Monday, November 1, 2010


The Sixth Surrender by Hana Samek Norton
finished reading on November 1, 2010

My thoughts:

The Sixth Surrender is what an ideal historical fiction novel should be; rich in historical detail with vivid characters and settings.  And the story was so very engaging.  I invested myself with these characters.  Juliana is the embodiment of every woman who has ever been unsure of herself with a man.  And her husband, Guerin de Lasalle, is an intriguing man who has a powerful hold on every woman he encounters.  I'm not afraid to admit that he had that hold on me as well! This man is the hero you love to hate.  The villain with a heart of gold.  Throughout the book I kept waiting and waiting for him to finally open up about his true feelings.  It was like a dentist pulling teeth from an unwilling patient.  The entire book is a gem and Guerin de Lasalle steals the show from beginning to end.

I have been on quite the love affair of late with the historical figure of Eleanor of Aquitaine (spelled Alienor of Aquitaine here, which is said to have been her true moniker).  Alienor plays a significant part in this book so one can imagine that there was a good amount of medieval political intrigue contained within the pages....and one would be correct.  The book had the feel of one which was meticulously researched without taking away from the flow and excitement of the story.  I commend Ms. Norton on writing such a wonderful book and I thoroughly look forward to her future offerings.

Book description from Goodreads:

In the last years of her eventful life, queen-duchess Aliénor of Aquitaine launches a deadly dynastic chess game to safeguard the crowns of Normandy and England for John Plantagenet, her last surviving son.

To that end, Aliénor coerces into matrimony two pawns—Juliana de Charnais, a plain and pious novice determined to regain her inheritance, and Guérin de Lasalle, a cynical, war-worn mercenary equally resolved to renounce his. The womanizing Lasalle and the proud Juliana are perfectly matched for battle not love—until spies and assassins conspire to reverse their romantic fortunes.

Populated by spirited and intelligent women and executed in flawless period detail, The Sixth Surrender is a compelling love story that heralds the arrival of a major new talent in historical fiction.

This book was read in conjunction with a book tour for Crazy Book Tours.

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