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I, Jacqueline

I, Jacqueline - Hilda Lewis I, Jacqueline centres around the true story of a girl of 16 left to rule parts of what is now The Netherlands and Belgium when her father dies. It is set in the 15th century, a time when Europe seemed to run out of male heirs to their thrones but would not accept autonomous female rulers. The young lady of the title was left with few supporters, even fewer options and many enemies including her mother.

I didn't much like the book. The story itself is one that should have grabbed me as so many of the kind have (most recently C.W. Gortner's The Last Queen). Unfortunately, Jacqueline does not compare too well to Juana of Castille. Jacqueline comes across as a spoilt petulant young lady with no judgement when it comes to politics. She marries again and again contrary to her dead father's advice and reaps the dire consequences. This in itself could have made a cracking story but our 'heroine' is rather dull. It seems she rode at the head of her armies but apart from a cursory mention of this we find out no more about it. I felt sorry for her hardships but in the end I couldn't like her. I can't help feeling that if more had been made of her forays into battle she would have been a more interesting character. On the plus side, I enjoyed the writing style. It was olde worlde enough to give you a feeling of antiquity without it sounding too forced.

All in all, it wasn't a waste of time to read it but I doubt it will make it to my reread list.