The Forbidden Queen

The Forbidden Queen

3.77 (1,678 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A Sunday Times Bestseller

`O'Brien cleverly intertwines the personal and political in this enjoyable, gripping tale.'
-The Times




An innocent pawn. A kingdom without a King. A new dynasty will reign...



1415. The jewel in the French crown, Katherine de Valois, is waiting under lock and key for King Henry V. While he's been slaughtering her kinsmen in Agincourt, Katherine has been praying for marriage to save her from her misery. But the brutal King wants her crown, not her innocent love.


For Katherine, England is a lion's den of greed, avarice and mistrust. And when Katherine is widowed at twenty-one she is a prize ripe for the taking. Her young son the future monarch, her hand in marriage worth a kingdom. This is a deadly political game; one the Dowager Queen must learn fast.


The players - Duke of Gloucester, Edmund Beaufort and Owen Tudor - are circling. Who will have her? Who will ruin her?



This is the story of Katherine de Valois. The forbidden queen who launched the most famous dynasty of all time...



Praise for Anne O'Brien
`O'Brien cleverly intertwines the personal and political in this enjoyable, gripping tale.'
- The Times


`A gem of a subject ... O'Brien is a terrific storyteller'
- Daily Telegraph


`Joanna of Navarre is the feisty heroine in Anne O'Brien's fast-paced historical novel The Queen's Choice.'
-Good Housekeeping


`A gripping story of love, heartache and political intrigue.'
-Woman & Home


`Packed with drama, danger, romance and history.'
-Pam Norfolk, for the Press Association


`Better than Philippa Gregory' - The Bookseller


`Anne O'Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists.' - Sunday Express


`A gripping historical drama.'
-Bella


www.anneobrien.co.uk
@anne_obrien
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Product details

  • Paperback | 624 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 42mm | 439.99g
  • MIRA
  • Richmond, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1848452152
  • 9781848452152
  • 140,757

Review quote

Praise for Anne O'Brien


`Joanna of Navarre is the feisty heroine in Anne O'Brien's fast-paced historical novel The Queen's Choice.'
-Good Housekeeping


`O'Brien is a terrific storyteller'
- Daily Telegraph


`A gripping story of love, heartache and political intrigue.'
-Woman & Home


`Packed with drama, danger, romance and history, The Queen's Choice is the perfect reading choice for the long winter nights.'
- The Press Association


`A gripping historical drama.'
-Bella
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About Anne O'Brien

Anne O'Brien was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master's in Education at Hull, she lived in the East Riding for many years as a teacher of history.


She now lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire on the borders between England and Wales.
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Rating details

1,678 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 27% (453)
4 36% (605)
3 26% (444)
2 8% (136)
1 2% (40)

Our customer reviews

Told from Katherine's viewpoint, the story begins with her youth as a neglected and unloved French Princess, the youngest child of Isabeau and Charles, one mad and the other morally bereft. Katherine is married off to Henry in exchange for French territory, but she longs for him to love her. Unfortunately, though polite and considerate, Henry is emotionally cold, ruthless and focused entirely on war. Katherine spends a lot of her time brooding that Henry does not catch her eye when they are in a room full of people, or send for her while away on campaign, and his letters are formal and not filled with poetry. The narrative is quite beautiful, and Ms O'Brien is an exceptional writer with an attention to detail, nuance and atmosphere I found enviable. It was her heroine who annoyed me and I lost patience with her needy craving for affection, but told myself she was very young and ill-equipped for her role. After only two years of marriage, during half of which she and Henry are apart, Katherine is widowed and when an ambitious courtier shows her some attention, she is willing to give up everything to be with him. Katherine's power hungry brother-in-law, Humphrey of Gloucester, puts obstacles in her way, which may seem cruel and self-serving, but in truth, prevented her from making a terrible mistake. Has Katherine learned her lesson, or would history simply repeat itself and her pathological need for love prove to be her downfall? I won't reveal any more of the story for it deserves to be read. My only criticism, is that I felt Katherine's emotional turmoil and craving for attention was overplayed, and the story could have been told in considerably less than six hundred and nineteen pages. Saying that, Owen Tudor is magnificent and the author's mastery of the sexual chemistry between them is perfect. Her research is impeccable too, although I would have liked an Author's Note separating fact from fiction - one of the problems with historical fiction is that you have to work with the facts as they exist, so invention becomes a necessity.show more
by Anita Davison
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