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Summary

An innocent pawn. A kingdom without a King. A new dynasty will reign....

It's 1415. The jewel in the French crown, Katherine de Valois, is waiting under lock and key for King Henry V. While he's been slaughtering her kinsmen in Agincourt, Katherine has been praying for marriage to save her from her misery. But the brutal King wants her crown, not her innocent love.

For Katherine, England is a lion's den of greed, avarice and mistrust. And when Katherine is widowed at 21, she is a prize ripe for the taking. Her young son the future monarch, her hand in marriage worth a kingdom. This is a deadly political game, one the Dowager Queen must learn fast. The players - Duke of Gloucester, Edmund Beaufort and Owen Tudor -are circling. Who will have her? Who will ruin her?

This is the story of Katherine de Valois. The forbidden queen who launched the most famous dynasty of all time...

©2013 Anne O’Brien (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"This book has everything - royalty, scandal, fascinating historical politics and ultimately, the shaping of the woman who founded the Tudors." ( Cosmopolitan)

What listeners say about The Forbidden Queen

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

This has to be the worst historical novel ever

What did you like best about The Forbidden Queen? What did you like least?

The story lines dragged out to the point of being boring and the narrator had me falling asleep, I feel somewhat sorry for her as the material she had to work with was the worst.

What could Anne O'Brien have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

If she can't write a decent story with all the historical material available, please leave it alone instead of dragging the story out with fluffy romantic rubbish. Take time to read some of Elizabeth Chadwick's books to see how it's done.

What didn’t you like about Emily Lucienne’s performance?

Everything

Did The Forbidden Queen inspire you to do anything?

Yes leave this review

Any additional comments?

Said it all above

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Welsh pronunciation ruins story

Excellent story but what a shame the reader did not seek out the proper prounciation of annwyl, Cariad and Angharad. As a Welsh person who does not speak the language the reader ruined the enjoyment by the mispronunciation of Owain Glyn Dwr amongst other words. Would not have taken much to find the real annunciation of the words surely?

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Awful, incredibly whiny.

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I could hardly get through this book. The performance is fine and the Narrator has a decent range in terms of emotions and voices.
The story itself, however, is awful, all the main character does is whine about men and being sad and insecure. Several times I had to turn the book off because I wanted to slap the main character. If this is how Anne O'Brien portrays her heroins than it is the last book I will ever read of her. A real shame as the history behind the story is incredibly interesting and full of potential.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The Narrator is pretty good.

2 people found this helpful

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The Forbidden Queen

Beautifully read.
What was unrealistic in the story was how Owen Tudor and The Queen Dowager Catherine de Valois could marry in St George’s Chapel, a royal peculiar, without banns. Banns were brought in during 1215. A special licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury was not brought in until later. Surely if banns had been read for 3 weeks the Duke of Gloucester would have found some way of preventing the wedding despite the fact that banns are read to prevent marriages of consanguinity and not for political reasons. In fact if someone objects to a marriage and time elapses while the objection is sorted out so that the date is missed, then they are responsible for paying the church’s fees.

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Saccharine and inaccurate

Very disappointed - Catherine Valois is portrayed as very stupid and so gullible that it is impossible to be invested in her as the main character of this book. I understand that the author must take some liberties for the sake of a good story, but I think the ending of this book is too far from the truth. Also, the narrator mispronounced lots of words and names - this should have been picked up by the editor.

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beautifully written and beautifully read

Excellent all round and beautifully read, the second I have heard by the narrator and both were engrossing