Friday, 14 August 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA TOUR: The Revolt - Clara Dupont-Monod


 

It is with a soft voice, full of menace, that our mother commands us to overthrow our father . . .

Richard Lionheart tells the story of his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. In 1173, she and three of her sons instigate a rebellion to overthrow the English king, her husband Henry Plantagenet. What prompts this revolt? How does a great queen persuade her children to rise up against their father? And how does a son cope with this crushing conflict of loyalties?

Replete with poetry and cruelty, this story takes us to the heart of the relationship between a mother and her favourite son - two individuals sustained by literature, unspoken love, honour and terrible violence.


What did I think?

I don't know a great deal about Plantagenet history but we've all heard of Richard the Lionheart and perhaps also his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine.   Both of these historical figures are brought to life by Clara Dupont-Monod in The Revolt.  The Revolt is an absolutely stunning piece of historical fiction; it's so good that I read it in one sitting, being unable to put it down until I had greedily devoured every single word.

Never have historical figures spoken so clearly and vividly from within the pages of a book.  It's highly commendable that Clara Dupont-Monod has managed to breathe so much life into these 12th century figures, making them so multi-dimensional that it's quite remarkable.  Of course, the author has used her artistic license to create such amazing characters whilst still maintaining as much historical accuracy as possible.  I did google a few things that intrigued me and found them to have a basis in fact.

Written in the voice of both Richard and Eleanor, with a few guest chapters from notable characters, I learnt so much more about this period of history than I have ever managed to absorb from a history book.  I've always found Eleanor of Aquitaine to be a fascinating historical figure but I've struggled to find a book about her that held my interest for more than a few chapters.  The Revolt is precisely the book I have been searching for; it didn't just hold my interest, it completely gripped and captivated me from start to finish.

Often lyrical and poetic in its prose, The Revolt is exceptionally well written by Clara Dupont-Monod and impeccably translated from French by Ruth Diver.  It's a fascinating and captivating account of one of the most powerful and influential women in English history.  I didn't have to think twice before awarding 5 stars to this stunning novel.  A very highly recommended read.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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