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She was taught to obey Now she has learned to rebel12 year old Isabella a French princess marries the King of England only to discover he has a terrible secret Ten long years later she is in utter despair does she submit to a lifetime of solitude and a spiritual death or seize her destiny and take the throne of England for herself?Isabella is just twelve years old when she marries Edward II of England For the young princess it is love at first sight but Edward has a terrible secret that threatens to tear their marriage and England apartWho is Piers Gaveston and why is his presence in the king’s court about to plunge England into civil war?The young ueen believes in the love songs of the troubadours and her own exalted destiny but she finds reality very different As she grows to a woman in the deadly maelstrom of Edward’s court she must decide between her husband her children even her life and one breath taking gamble that will change the course of historyThis is the story of Isabella the only woman ever to invade England and winIn the tradition of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick Isabella is thoroughly researched and fast paced the little known story of the one invasion the English never talk about


10 thoughts on “Isabella

  1. says:

    This was a uick light read covering the life of Isabella of France from the time of her marriage to Edward II of England to his death The controversial path of her life once her son was crowned as Edward III is not covered With the exception of the sex scenes much of this book felt like a YA approach to her story Isabella begins her life in England with a devotion to her husband despite his obvious preference for Piers Gaveston It does not take Isabella long to understand the true nature of their relationship but she is no less determined to win Edward's love She stands by him and advises him with impressive self control until Hugh Despenser comes along Once Isabella is sent to France to negotiate with her brother King Charles on Edward's behalf few believe she will ever return This is the point in her story where I lost respect for Isabella She suddenly begins acting with little concern for conseuences The point of view of Prince Edward was also lightly covered Rather than being driven by a concern for her son's future Isabella is motivated by her lust for Roger Mortimer While this is obviously a historically true element of her time in France it is difficult to see this as her driving force This portion of the story was dull and drawn out leaving little time to cover the return to England and Edward III's ascendancy This was an easy read that would be good for one who wants a simple overview of Isabella's life to a point but is missing the detail and consistency of character that could make it a great story I received this book through NetGalley Opinions expressed are my own


  2. says:

    I'm giving this one star because GoodReads doesn't seem to want to let me give no starsIsabella de Valois the wife of Edward II makes for a wonderful subject for a novel this novel however is a let down on a large number of levelsFirstly it was impossible to form any sort of emotional connection with any of the characters They were all mind numbingly bland Piers Gaveston one of the interesting characters to sway across the stage of English history is reduced to a giggling man womanThe chapters were short and detail was sparse Giving rise to the repeated thought of is this all there is?My main complaint is the editing or lack thereof Chapter 23 was immediately repeated as chapter 24 The opening paragraph of chapter 49 was used again to open chapter 57 Frankly this sort of shoddiness is not something I expect from a writer of the years of experience that Colin Falconer hasNot impressed with the cover either The woman on the cover who is supposed to be I would assume Isabella is dressed in ELIZABETHAN clothingI got Isabella Braveheart of France from the library If I had paid out money for it I would be very angry indeed


  3. says:

    I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads FTC guidelines checkThe only bit of history that I knew about this ueen of England was that she lived during the time of Robert the Bruce because of that short cameo in Braveheart that suggests her son was actually the son of William Wallace There's none of that in this historical fiction novel but I learned a great deal about her lifeI love books about English royalty Almost anything that Philippa Gregory writes I gobble up and this reminded me strongly of her style of writing A big difference between the two authors is that Falconer writes less about the period style of dress and food and focuses mainly on the relationships and world politics For the most part I was intrigued by Isabella's deft machinations in order to survive but at times during the political intrigues the pace of the novel slowed to a crawl and became kind of a back and forth like the king says you should do this tell him I don't want to the king really thinks you should tell him with this witty rejoinder why I won't etcOverall though I thought that this was a fantastic read and I'm kind of surprised that I haven't read anything by Colin Falconer before this If you're curious at all about the English monarchy in the 1300's you should add this to your to read list If you like Isabella Braveheart of France you may also enjoy A Triple Knot by Emma Campion novel about Joan of Kent the cousin of Edward III Before Versailles A Novel of Louis XIV by Karleen Koen and any of the Tudor Court series by Philippa Gregory


