Title: A Triple Knot
Author: Emma Campion
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A historical novel both strangely epic in scope, but minute in gorgeous detail, I loved A Triple Knot--it was just what I needed in a midst of a bad book slump!
What I as a reader love about historical fiction novels may turn other readers off: I love the way this genre gives a window into the past, often by embellishing and imagining obscure historical figures, and sometimes, in so doing, gets so caught up in the political aspects of the novel that the characters get left behind. I'd never heard of Joan of Kent before this novel, so I was very intrigued. This novel really shone for me, overall: I loved the way the political intrigue of this novel took a backseat to the most important thing: the characters.
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway--the publisher sent it to me in exchange for an honest review.
Joan of Kent, the niece of Edward III, renowned beauty, has everything: that is, until her father is executed for treason. She realizes that with the position that comes with royal blood, there is a price: She is a pawn in the brutal royal family's schemes. But Joan of Kent isn't a woman who meekly puts her head down and follows orders. She enters into a marriage of love, and, after hiding it after nearly a decade, seeks freedom. But when that man dies, she is forced to think of her own survival, even if it means entering a relationship, and possibly even marrying, the future king.. And so Joan is caught up again in the price of her royal blood..
What I enjoyed:
-The prose of this book was beautiful and unique, in that it still did justice to the language of the time, but I still understood it
-I also really liked the way that while political intrigue was mounting, it didn't overshadow what was happening to the characters--it was part of what really sold this novel for me
-The meticulous research taken into what little facts there were about Joan's life, and the way the embellishments and imaginings at least gave somewhat of a picture of her, even in fiction
-The pacing of this novel was absolutely breakneck--I couldn't put it down, once I started
-Joan, the young woman determined to take her fate into her own hands--I really, really enjoyed her character development from headstrong child to brave, beautiful young woman--I really sympathized with her as the novel went on, from the age of twelve
-The royal family, but especially the prince Ned--what was so compelling about him was that I couldn't tell if he was friend or foe to Joan and her family--even after the book ended!
-Efa, Blanche, Margaret, John, and Joan's children
What could've been better:
-If I'm being honest, there is really nothing I didn't love about this finely wrought, deeply researched novel! A triumph in historical fiction! Next on deck: Dehumanize Us by Emmanuelle Grey!