Two destined rivals fall desperately in love—but the fate of medieval Europe hangs in the balance.
Twelfth-century Europe. Newly crowned King Philip of France is determined to restore his nation to its former empire and bring glory to his name. But when his greatest enemy, King Henry of England, threatens to end his reign before it can even begin, Philip is forced to make a precarious alliance with Henry’s volatile son—risking both his throne, and his heart.
Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, never thought he would be king. But when an unexpected tragedy makes him heir to England’s royal seat, he finally has an opportunity to overthrow the father he despises. At first, Philip is a useful tool in his quest for vengeance . . . until passion and politics collide, and Richard begins to question whether the crown is worth the cost.
When Philip and Richard find themselves staring down an impending war, they must choose between their desire for each other and their grand ambitions. Will their love prevail if it calls to them from across the battlefield? Teeming with royal intrigue and betrayal, this epic romance reimagines two real-life kings ensnared by an impossible choice: Follow their hearts, or earn their place in history.
As soon as you begin reading Solomon’s Crown by Natasha Siegel, you will fall in love with the beautiful and immersive world she creates. The novel quickly drops you into the world and historical setting of King Richard the Lionhearted and King Philip II of France. It is a fictional tale of the romance between the pair, what could and might have been between the pair. While it is speculative and the author freely admits not to keeping to historical accuracy, it still maintains historical feel, both the realities of the time period and many of the overarching events that shaped the time period, including the conflict between England and France. Without those elements, this novel would not be as good. It feels authentic even if it steps away from accuracy.
The characters themselves feel true other than the romantic elements to the nature of the two kings. The author doesn’t try to paint either as perfect. Their temperaments and brutalities are truthful to what history tells of the pair. But what is most compelling is the complexity of the situation, the viewpoints of each and the beautiful emotions. It is layered, emotional, and absorbing.
Beyond the characters and the relationship between them, I also like the fascinating view of the political situation of the time period, the different players upon the stage, and the various impacts this had on Richard and on Philip. While I think it would be interesting to hear a story more filled with the gritty realities of the time, I actually found this story to be beautiful and loving despite the real history.
If you love romances and you find history fascinating, you will likely love this novel, despite the lack of desire by the author to be historically accurate. It is a beautiful and immersive story, with a joyful ending and complex characters with a feel of authenticity. The romance might bring you to tears but you will love it even so.
Rating: 5 out of 5 crowns.