White Heart by Sherry Jones is a prelude for her most excellent historical fiction novel, Four Sisters, All Queens. I read White Heart after Four Sisters, All Queens because I was unaware of the prequel.
White Heart focuses on Blanche of Castille, Queen of France. It opens with Blanche creating a dramatic, unthinkable statement to the Court to dispel ugly gossip about matters of the heart and, well, the bed. Blanche is Eleanor of Aquitaine’s granddaughter and no shirker when it comes to gaining and maintaining control of power. She will and does do anything she feels she must to hold onto power after the unexpected death of her beloved husband, Louis the Lion, after 27 years of marriage.
She learned her queen-ship lessons early in her marriage from the Bishop of Lincoln who told her “It is not seemly for a queen to cry….As queen, you are mother to your people. You must hide your woman’s frailty from them and show only strength.” She earned the reputation of “white in heart as in head” early in her marriage.
Now, mother to a 12 year-old King of France, she is determined to put aside any personal feelings to retain power from the Throne of France.
In 58 pages, Jones illuminates the purpose and reasoning behind the White Queen’s stranglehold on her son. Power. White Heart sets the scene for the horrific cow-in-law – whoops, was that my outside voice?! – I mean mother-in-law, who tormented her son’s wife, Marguerite, for many years.
I read a comment that White Heart has no conclusion; it isn’t meant to have one. Its purpose is to sequae into Four Sisters, All Queens.
MY RATING: 4/5 Stars
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