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Summary

Against the seething political intrigues of 12th-century Europe, two royal heirs will surrender to passion as they vie for the most glittering, treacherous prize of all: the English throne

At nine, Maud, an English princess, was sent to Germany to become the bride of the Holy Roman Emperor - a political alliance with a man her father’s age. At 25, the widowed Maud must marry once again, this time to 14-year-old Geoffrey Plantagenet. But it is with Stephen of Blois, Maud’s fiercest rival for the British throne, that the headstrong princess discovers the true meaning of desire.

Stephen, a descendant of William the Conqueror, believes absolutely in his God-given right to rule. Torn between his illicit passion for Maud and his own towering ambition, he knows he must choose. Stephen’s decision will wrench him from the arms of the woman he loves, ignite civil war, and lead to a shattering act of betrayal that, decades later, will come full circle and change the course of English history.

©1991 Ellen Jones (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Fatal Crown

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I struggled to finish this dreary story

It seemed more of a badly written romantic fantasy than historical fiction. Also the narration was very poor. Mangled every accent and made it unpleasant to listen to.

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Interesting and captivating.

At first I found the narrator a bit off putting, but once I got into it, she was very good and extremely clear with the different roles. I loved the historical content and the realism. Will continue on to read more by this Authoress.

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Need to upgrade the background

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Seems that the need for accuracy in historical detail is more important today as readers have been treated to high quality, well-researched books. Sadly missing here.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Really its just the everyday background detail

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  • Purchaser
  • 26-12-16

Great!

Lots of intrigue. A great book for anyone that likes embellished historical novels. I was disappointed when it ended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Natasha
  • 13-03-14

Maybe better in print?

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I could not finish it. I felt the reading was entirely too over-dramatic. Very actor-y. I was so distracted by the reader that I could not enjoy the story.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Having read about Matilda (Maud) and Stephen before, I was interested to hear another take on their story. I'm a bit skeptical about the romance plotline, but, who knows?

How could the performance have been better?

See above - WAY too emotive.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Doubtful.

Any additional comments?

Too bad. Maybe I'll try again with a print version?

6 people found this helpful

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  • N.B. Figueroa
  • 10-10-19

Excellent listen, highly recommend.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The narrator was very entertaining and engaging in how she captured the essence of each character. Being a woman, of course I was delighted by the aspect of love between Maude and Stephen. I also found it to be very educational about England's rich history of events I wouldn't have otherwise learned about.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-04-17

Not overly romantisized

Entertaining and educational, in that order. SO based on the assumption that Henry was sired by Steven he would actually have been a Norman.

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  • madameEmily
  • 26-05-22

Good Story But A Bit Far-fetched

I enjoyed listening to this book immensely. However, some aspects are a little absurd, mainly Henry's paternity and Maud's overly romantic nature towards her cousin. That being said, I understand this is historical 'fiction' and it really was a greatly entertaining book.

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  • Violet Yates- Author
  • 23-12-21

Well written

I wish the author would not have included all the sex scenes. I didn't enjoy them. Had to skip past them. It took away from the story. Also, I thought the idea that Maud had a love affair with Stephen of Blois to be farfetched, and that Henry II was their child. Henry had the famous Plantagenet temper. But I realize this is fiction so it was entertaining.