Book Review: The Beggar Queen by Kelly Evans

Reviewed:February 2nd, 2022
Released: August 8th, 2021
Genre: Historical fiction

Kidnapped in 7th century England and sold as a slave to a powerful mayor in France, Bathilde needs to adapt to survive. When the mayor’s beloved wife passes away, he looks to Bathilde for comfort. Fleeing his attentions, she is forced to live on the streets until she catches the king’s eye and everything changes.

Now a queen, Bathilde must provide the king with heirs and continue the charitable and social work that has become her life, all the while fighting her detractors. By the end of her days, Bathilde had changed the face of medieval France forever.

How did a slave navigate the treacherous Merovingian courts and rise to rule an empire? And why have so few people heard of her?

Helen’s thoughts: 5/5

Wow!! You forget how brutal our history is. It is quite amazing that there were strong, intelligent women who, in such male oriented times, influenced some of the most powerful regents of the time. In this case it is Bathilde who is the power house behind the young King Clovis.

From a turbulent abduction to dangerous political intrigue, Bathilde manages to manoeuvre through the politics and place all three of her sons on the throne. But in an age of oppression and fear, greedy men grasp for power in the name of god and perform horrific acts to achieve it.

This story is inspiring, in the way Bathilde grows to be a powerful queen, but this story is not for the faint hearted or squeamish. Real history is a lot gorier than you think!
Excellent historical novel capturing life in 7th century Europe.

Interesting insight into the powerful woman behind the man… It is rare you hear about the woman in history so this was quite an eye opening look behind the curtain to see how she was able to influence so many people.

About the author:

Born in Canada of Scottish extraction, Kelly Evans graduated in History and English from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. After graduation, she moved to the UK where she worked in the financial sector. While in London Kelly continued her studies in history, focussing on Medieval England.

Kelly is now back in Ontario with her husband Max and two rescue cats. Her books include The Confessor’s Wife, The Northern Queen, The Mortecarni, and Revelation (all set in Medieval Europe), Elizabeth: Path to the Throne (Tudor England), and The Strange Tale of Miss Victoria Frank (gothic novella).

When not writing, Kelly loves reading, music (she plays a pretty mean ukulele and some wicked medieval recorder), and watching really bad old horror and science fiction movies. Preferably ones with large insects or lizards. And with a LOT of popcorn. Really a lot.

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