Princess Joan is often overshadowed by her larger-than-life family members. Her mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and her father, King Henry II, often seem to be set against each other. And her brothers are all too happy to fight with their father and with each other. Even though Joan tries to remain loyal to both her parents, it’s inevitable that they use her to further their schemes.
When Joan is betrothed to the King of Sicily, she travels away from her family and the court that she knows for a whole new world where she has to learn new rules of survival.
From castles in France and England to the Sicilian countryside to the fields of the Holy Land, The Queen’s Daughter by Susan Coventry takes the reader on an adventure during the Middle Ages. Through Joan’s eyes we get a fresh perspective on the ongoing power struggle between Queen Eleanor and King Henry. It’s an uncommon view also of future kings of England Richard and John, and the times they grew up in.
Coventry captures the extravagances of court and the games of strategy played by all the kings of the time in their bid for control of land and people. I recommend The Queen’s Daughter for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up.