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Queen of the Darkest Hour by Kim Rendfeld: A Book Review

Queen of the Darkest Hour
Author: Kim Rendfeld
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Kim Rendfeld
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Pages: 327
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Francia, 783: As wars loom, Queen Fastrada faces a peril within the castle walls: King Charles’s eldest son, Pepin. Blaming his father for the curse that twisted his spine, Pepin rejects a prize archbishopric and plots to seize the throne. Can Fastrada stop the conspiracy before it destroys the realm?

     Based on historic events during Charlemagne’s reign, Queen of the Darkest Hour is a story of family strife endangering an entire country—and the price to save it.

     My Review: Queen Fastrada is a young girl who marries the Emperor Charlemagne. However, her happiness is soon shattered when she is beset by many problems. She has to endure the enmity and wrath of Pepin, Charlemagne’s eldest son. Pepin is a hunch-backed and is often neglected by his father. However, Pepin plans to steal his father’s throne. Can Fastrada stop Pepin from succeeding in his plans and save the throne?

     Fastrada has usually been depicted as a disliked figure in history. She is known to be cruel and cunning. However, Queen of the Darkest Hour has made Fastrada to be a very sympathetic character. In the beginning of the novel Fastrada is a young and naive woman. She hopes to be a good wife, queen, and mother. She believes that she will bring peace to her family. However, she struggles to be accepted within her husband’s new family. There were moments when she is disrespected by her step-son. Fastrada is insecure, but gradually she becomes more assertive in her role. She later becomes confident of her position as queen. She becomes astute and cunning. She is undaunted and outspoken. Therefore, she is a very strong queen, and I could not stop admiring her audacity.

    Overall, Queen of the Darkest Hour is about a young woman that is determined to protect her family. There were times that the novel became a slow-read for me. The novel moved at a snail’s pace. The villain was very cartoonish and was not given much depth. There were many repetitive scenes that I thought were unnecessary in the novel. However, the novel is very meticulously researched and is well-written. I highly recommend this for those who are interested in Charlemagne’s era and strong queens! This novel is perfect for fans of Four Sisters, All Queens, Queen Defiant, and Twilight Empress.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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