she faced and overcame. I would recommend it for readers of historical fiction.

Thanks to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of A Triple Knot and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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