  4. says:

    I really like Isabella Princess of France who married Edward II of England She was a child at the time and did not understand why her husband spent so much time and her dowry on his friend She turned from an obedient child into a “She wolf” who overthrew her husband’s reign in favor of her son Oh and she did this alongside her lover even though she witnessed what happened to her sisters in law after they committed adultery She was apparently a fiery courageous woman It’s not addressed in this book which ends w Edward overthrown but she also suffers greatly for these deeds—her lover is killed and she is locked up in comfort for the rest of her life This occurs when her son comes of age and takes over the throne in his own rightAnyway I like to see how different authors write about a historical character bc the source material is usually scanty so they can dramatize to their hearts’ content This Isabella is like the Princess we met in the movie “Braveheart”—lonely confused but ultimately cunning and bad ass I only gave Falconer’s take on Isabella three stars bc it dragged a little in spots and really didn’t finish the story Allison Weir’s biography of Isabella is on my TBR; my guess is that it will be better


  5. says:

    Updated 51414 Bumped down from 35 to 25 Stars after hearing from several readers who purchased the book and told me it is just as full of errors as the accidental unfinished copy I received This sort of disrespect for readers knowingly selling an inferior product is unacceptable to meI knew the basics of Isabella's story but I'd never read a book about her and so I was really looking forward to Colin Falconer's new novel about her The story opens on the eve of twelve year old Isabella's wedding to Edward II a marriage arranged to mend relations between France and England over the contested land of Gascony Though Isabella is young and harbors romantic dreams of her future she is as she freuently reminds the reader a true daughter of France who has been shaped by her father's wisdom and austerity and who has been raised to be a ueen She uickly realizes her new husband while nice enough is not the knight in shining armor she envisioned sharing her life with He is a weak ruler living in the shadow of his father the mighty Longshanks easily swayed by his affections for his favorites and increasingly unpopular with his barons And he is desperately in love with another man a fact that torments IsabellaThough Edward never comes to love Isabella the way she adores him he does eventually realize the asset he has in her wisdom and diplomacy in political matters and Isabella finds her star rising with his people as she helps negotiate one truce after another But as the years go by and Edward begins to neglect his countrymen even than he does Isabella and as he allows a new favorite to supplant Isabella not only in his bed but in his council chamber Isabella begins to wonder if a far different future one in which she is loved as a woman and respected as a ruler is within her grasp And when she has reached the end of her rope when she is forced to finally face the harsh truth about her husband her marriage and the future of England she leaps past the point of no return by throwing her lot in with the rebel leader Roger Mortimer And the rest as they say is historyI really enjoyed the first two thirds of the story which chronicled the first fifteen years of her marriage and life as ueen of England The story is fast paced and full of drama I couldn't put it down as events merged to lead Isabella on the road to rebellion But unfortunately that's where it started to fall apart for me Isabella is so neglected and later mistreated by her husband that I was rooting for her to finally find the relationship she longed for but I was disappointed in the result What should have been fulfilling for her and exciting for the reader was neither Isabella's relationship with Roger Mortimer is depicted as so single minded that one wonders why a woman as powerful and respected as Isabella would allow it to continue And hardly any page time is devoted to Isabella and Mortimer's conuering of England I realize it was in reality a fairly easy victory for them but after so much lead up to their rebellion I was expecting depiction of it And after everything Isabella went through I found her final scene to be surprisingly lacking in emotion and I did not particularly care for the tone it ended her story on After that the epilogue which subscribes to the controversial revisionist theories surrounding Edward II's demise seemed out of placeI was warned that I had accidentally been given a version of the book that had not undergone a final edit so I tried very hard not to let the abundance of typos the sudden resurrection of dead people in later scenes and scenes appearing out of order affect my rating of the story However I can't help but think that the final version probably still has some of the issues that gave me pause such as a lack of indication of the passage of time on one page Isabella has just given birth to her second child and on the next page she has four or five and the inconsistencies in characterizationSo what did I like about this book? That's easy Isabella I do feel like this is a lighter treatment of her life story it is only 200 pages and ends long before her life does but she was a fascinating woman an empathetic and compelling character and my appetite for novels about her has been ignited And I do think Falconer has painted a fair and realistic portrait of Edward II Though he makes terrible decisions and is at best an ineffective ruler he is achingly human and makes the mistake of following his heart to his ruin This is a lightning uick read engaging and entertaining and as long as the final version of the book being sold to readers has been corrected I can recommend it to anyone looking for an introduction to this famous She wolf of England


