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The Fatal Crown by Ellen Jones- a Book Review

By Gpangel @gpangel1
The Fatal CrownThe Fatal Crown by Ellen Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Fatal Crown (The Queens of Love and War #1) by Ellen Jones is a 2013 Open Road Integrated Media publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in conjunction with the Retro Romance reading group on Goodreads, in exchange for an honest review.
Fictionalized or not, reading about the way women were used in the royal classes in the very distant Medieval days will set your teeth on edge. This is an account of the life of Maude or the Empress Matilda who lived a very interesting, albeit difficult life in 1100's Normandy.
Married off while still a child, Maude lived in Germany until the death of her much older husband with whom she had a close bond. When she is forced to return to Normandy so quickly after her husband's death she was very upset as Germany was where she felt she belonged. Once she is back home she is reunited with her cousin Stephen and a torrid affair begins despite the machinations and politics that surrounds them.
When reading historical fiction it is always of supreme importance to remember that it is FICTION. This story is BASED on real people. It's like seeing a movie based on a true story. If you go back and check the actual facts you will see how the movie is usually vastly different from reality. Often when reading about real people from history and knowing a little about their story it is a little annoying to see an author make up an alternate story around the facts as we know them. Many are offended by this. So, a word of caution. If you do not like liberties being taken with facts, dates and so on you will need to pass this one up. If you don't mind reading a historical romance based on real people, then you won't mind this one too much. One other thing to keep in mind is that this book was originally published in the early 1990's and a style of writing that was common then will now cause romance readers to roll their eyes.
For me the story fell flat. I can't really put my finger on what it was specifically, but I had a really hard time staying interested at times. The book is a bit long and perhaps when being reformatted to digital someone should have gone in and did a bit of editing.
This one falls into that dreaded black hole of take it or leave it. 3 stars

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