Oh my gosh!!
Mathilde is one of the ladies in waiting for Isabella of France, wife of Henry II and in the course of her duties she meets Henry, a spy working for Roger Mortimer and neither of them can forget each other
I loved Henry, he isn’t the traditional gentleman one would find at court and I think this made him more loveable to me. He is clever, calculating and very good at what he does but he also knows what he wants and ultimately it’s to escape the spy game and have a family and I found myself routing for him to achieve his dream
I struggled at times with Mathilde, she is haunted by an event in the past which leads her to become very loyal to the queen and at times blind to her faults which whilst I understood I also found very frustrating, especially as it starts to impact her life more and more. Even through all my issues with her, I found Mathilde to be a kind and loyal person who is determined to keep promises even at the expense of her own happiness. The more I got to know Mathilde the more I struggled with her as a character, I would go from totally loving her to annoyed and back again so quickly but I think that’s part of her character and what makes her her. She starts to learn a lot about herself as the story develops and as each new aspect of her character is revealed I started to love her more and more and by the end I adored her courage and determination as well as so much more
Because of her relationship with Isabella, Mathilde doesn’t always see what is going on and is often blind to the wider events of court and further afield so we must rely on Henry’s narration and version of events to get an accurate picture but this contrast works well and allows the reader to see both sides and how various things can skew a persons understanding of what is really happening
This book is so skilfully written that more than once I forgot it was fiction and went to google Henry and Mathilde as they seemed so real and so entwined with history that it was almost impossible to distinguish between fact and fiction and I think this is a big part of why I loved this book so much
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a story where the characters have to fight adversity and so much more to be together in a setting that will have you intrigued and wanting to know more
AM 🐾 x