Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Triple Knot by Emma Campion

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Emma Campion's latest, A Triple Knot.

Joan of Kent remembers her father fondly. Unfortunately for her he was labeled a traitor and hanged for his supposed crimes. In the wake of this tragedy, her uncle, King Edward III, agreed to take in Joan and her family as his wards. For Joan this means a life as a pawn to be used to her uncle's advantage; her future depends on his mercy. Torn between love and duty, Joan faces the ultimate sacrifice - abandoning her true love in order to serve the king. But Joan refuses. She marries in secret and thus begins a life filled with passion and scandal. 

Is there any historical fiction reader out there that still holds onto the Disney version of what it means to be royalty? Seriously?!

So Joan of Kent begins her life with a cloud over her head: her father's supposed crimes against the crown, which are somewhat forgiven - immediately after his death. Joan herself isn't allowed to make any of her own decisions. She's just twelve when she meets and falls for her first husband, and yet she keeps the marriage secret because she believes that if discovered her husband will be hanged! Then when she's married off to another man and her actual marriage is discovered, this new husband keeps her captive.

Campion's story ends with Joan's eventual marriage to her cousin, Edward (the Black Prince). A quick read of her history (because I knew nothing of her before reading A Triple Knot) shows that her son with Edward would go onto become Richard II, the king whose reign pretty much leads up to the War of the Roses.

Part of Joan's problem lies in the fact that her uncle was set on claiming the French throne in addition to the English one. His campaign requires support both in arms and money and he plans to use Joan and his own children to gain these things. But Joan's cousin, the heir to the throne, has also made clear that he wants Joan for himself - as early as age eight! Seeing as how their union wouldn't be advantageous to Edward III's plans there's no way he and his wife would allow it. And yet it does come about anyway.

This is Campion's second title to focus on this particular era of the British monarchy. Her debut (as Campion, which is a pseudonym for Candace Robb - author of historical mysteries), The King's Mistress, is the story of Alice Salisbury, Edward III's mistress.

A Triple Knot is engaging both because of the nature of the story (secret marriages, political manipulation... what's not to love?!) and because of Campion's great characterization. I think I would have liked for Joan's story to be brought all the way to its eventual end, but overall this was another historical tale I'd highly recommend to fans of the genre.

Rating: 4/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Emma Campion and her work you can visit her website here.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!