  6. says:

    This story is infuriating Imagine being married to a man who not only takes a lover under your nose but also flaunts it in front of the entire court? Imagine being a ueen only to watch another advise your husband and king gather all the riches lands and titles for himself while spreading lies about you Imagine watching your husband think with the wrong head not once but twice each time causing civil war in the nation And yet you stand there and constantly try to placate the nobles write letters asking for aide for your wayward thoughtless husband deny your own happinessThis is my second novel about Isabella the French princess turned English ueen of the homosexual Edward In the first one I read The She Wolf by Pamela Bennetts she was portrayed as a bitch a woman who used her own son to attain her own goalsI became uite engrossed in this version of Isabella and her tumultuous marriage I could relate to her a lot better than I could Bennetts' version I could feel empathy and frustration for her; wanted to pull my hair out at times I like that for once this ueen is portrayed in a manner that doesn't scream manipulative evil beeyotch Instead the author has showed us how she was treated how she tried to be a good wife and ueen how out of her control it all was When she finally takes revenge it's a long time coming I mean seriously just how much can one woman take? Frankly I thought it took her too longThis novel made me see not a she wolf but a woman trying to take back what should have been rightfully hers all along As the front cover says she was taught to obey but it's time to rebel After all she'd been through I was thrilled when she finally stands for herselfSomething I prefer about this story over She Wolf is that it takes us through the Gaveston drama not just DespenserI do have some uibbles and most are editorial I became confused at times about who was good and who was bad Take Burstbelly for example Was he with them or against them? It seemed to change every time he was mentioned and I don't think the man was switching sidesBurstbelly died two nights ago in HalbornHe was the last one who stood for me against the baronsAnd just a few pages before it had said Edward summons a Parliament but Lancaster and Burstbelly she smiles at Gaveston's description and the other magnates refuse to attend because Gaveston is thereSoI became a tad confused But maybe it's just meI also grew tired of Isabella reminding us at the end of what seemed every other chapter that she was going to make Edward love and adore her one day that one day she will have his heart yada yada That and the I'm the daughter of the king of France became repetitiveThe late blooming romance with Mortimoor is weird It's like a lovehate thing and I didn't get itThere are some editing errors some minor typos some doors that open despite the fact they are locked etc and I noticed the errors increased in the last half of the story At that point even the dead come alive again Pembroke appears speaking twice after his death and her father is mentioned as well as though he still alive The present tense narrative is a bit jarring at first and at times it suddenly becomes first person and my version didn't have italics making me do a double take sometimes Also I hate this new trend of not putting commas before a person's name when the speaker is addressing him I get it's a new way but I hate it Loathe it In my day when you spoke to someone it was It's not what you think Isabella not It's not what you think IsabellaFull review


  7. says:

    Well that didn't go as plannedReview to come


  8. says:

