“Guilt is a hunter.”First line in Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
It’s time for a tag and it’s the Medieval Queens Book Tag. I was tagged by Jess from Jessticulates who is also the creator of this tag. Please, go check out her blog. She writes some very interesting posts! But let’s start the tag.
Empress Matilda (1102-1167)
After her father, Henry I, died naming her his heir, Matilda’s cousin, Stephen, subsequently took the throne for himself. Matilda never stopped fighting for what was rightfully hers. Though she would never be named Queen of England in her own right, she was able to convince Stephen to name her son, the future Henry II, his successor over his own children.
Choose a book with a protagonist who stands their ground.
I have to choose Vasya from the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. She lives in a world where women are meant to either marry and have children or go live in a monastery. No other option exists, but Vasya continuously demands her right to go on adventures and be free no matter how many people tell her that she shouldn’t.
Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204)
Before she married Henry II and became Queen of England in 1152, Eleanor was Queen of France as the wife of Louis VII. She sought an annulment from her marriage to Louis and he eventually agreed because 15 years of marriage had produced no sons, only for Eleanor to go on to have eight children with Henry—five of whom were sons. Ouch!
Choose a book or series in which the heroine has more than one romantic relationship.
In The Broken Earth by N. K. Jemisin we follow the woman Essun throughout a large part of her life so it’s not surprising that we see her in more than one relationship. It’s been a while since I’ve read it so I can’t remember the exact number of relationships but I believe we see about 3 or 4 that are all very distinct and mean different things to Essun.
Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290)
A keen patron of literature and a successful businesswoman in her own right, Eleanor was Edward I’s first wife. He was so heartbroken when she died that he erected the Eleanor Crosses, 12 stone crosses marking the places where her body rested over night on its journey from Lincolnshire, where she died, to her burial place in London. Three of the crosses still survive today.
Choose a bittersweet book.
Most World War II books would probably fit this prompt, but I think Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is especially fitting. Mainly because of its ending so I’m, of course, not going into too many details. It manages to be both sad and uplifting.
Isabella of France (1295-1358)
Often known as the ‘She-Wolf of France’, Isabella was Edward II’s wife. Unfortunately for Edward he wasn’t particularly good at being king, and Isabella soon grew tired of his (possibly homosexual) relationship with his favourite, Hugh Despenser. After she began an affair with English nobleman Roger Mortimer while on a diplomatic mission to France, the pair returned to England with an army and she deposed Edward and acted as regent until their son, the future Edward III, came of age.
Choose a book where the romance overtook the plot.
I guess it could be positive for the romance to overtake the plot, but I’ve picked an answer where the romance ruined the book for me. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken is an example of a book in which the first half was so exciting. I was completely invested. Then the two main characters meet and fall in love very quickly, and the last half of the book was such a struggle for me to get through. All the interesting personality traits of those two characters went out the window, and everything was just about how much the two loved each other. I didn’t care.
Philippa of Hainault (1310/15-1369)
Queen of England as the wife of Edward III, Philippa was beloved by the English people for her compassion and kindness. The Queen’s College, Oxford, founded in 1341, is named in her honour.
Choose a book set at a university.
I’m only cheating a tiny bit by going with The Magicians by Lev Grossman because it’s not set at just any university. It’s set at a magic university, which is, naturally, so much better. This is a fantasy blog after all.
Joan of Navarre (1368-1437)
Joan was Henry IV’s second wife. Six years after his death, Joan was accused of attempting to poison her stepson, Henry V, through witchcraft and was imprisoned for four years until he ordered her release, just six weeks before he suddenly died.
Choose a book about witches.
Apparently, I don’t read very many books about witches, but one of my favorite series ever is the Half Bad trilogy by Sally Green. The witches here are a little different from what you would typically think of as a witch as they have different abilities, almost like superpowers. They’re supposedly also born either good or evil, which is an aspect the books explore quite a lot.
Those were my answers for this very educational book tag. Who knew there were so many bad-ass English Queens. The people I’m tagging are:
- Kristin @Kristin Kraves Books
- Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner
- Evelyn @Evelyn Reads
- Lena @On the Bookpage
- Joss @Maybe I’ve Read It
And anyone else who feels inclined to do it, of course. Happy reading!