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Book Review of When Christ and His Saints Slept (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, Bk 1)

When Christ and His Saints Slept (Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, Bk 1)
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Henry I, King of England dies in 1135, leaving behind a daughter, Maude (Matilda) having lost his oldest son in the tragic disaster of the White Ship. Henry intends for his daughter to reign after him; however the idea of a woman ruling on her own is a new concept to the people of 12th century England and not easily accepted. What follows Henry Is death has been described as anarchy, but that would probably seem like a mild description to the people of England who had to live through the decades of war and cruelty that this haphazard royal succession caused.

The people and places are drawn so well, you feel as if you are there. I did however get tired of the endless wars, intrigue and changing loyalties because I just couldnt picture Maude as the 12th centurys womans rights champion. By the end of the wars, I lost interest in who was winning and who was on what side because I no longer cared about most of the characters. To be fair, I kept comparing this book to Here Be Dragons and I wanted to return to Wales. I just enjoyed the characters in the Welsh trilogy more than this book; perhaps because the characters were more real to me or it was just a personal feeling. That doesnt diminish the excellent historical research or great writing that characterize this book.