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The Passionate Enemies by Jean Plaidy

The Passionate Enemies (1976)

by Jean Plaidy

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I read many of Plaidy's books years ago and I loved them. However, going back and reading one of her series books now hasn't hooked me like it used to. ( )
1 vote lmiller62 | Jun 25, 2008 |
As I finished the conclusion to Plaidy's Norman Trilogy, I couldn't help feeling satisfied. In fact, I think that's the perfect way to describe the series. Satisfactory. It's not an epic that will leave your heart pounding and blood burning; even the battle scenes are rather sedated, like reading a newspaper report by a journalist who really wanted to be assigned to another story. And yet each person is fully rounded and realistic. Stephen is the epitome of the King who has love but not control, whose kindness nearly unseats him from the throne. Matilda his wife is a loving helpmate, the steel rod that keeps the family together when Stephen's weakness is revealed. Matilda the Empress is as narrow-minded and haughty as the arrogant movie star stereotype. Like many, she is so driven by her vision of the world and her desires that she never sees how her own self-importance drives her supporters away.

Lots of drama, rarely exciting. A pleasant read for one curious about the era, or seeking to complete Plaidy's body of work. ( )
  makaiju | May 31, 2008 |
  Sherri | Jun 10, 2006 |
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The death of the King's son aboard the doomed White Ship, left the ageing Henry I again without an heir.
Henry's daughter, the Empress Matilda, could not succeed her father while her own German husband still lived - but she could hope. Henry's nephew, the affable, charming Stephen was also looking toward the English throne.
When the crown fell from the cold brow of the dead king, the twilight of the Norman dynasty became a dark night of struggle between Stephen and Matilda, locked in love and hatred, each obsessed with the other - The Passionate Enemies.
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