Tuesday, November 05, 2013
The Bastard King (1974)
I really enjoyed reading Jean Plaidy's The Bastard King. The Bastard King is a novelization of the life of William I or "William the Conqueror." It was certainly a well-paced read! Especially once he comes of age. His courtship with Matilda was quite unique. (As this horrible histories sketch shows quite clearly!!!) The novel isn't exactly a romance novel, it is grounded in history with a focus on ambition, politics, and manipulation. Matilda and William are very interesting characters even if they don't come across as nice or pleasant or lovable. Readers see the tension between husband and wife increase year after year and decade after decade as the two happen to play favorites with their very large family. He has his favorite child; she has hers. This leads to some complications which lead to some big trust issues!!!
The last part of the novel focuses on William invading England and becoming King William I. The novel is sympathetic to William in many ways, so often books have a bias one way or another on whether or not William had any right to England at all. I thought the ending was a bit rushed, we spent much more time with him before he became King, but still I really liked this one. Enjoying this one gives me hope that I will read other Plaidy novels with pleasure!
William the Conqueror and Normanopoly
Battle of Hastings, News at 1066; Now That's What I Call Miserable, vol. 3
Words We Get From the Normans
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews