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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Review - The Vow on the Heron by Jean Plaidy

I have several books which I have read and which need reviewing. I thought I had better get a start on them and hence the two reviews on one day. I had read Jean Plaidy years and years ago and was quite keen to renew my reading of this author. This is the first of many by the same author I hope to review.

The book begins with the very powerful Queen Mother and her lover and a very young king Edward III whom the Queen Mother thinks she can manipulate to her will. Very early in the story the young King does realize where the Queen Mother and her lover are going, and how much they are taking for themselves from the Treasury. When the young King realizes that his father did not die of natural causes but was in fact murdered and the finger points at his own mother, the King leaves no stone unturned to discover the truth. Realizing that his mother and her lover Roger de Mortimer are behind the murder he makes sure justice is meted to all.

It also shows Edward falling deeply in love with Philipa whom he marries encouraged by his Mother who feels that giving in to his wishes will appease her son and keep him happy. Philippa is able to influence the young King in many matters which make him more appealing and in touch with the common man, showing leniency and mercy in his dealings whereas the young King is actually not so and only acts like this to please his wife. Philippa also gives Edward a large family of which the most famous is the Black Prince.

Edward also drags England into the long and costly One Hundred Years war because he believes that England has a right to the throne of France. Unfortunately after Philippa's death Edward also becomes involved with Alice Perrers whose influence on the King is immense and who makes him a laughing stock at his own court.

Like all Plaidy fiction the book makes you want to read sequels and see what happens next. The Prince comes into this story at the end of the book devastated at the state to which the English court has fallen and the widespread influence of Alice Perrers over not just the King but the entire court. The end of King Edward's III's life is pathetic and sad after the grandeur that went before.

The next sequel would make interesting reading.