the lion rampantOriginally published: 01-10-2014
The second book in the Birth of the Plantagenets series brings the captivating twelfth-century reign of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine to vivid life.
1154. After years of manipulation and political cunning, young Henry II accedes to the throne of England, with the beautiful and indomitable Eleanor of Aquitaine by his side.
But the kingdom he inherits is an impoverished shambles after the long, troubled reign of Stephen the Usurper. Together, the tempestuous royal couple use their charisma and shrewd diplomacy to restore England's prestige and power, and ensure the future of their mighty dynasty.
In order to replenish the English treasury, Henry appoints Thomas Becket, the unordained Archdeacon of Canterbury, as Chancellor. Becklet is no ordinary man: born without rank, he is charming, quick-witted, a masterful intriguer and a lavish dresser with a genious for raising money. Beneath this lies a man seething with ambition, jealousy, treachery and desire.
In a dance of scheming, vengeance and forbidden passions, Henry, Eleanor and Becket fight for political power and control against forces seen and imagined - each with their own agenda, each determined to hide their own shameful secrets.
 

 

Comments:

‘Blanche d’Alpuget has now turned to medieval history to produce an extraordinary tale of ruthlessly pursued political and personal aims. It seems she has reproduced the very texture of those times, their sophistication, their ambitions and stratagems. I was expecting the normal historical novel. This isn’t it. This is fresh and invigorating and absolutely gripping. The revision she provides of the motives and character of Thomas Becket will rivet readers as they have not been riveted since Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell.’

-Tom Keneally

This book was launched by Susan Ryan (too famous to describe) at the Sydney Women's Writers Festival on Saturday, 18 October, at the State Library of NSW. It was an excellent festival.

Purchase online, via Booktopia.