The White Heart was the prequel to a book I already read and immensely enjoyed, Four Sisters All Queens by Sherry Jones. This wonderful interpretation of four sisters of 13th century Provence was entrancing and superbly researched. The author loved each of these sisters and brought them to life in these pages in an admirable and scholarly fashion.
Marguerite, Queen of France, Eleonore, Queen of England, Sanchia, Queen of Germany and Beatrice, Queen of Sicily are sisters of the royal family of Provence where, lacking male heirs, her parents raise their daughters to be substitutes for sons.
Ramon Berenguer, Count of Provence and Beatrice of Savoy essentially raise their daughters in an atmosphere of continual warfare to be like female warlords. In actuality they served as peace weavers did in Anglo Saxon times but just as successfully. They were strong and resourceful and true to their family of origin, as best they could be, given the circumstances each found in their own situation.
Blanche de Castile, mother in law to Marguerite of France sprang to life in the novella White Heart. Blanche was the granddaughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine who was chosen by her grandmother to marry Louis VIII of France. Blanche loved her husband and was a constant support and source of strength to him in his life. When her husband died she became regent for her son Louis IX and guardian of her other children,despite her great grief.
Great writing, superb research and colorful characters are the hallmarks of this author. Recommended to medieval and royalty novel aficionados as well as history enthusiasts