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The Heart of the Conqueror

The Chronicles of Matilda, Lady of Flanders, Book 1
Narrated by: Marnye Young
Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
Regular price: £22.49
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Summary

October 14, 1066. Two armies converge to decide the fate of England....  

The most famous date in English history, when the might of the English Saxons faced the wrath of the Norman invasion. The man who stormed the sands of Sussex was William, bastard duke of Normany, the man they eventually came to call the Conqueror.... 

But the heart of the conqueror was Matilda, lady of Flanders and duchess of Normandy. At the side of the most famous warlord of history, Matilda worked, not as a quiet, modest wife, but as a leader...as a ruler just as ruthless as her husband. Under her soft mask of beauty and modesty there lay the heart of a woman powered by ambition. A woman who was strong, courageous, and devious.... 

Through the eyes of one of the most extraordinary women of history unfold the events leading to the invasion of England and the battle that would decide its fate....  

This is the story of Matilda, lady of Flanders, duchess of Normandy, and queen of England.  

Contains mature themes.

©2017 Gemma Lawrence (P)2018 Tantor

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sandra k thompson
  • 05-12-18

loved it

what a wonderful story looking forward to the second book in the series . you should definitely read this

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janet
  • 24-11-18

Courageous Heart

LOVED how the author has uniquely shown how Matilda chose to marry William despite circumstances a bride todsy would find appalling! A new and fresh look at the first Queen of England and all her struggles and human qualities as well as the great liove she had for husband and her children. Look forward to a sequal.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • 1doveme
  • 25-02-19

I may have found a new favorite author

this was a fascinating look into the world of a powerful woman in a time where women wielded no power at all.
Matilda and her family came to life for me. I believe in her despite her flaws.
Thank you for creating this world and sharing your south your readers.
I'll be watching for everything you write.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Piaras
  • 25-11-18

An exceptionally well-crafted historical fiction.

Author Gemma Lawrence weaves a captivating historical fiction with intriguing twists and turns that will easily captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a gripping story of power, ambition and brutality in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It's a moderately fast-paced novel that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last.

The book description gives a sneak preview: 'The most famous date in English history, when the might of the English Saxons faced the wrath of the Norman invasion. The man who stormed the sands of Sussex was William, bastard Duke of Normandy, the man they eventually came to call the Conqueror... But the Heart of the Conqueror was Matilda, Lady of Flanders and Duchess of Normandy. At the side of the most famous war-lord of history, Matilda worked, not as quiet, modest wife, but as a leader... as a ruler just as ruthless as her husband. Under her soft mask of beauty and modesty there lay the heart of a woman powered by ambition. A woman who was strong, courageous and devious...

Through the eyes of one of the most extraordinary women of history unfold the events leading to the invasion of England and the battle that would decide its fate...'

Now, if that's not enough to get your whet your appetite, I don't know what will. But if you want to find out what happens, you'll just have to turn the pages for yourself! However, I will say it was well worth the read. It's my first time reading this author and I must say I was very impressed.

Captivating and commendable, this work had me immersed from the beginning. It's an impassioned historical fiction interwoven with true-life history. The story flowed from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There are plenty of attention-grabbing moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a truly compelling and fascinating journey.

It's one of those books that comes along occasionally that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. Although this is a somewhat 'meaty' read, it's unlikely that it could be finished in one or two sittings. Nevertheless, for those looking for an interesting, three-dimensional and stimulating read, this would be a rare find. I'm giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.

If this book is anything to go by, I'll certainly be looking forward to reading more from Gemma Lawrence in the future. It also has a distinctly cinematic feel to it and I could easily see it being adapted for the Silver Screen or perhaps follow in the footsteps of Downton Abbey. A well-deserved five stars from me.

Special mention also to Marnye Young for her excellent narration. An exceptionally talented lady with a gifted voice for storytelling.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • C Brown
  • 04-02-19

Romance novel/Penthouse forum w/ historical drama

I love, LOVE, historical dramas. Poldark, Wolf Hall, etc. I’m half way through this book and i’m really starting to get annoyed. I get it. Matilda was BEAUTIFUL. She craved POWER. Got it. I bet there’s been at least 1 1/2 hours of the same narration over and over again. Matilda KNOWS she beautiful. Matilda likes rough sex with her husband. Over and over again. Matilda does not have an insecure bone in her body. She manipulates William through sex which is no surprise. I understand that in those times, the ruling elite were self important and arrogant. They believed they were superior to the little people because God “favored” them through birth. The story is getting monotonous. The sex scenes are becoming more and more as it seems the author is not creative enough to find a different storyline. I will finish the novel. If my opinion changes I’ll edit this review. But I’m becoming more disappointed with this novel as it progresses. It’s more romance novel and penthouse forum than historical drama.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-03-19

Well researched, lacks heart

I admire Matilda and have enjoyed reading about her for years. The author has done a wonderful job weaving an imagined tale containing authentic details of medieval life.

I loved the narrator’s voice. The tone and inflection was so arrogantly irritating I couldn’t complete the recorded version.

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  • Erika
  • 14-03-19

Obnoxious

This book was a ridiculous bodice-ripper. If you’d like to listen to constant descriptions of William and Matilda having rough sex, and hear Matilda refer to William as “my husband” in a smug tone over and over, than this book is for you. Matilda was written (and narrated) in such a conceited, haughty manner that I grew to wish the Saxons won in 1066. Garbage historical fiction.

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  • Mayrelou Stamps
  • 27-01-19

Facinating

I was fascinated by the characters and their interaction. It is interesting to think how Matilda was apparently a woman born long before a time when a woman had any privelages.I was also surprised to learn that she was the first woman to ever be crowned a queen. VERY GOOD READ!

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  • Linda Erlich
  • 18-01-19

Very interesting and compelling novel

When I bought this book, I had never heard of Matilda of Normandy. This really surprised me because I have been a student of British history for my entire life and thought I knew of all of the royals from the Saxons down to the present day. At first I thought this was a novel about Queen Matilda's granddaughter the Empress Matilda daughter of Henry I.

Instead I was transported back to the 11th century to the years just before the Norman Conquest to learn about Matilda of Flanders, wife of William, Duke of Normandy who led the Battle of Hastings and changed the history of Britain. While this is a work of historical fiction and the details are not true,i.e it is impossible for the author to know the thoughts and intimate moments of Matilda's life, if the broader aspects of this woman's life are known to be true, she was a remarkable and strong woman. She was a true partner of her husband and participated in his politics and war planning. Matilda is highly intelligent, beautiful, creative, and sensual. Her relationship with the duke is described in great detail. This is a very romantic novel.

The narrator is wonderful. She has a deep, sensual voice that is just perfect for Matilda. I have spent man enjoyable hours listening to her read this book to me.

I was a bit disappointed that this book only covered the years before 1066, but that is why there is a sequel. I am looking forward to listening to that book as soon as my credits are available.

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  • Gaylie
  • 10-01-19

Matilda first Queen of England

loved you have to read this it's so awsome and gives a different perspective on the women's view of her queenship

1 of 2 people found this review helpful