Reviewed by Erin McKibbin

Eleanor loved her father. He was wise, kind, and he took her under his wing despite her being only a daughter. He inspired love and loyalty from all around him, a trait Eleanor made every effort to imitate. And, as a man of learning, he questioned the teachings of the church – another trait adopted by the impressionable Eleanor.

It was no surprise that when Duke William X, Duke of Aquitaine, met with a very questionable early death while on a pilgrimage, 15-year-old Eleanor quickly succeeded him and garnered the love and loyalty of her father’s subjects by continuing her father’s policies and ideologies. Inexperienced with the manipulations of desperate men, she unfortunately allowed herself to be married to King Louis VII of France, a boy who had been raised entirely by priests and was completely cowed by the very church Eleanor professed disbelief in.

Before she was Queen of England (and consort of King Henry II), Eleanor of Aquitaine inherited her father’s Duchy at the age of 15 and ascended to the throne of France as Queen and consort of King Louis VII. As the only woman to have ever been queen of both France and England, and as one of the few women to inherit titles and lands from her father, she was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women during the Middle Ages.

Christy English does a fantastic job of presenting the early years of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Most only know of Eleanor as the imprisoned wife of Henry II and the mother of both King Richard the Lionheart and King John (of the Robin Hood fables). Through To Be Queen, English takes the reader on a journey of a very powerful and awe inspiring woman whose beliefs and causes have shaped the courts of Europe today.

Rating: 3.5/5

Erin fell in love with the written word as a small child and subsequently spent most of her life happily devouring literature. She works as a freelance news, marketing, and technical writer as well as a full-time researcher/investigator in the sign industry. Erin lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio enjoying the beauty of life with her children and grandchildren.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL Trade. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.