Joan of Kent, renowned beauty and cousin to King Edward III, is destined for a politically strategic marriage. As the king begins a long dynastic struggle to claim the crown of France, plunging England into the Hundred Years’ War, he negotiates her betrothal to a potential ally and heir of a powerful lordship.
But Joan, haunted by nightmares of her father’s execution at the hands of her treacherous royal kin, fears the king’s selection and is not resigned to her fate. She secretly pledges herself to one of the king’s own knights, one who has become a trusted friend and protector. Now she must defend her vow as the king—furious at Joan’s defiance—prepares to marry her off to another man.
In A Triple Knot, Emma Campion brings Joan, the “Fair Maid of Kent” to glorious life, deftly weaving details of King Edward III’s extravagant court into a rich and emotionally resonant tale of intrigue, love, and betrayal.
Joan of Kent has always fascinated me. Her tangled love life, her strength, her weakness. Needless to say I was more than excited to dig into A Triple Knot. Imagine: Joan enters a clandestine marriage, a man below her station. Forced into a second marriage, a nobleman. Manages to reunite with first husband, when second marriage is annulled. All the while loved by her cousin, swearing in his youth to make her his queen since he is destined to inherent the throne. Yes, this much drama and more!
Campion writes with impeccable detail. She introduces the reader to Joan from girlhood, providing vital back history, continuing with Joan as a grown adult woman. You certainly understand the entire story along with events during this time period as well as the machinations of King Edward’s court.
Campion’s narrative is consuming. I raced through the book riveted with each chapter. Joan’s story is full of intrigue, love, lies, betrayal, sinister plots, lust and obsession. A story full of drama and complexities the era demands.
I enjoyed the mix of characters, the difficulties regarding love, the control of the court over its minions, including family members. No one was exempt from their rulers control, all were under his thumb. The narrative was well researched and extensive, Campion’s knowledge of this particular subject matter is evident. The setting made the story complete as we are immersed through the countryside, various battles, sea voyages and obstacles faced.
Historical fiction fans, followers of King Edward III and Joan of Kent, readers desiring to dive into plenty of drama will want to add A Triple Knot to your reading list. Impressive work from a deftly competent author.