Book Review: Isabella: Braveheart of France by: Colin Falconer

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Cool Gus Publishing

Publication Date: September 24, 2013

Origins:  From Author for Review

Format:  E-book

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: She was taught to obey. Now she has learned to rebel.

12 year old Isabella, a French princess marries the King of England - only to discover he has a terrible secret. Ten long years later she is in utter despair - does she submit to a lifetime of solitude and a spiritual death - or seize her destiny and take the throne of England for herself?

Isabella is just twelve years old when she marries Edward II of England. For the young princess it is love at first sight - but Edward has a terrible secret that threatens to tear their marriage - and England apart.

Who is Piers Gaveston - and why is his presence in the king’s court about to plunge England into civil war?

The young queen believes in the love songs of the troubadours and her own exalted destiny - but she finds reality very different. As she grows to a woman in the deadly maelstrom of Edward’s court, she must decide between her husband, her children, even her life - and one breath-taking gamble that will change the course of history.

This is the story of Isabella, the only woman ever to invade England - and win.

In the tradition of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick, ISABELLA is thoroughly researched and fast paced, the little known story of the one invasion the English never talk about.

Review: ‘Isabella: Braveheart of France’ is a grand tale of the young French princess married off to Edward II of England. Yet Edward holds Piers Gaveston, his favorite, in higher esteem than his bride. Isabella grew up seeing the love between her father and mother, wanting a similar love for herself. Yet her marriage to Edward is no more than a duty to Edward and a never-ending heartache for Isabella. As a 12-year-old bride, Isabella is much more mature than Edward will ever be, and as she grows she learns more of the strength it takes to rule a country.

‘Isabella: Braveheart of France’ is a breathtaking story. I truly felt for Isabella, who was groomed to be a queen but had a husband who barely knew what to do with her as she wasn’t male. Unfortunately, as king, Edward had a royal duty to marry and produce offspring. He couldn't follow his heart anymore than Isabella could follow hers. Edward should never have been king as he felt he owed no one and he was owed everything without earning it. Isabella had the strength and fortitude to survive in a challenging court and thrive when her adopted country needed her. I was drawn in to Isabella’s world and felt her emotions as my own. Mr. Falconer has written an amazing story about a woman caught between worlds and who rises up to take the mantle she was born to wear.

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