Monday, 11 January 2010


Have read my first book for this challenge from my list - THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS (Book 4 of the Plantagenet Series) by Jean PLAIDY.

The more that I read of this series, my interest is awakened even further in historical fiction. The Royal Reviews blog is a good site to check out

This book follows on with the death of Richard, the Lionheart, and his brother John takes over the throne. Not a popular choice of some of the barons at the time, and especially John's nephew, Arthur, who wants the crown.
Because John realises that there is a great threat with Arthur, he ultimately lures him into his presence and murders him, throwing Arthur's body from the castle in France where they had arranged the meeting. This is John's secret as he enlists the aid of a deaf mute to dispose of the body.

John's reign is one of evil - he has a terrible temper, like his father.
Their sexual appetites are similar, in that John arranges to divorce his first wife, so that he can marry Isabella, a 12 year old girl, who was betrothed to another French noble. Isabella is very knowing for her age, and for some years they appear to have a happy marriage, eventhough John takes other women,(young girls and even one of his Baron's wives).
The story ends in 1216 with the death of John.
You are left pondering whether he may have been poisoned after visiting the Abbey of Swinehead. As usual John's eyes dwelt on one of the nuns, and he had it in mind to return to the Abbey and have his way with her.
While resting at Swineshead for the night, one of the monks gives John some peaches on a platter - these he ate hungrily and almost immediately afterwards he was seized by violent pains.

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