    My predilection for historical fiction about royals is well documented so when I was approached about reviewing Colin Falconer's Isabella Braveheart of France I was easily convinced especially as I had just watched the episode of the BBC4 series She Wolves England's Early ueens about Isabella And while Falconer's novel covers all the pertinent information of Isabella's life and gives us some inkling of what may have driven her to take over the English throne I had a hard time connecting or staying connected to the main players in the novel largely due to the stylistic choices made by the author Isabella's story is told from a third person perspective in the present tense in a rather fragmentary style and a somewhat dispassionate tone with lots of scene breaks and short chapters This makes it hard to settle into the narrative and connect to Isabella as a character She starts out sympathetic enough but during the course of the novel becomes embittered – not completely without cause obviously – and once we come to the end of the novel I found it hard to like her or be understanding of some of the choices she makes trading a negligent husband for a domineering and callous lover she doesn't even seem to actually like I also found the way that Isabella's internal dialogue isn't rendered in a clearly defined way problematic as on several occasions it served to confuse than to add to the storyThe novel covers Isabella's life from the moment she learns she's to marry Edward until the moment she's finally and irrevocably free from the marriage Falconer manages to portray Isabella and Edward in a way that makes exceedingly clear how tragic their situation actually was Isabella is traded away in marriage to ensure peace between England and France only to find her husband is interested in the stable boys than in her and she is uickly entrenched in a fierce rivalry with Edward's lover Piers Gaveston It's this disappointment in her marriage that fact that she was never first in her husband's affections that causes her slow embitterment and the ultimate breakdown of their partnership Falconer spends uite some time building up Isabella's considerable political acumen and Edward's dislike of kingship both due to the restrictions it places upon him and due to the fact that he can never measure up to the legend of his father Edward IAt one point in their marriage after Gaveston is murdered by Edward's barons they create a smoothly working partnership with Isabella masterminding a kingdom and power for Edward that allows him to avenge his beloved Piers' death Despite knowing how the story ends I still found myself hoping they'd work it out and have if not a happy marriage at least a solid one Falconer seems to be hesitant to portray either of them as the villain in the marriage instead suarely placing the blame on the Despenser who becomes Edward's confidant after he loses Piers Despenser is a venal cruel and greedy man who seemingly without conscience destroys people and families for his own gain It's this that prompts the barons to take action against Edward but it's not the sole reason Isabella decides to lead them She is the proverbial woman scorned and she decides to take her fate in her own handsShe's also driven by her affair with one of Edward's baron Lord Roger Mortimer A man who has seemingly coveted Isabella from the first time he sees her While the affair is historically accurate Falconer never managed to make me believe it It just seemed so abrupt and while passionate just as devoid of true love and companionship as Isabella's marriage to Edward I think that was the point that the novel truly started to lose me because I just couldn't wrap my head around this burgeoning affair Add to this the fact that at this point I'd also lost any overview of which lord was which and whether they were the elder or the younger or newly created and the last third of the novel became a bit of a slogIsabella Braveheart of France is an interesting account of a fascinating ueen but it suffered from its fragmentary pacing dispassionate tone and the seeming lack of loving connection between Isabella and Mortimer If you're looking for a novel to familiarise yourself with Isabella's story Isabella Braveheart of France is a good choice though it doesn't tell her entire story since it stops after she and the barons dethrone Edward II If you're looking for a satisfying love story or drama however you might be left a little underwhelmed by Isabella and MortimerThis book was provided for review by the author


  9. says:

    France 1308 Twelve years old Isabella is being told by her father the king of France to love serve and obey the man he chose for herEdward of England enchants her from the first sight But he is a man in his prime and she is a very innocent girlEdward wants Gascony back from France she dreams of loveBut there is Piers Gaveston The barons want him away from the King or they threaten with war The story spins in circles about Gaveston and barons threatening with war at least the first 25% of the storyIsabella is young but she is mature beyond her age She learned a lot by observing her father And with age she proves to be a very strong woman Edward II is opposite of her he is weakThe story progresses fast but it could take some stops by involving historical details and developing characters betterFBBestHistoricalFiction


  10. says:

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewNot having known a lot about Isabella of France I was rather excited to read this book and learn about herI am a big fan of European history but it was at times a drag to read this book It reads like a pile of facts put together in paragraphchapter form with a bit of dialogue thrown in to compensate The book is shallow than I had anticipated or hoped and by the end I was slightly confused as to what kind of woman Isabella really was The only reason I found any enjoyment to the story it at all was because I did get some information out of it that posed interest to me and made me want to further pursue the topicElsewhere