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I got the copy on Netgalley.
Queens of the Conquest is the first book in Alison Weir’s series about the lives of medieval queens. It focuses on mostly Matildas – Matilda of Flanders in Part 1, Matilda of Scotland in Part 2, Matilda of Boulogne in Part 4, Empress Maud in Part 5. The exception is Adeliza of Louvain in Part 3. As its title says, the book focuses on women that were standing (and most of the time influencing) behind the powerful men that are known to everyone.
I do not often read non-fiction and to be honest, this was the first book by Alison Weir that I have picked up and read. I did not know much about these women and Weir shows them in an interesting light. Pretty much every one of them had some influence on their respective husbands and Weir shows that in very interesting way.
Sometimes non-fiction is a chore to read since there’s a huge danger of it becoming too dry and just packed with information. This does not happen in Queens of the Conquest. Sometimes it reads almost like a fictional story and not a non-fiction book. Each of the women is described thoroughly but not boringly. While the book does mention their husbands (of course it has to), they do not feature much. The main focus is on the described women’s personality and the deeds. There’s a lot of evidence and it is obvious that the theme has been very well researched. What proves that even further is that, according to my Kindle, 25% of the book is the Appendix in which there are many further information.
I enjoyed the book very much and am certainly looking forward to reading more both of this series and of Weir’s books in general.