Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2020
So I first read this book when I was a teenager, I really fell for the main leads passion for one another but found it difficult to come to grips with some of the twists of fate thrown in Joan's path. Fast forward to my early 20s, I read it again and was surprised to find the love story still riveting. Fast forward a third time to my late 20s, where I decide to give it another go, and there's no denying now that this is a book that touches something in me, even if I still don't know what, because I can't seem to forget it, and I keep wanting to revisit it. Maybe it's just the nature of their love that speaks to me, I'm sure if it wasn't my cup of tea, then I wouldn't keep coming back. But the writing is also solid, her descriptions and details really do bring the 14th century alive in a masterfully detailed way. I think perhaps in another five or ten years I'll read this story again, because I can't seem to help but come back to it. I don't know why I love it. I want to give it 3 or 4 stars, but I'm going to have to give it 5 because not many modern books keep calling me back, and certainly no others keep offering me new insights at the different stages in my life. I can't say this is a great book for everyone, but it is a great romance, a wonderful portrayal of a girls growing into womanhood and motherhood, it is finely written, and it stays with you.
Side note, this is a historical romance in that it's set in a well-portrayed historical period, but the series of events and the characters who interact not historically "true" to their namesakes. So if you know a lot specifically about Joan of Kent or the Black Prince, you're going to be maddened by the artistic liberties the author takes to tell a story that only resembles the real history if you squint. If, on the other hand, you don't know these historical figures well, but you do know the general world of the 14th century, you'll be pleased with the book. I hate sloppy anachronisms, this book is well researched and the setting is richly built, it's just not a "based on real events" romance, it's an "inspired by real events" one.