178 Following

Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


You can also find me on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Isabella by Colin Falconer

Isabella: Braveheart of France - Colin Falconer

This was a quick, light read covering the life of Isabella of France from the time of her marriage to Edward II of England to his death. The controversial path of her life once her son was crowned as Edward III is not covered. With the exception of the sex scenes, much of this book felt like a YA approach to her story.


Isabella begins her life in England with a devotion to her husband, despite his obvious preference for Piers Gaveston. It does not take Isabella long to understand the true nature of their relationship, but she is no less determined to win Edward's love. She stands by him and advises him with impressive self control until Hugh Despenser comes along.


Once Isabella is sent to France to negotiate with her brother, King Charles, on Edward's behalf, few believe she will ever return. This is the point in her story where I lost respect for Isabella. She suddenly begins acting with little concern for consequences. The point of view of Prince Edward was also lightly covered. Rather than being driven by a concern for her son's future, Isabella is motivated by her lust for Roger Mortimer. While this is obviously a historically true element of her time in France, it is difficult to see this as her driving force. This portion of the story was dull and drawn out, leaving little time to cover the return to England and Edward III's ascendancy.


This was an easy read that would be good for one who wants a simple overview of Isabella's life (to a point), but is missing the detail and consistency of character that could make it a great story.


I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed are my own.