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The First Princess of Wales: A Novel (edition 2006)

by Karen Harper

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227351,069 (3.42)10
Member:LadyAmbrosia
Title:The First Princess of Wales: A Novel
Authors:Karen Harper
Info:Three Rivers Press (2006), Edition: 1st Pbk. Ed, Paperback, 624 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:to-read

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The First Princess of Wales by Karen Harper

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I really wanted to like this novelization of the life of Joan of Kent, but the more I read the less I enjoyed this novel and the harder it was to finish. Joan and Edward stuck me as two-dimensional and under-developed characters. I also felt like Joan acted immaturely in many of her relations with Edward. In comparison to some of the other novels I have read about the Plantagenet family, The First Princess of Wales stacks up poorly. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jun 30, 2011 |
I really like this book and would recommend it as a quick read, it only took me a few days). It is a nice love story between Joan of Kent and Edward the Black Prince of Wales. The time period is a little earlier than I usually read so I'm not really sure how historically accurate it is, but enjoyable none the less. ( )
  RockStarNinja | Feb 19, 2011 |
I think that this was largely a mediocre book, to start off with, mostly due to the fact that it was a romance novel in unlikely historical trappings.
Ostensibly, this novel is about Joan, the “Fair Maid of Kent”, who we all know from the history and the title of the novel is going to marry Edward the Black Prince (of Wales). I was hoping for a more detailed fictional take on her life. Instead, I got a romance novel. I did expect some romance, because it is obviously about how she and Edward fall in love in part, but Joan’s life had a lot going on otherwise and I felt that was de-emphasized in favor of the fact that she is constantly pining for Edward.

Okay, historical inaccuracies: namely, neither Joan nor Edward were known by their nicknames during their lifetime, and anyone who has done any research will notice that there is no contemporary record of their names. Moreover, the chronology of Joan’s life is inaccurate. Some unlikely elements were added in favor of the plot, but it’s mostly the blatant inaccuracies, which are so frequently used.

Secondly, this is basically a romance novel. When Joan’s life doesn’t have much to do with Edward, it is skipped over, except when one particular exciting event happens. And (spoilers here) the novel ends with the marriage of Joan and Edward. What about afterwards? I would have been far more interested to learn how Joan thought while Edward was off winning victories and how she acted with her children and what happened after Edward died. I thought the novel would be more of a fictionalized biography, because that’s how it comes off by reading the back. It isn’t, it’s just a romance novel.

In the end, I would call this mediocre, and probably recommend it to someone who reads romance novels, not historical fiction. It doesn’t do badly as a romance, but it pretends to be something that it isn’t.

http://chikune.com/blog/?p=44 ( )
1 vote littlebookworm | Dec 6, 2007 |
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On that rare and jeweled day, the great adventure of her life began.
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Also published as Sweet Passion's Pain.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307237915, Paperback)

The daughter of a disgraced earl, she matched wits with a prince.

It is the fourteenth century, the height of the Medieval Age, and at the court of King Edward III of England, chivalry is loudly praised while treachery runs rampant. When the lovely and high-spirited Joan of Kent is sent to this politically charged court, she is woefully unprepared for the underhanded maneuverings of her peers.

Determined to increase the breadth of his rule, the king will use any means necessary to gain control of France—including manipulating his own son, Edward, Prince of Wales. Joan plots to become involved with the prince to scandalize the royal family, for she has learned they engineered her father’s downfall and death. But what begins as a calculated strategy soon—to Joan’s surprise—grows into love. When Joan learns that Edward returns her feelings, she is soon fighting her own, for how can she love the man that ruined her family? And, if she does, what will be the cost?

Filled with scandal, court intrigue, and prominent figures of the Medieval Age, The First Princess of Wales has at its center a wonderful love story, which is all the more remarkable because it is true. Karen Harper’s compelling, fast-paced novel tells the riveting tale of an innocent girl who marries a prince and gives birth to a king.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:26 -0400)

Hoping to redeem her family's disgraced name, Joan of Kent journeys to the intrigue-filled court of King Edward III, where, as part of her revenge on the royal family for their betrayal of her father, she targets Edward, Prince of Wales, but her vengeance is undermined by her growing feelings for the prince.… (more)

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