Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine by Kristiana Gregory

215252_SCH_RDEleanor_0.tif(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

June 24th

Such excitement…the horsemen announced travelers, and Count Geoffrey of Anjou arrived an hour later with some of his chevaliers.  Petra and I peered from the stairs down to the great hall and saw the visitors.  I decided we must put on our loveliest dresses right away.  the count is taller and even more striking than Father…Geoffrey the Handsome is our name for him.  When he pushed back his hood of chainmail, his hair fell to his shoulders in brown curls.  the tunic over his armor was blue with a golden crest.   He and Father greeted each other warmly…

The reason for Count Geoffrey’s visit?  He has invited Father to go to war.  He is just twenty-three years old and needs help invading Normandy.

And without thinking twice, Father said yes!  I worry he has made another terrible decision….

I’ve heard quite a bit about Eleanor of Aquitaine, but never actually knew much about her life and the times she lived in.  Well, finally Kristiana Gregory has remedied that in a book aimed at kids 8-13.  The early years of Eleanor are not quite as exciting as her later years, as we learn in the Historical Note, but it was nice to see things from her perspective.

I personally would have liked a little more description of daily life at the castle, but I can understand why Kristiana Gregory did not include more (it would have turned into a lecture).  In Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine we don’t really see Eleanor’s love of books and literature, even though she was a huge patron of the arts later in life.  Still, I loved seeing the strong relationship between her and her sister that lasted into adulthood.  Sadly, the book ended just when things were getting interesting, what with her marriage to Prince Louis and all.

Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine is well written and entertaining, but it’s certainly one of the shorter books in the Royal Diaries series.  Still, overall it’s a pretty good book and it’s a great one to get kids interested in history.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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*Only available as a used book.

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