The story of a great queen, a woman of enormous courage who made her own rules, and a true survivor. This is the first in a series of early medieval novels by Vanora Bennett, the author of Portrait of an Unknown Woman.
Catherine de Valois, daughter of the French king, is born in troubled times. Brought up in a the stormy and unstable environment of the court, her only friend is the remarkable poet and writer Christine de Pizan.
Catherine is married off to Henry V as part of a treaty honouring his victory over France, and is destined to be a trophy wife. Terrified at the idea of being married to a man who is at once a foreigner, an enemy and a rough soldier, Catherine nevertheless does her duty. Within two years she is widowed, and mother of the future King of England and France - even though her brother has already claimed the French crown for himself.
Caught between warring factions, Catherine finds support from Owain Tudor, controller of her household - a dangerous support as rumours of their relationship would jeopardise her right to keep her child.
To save her son, and herself, she must turn away from her love and all that is familiar and safe to find another way forward.
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