HFVBT Review | Isabella: Braveheart of France

 Isabella, Braveheart of France CoverAdvance Praise:

“What an intriguing story! … I’m enchanted indeed! Loved it!”

~ Montreal Times

“Author Colin Falconer has brought Isabelle’s story to life … wonderful descriptive and succinct prose graces each page of this biographical novel.”

~ Great Historicals

“Isabella: Braveheart of France is a gripping read … this is phenomenal historical fiction that is highly recommended.”

~ Crystal Book Reviews


She was taught to obey. Now she has learned to rebel.

Isabella is just twelve years old when she marries Edward II of England. For the young princess it is love at first sight – but Edward has a terrible secret that threatens to tear their marriage – and England apart.

Who is Piers Gaveston – and why is his presence in the king’s court about to plunge England into civil war?

The young queen believes in the love songs of the troubadours and her own exalted destiny – but she finds reality very different. As she grows to a woman in the deadly maelstrom of Edward’s court, she must decide between her husband, her children, even her life – and one breath-taking gamble that will change the course of history.

Does she submit to a lifetime of solitude and a spiritual death – or seize her destiny and take the throne of England for herself?

This is the story of Isabella, the only woman ever to invade England – and win.

(Synopsis and book cover image provided by Historical Fiction Virtual  Book Tours)

* * *

My Thoughts:

When offered the opportunity to review this book, my love of historical fiction and the name of Queen Isabella prompted me to immediately respond with an affirmative nod. I anticipate any historical fiction as not only pure reading pleasure but also a comfortable way to view the past and learn from the history of centuries ago.

The first half to two-thirds of the book chronicles Isabella’s marriage at age 12 to her husband, King Edward II, and her role as Queen of England. The writing is fast-paced, descriptions of places and people filled with clarity and depth. The moments leading up to Isabella’s move to rebellion were exciting and then … well, then it fell completely flat for me, at least. Tragically, hardly any time is allotted to Isabella’s alliance with Roger Mortimer and their plan to conquer England.

I had confirmed with the publisher via HFVBT that the copy I received had not been finally edited, although it appeared a final edition. I worked hard at not letting multiple typos, duplicated chapters, lost time (i.e. on one page Isabella gives birth to her first child and then you turn a page or two and she has four or more!), misspellings, dead people resurrected to life suddenly, and inconsistencies in characterization bother me. I have not had the privilege of seeing a finally edited version. Therefore, I would hope that many of these problems had been cured before the last run.

Did I like anything about this book? YES, ISABELLA! I always a love a strong female character and to a point Falconer draws a perfect image of a girl, who sees the need to teach herself to become a strong woman. Although a lighter treatment of Isabella than most books I’ve read, she is shown to be empathetic and compassionate. The treatment of her husband, Edward II, seems fair in light of his somewhat flippant and vapid airs from time to time.

My Recommendation: 

As long as readers are obtaining copies of the final version of this book, I can highly recommend it to the individuals looking for an introduction to Isabella, the famous “she-wolf” of England.

* * *

Isabella_Tour Banner _FINAL

Watch trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGBgmrsZLMA

Meet the Author:

Colin FalconerBorn in London, Colin first trialed as a professional football player in England, and was eventually brought to Australia. He went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. He has published over twenty novels and his work has so far been translated into 23 languages.

He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz.

His most recent novels are Silk Road, set in the 13th century, and Stigmata, set against the backdrop of the Albigensian Crusade in Southern France in 1209. He currently lives in Barcelona.

For more information please visit Colin Falconer’s blog. You can also find him on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

(Bio and image provided by Historical Fiction Virtual  Book Tours)

* * *


Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Cool Gus Publishing
Paperback: 218pp
ISBN-10: 1621250911

I received a copy of Isabella: Braveheart of France from the publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions and recommendations expressed are my own.


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

8 thoughts on “HFVBT Review | Isabella: Braveheart of France

  1. April @ The Steadfast Reader February 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm Reply

    This sounds like a fascinating book … might be a library check-out. Thanks for linking up!


    • Sherrey Meyer February 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm Reply

      April, thanks for coming by … enjoyed the link up at its new home!


  2. kimbacaffeinate February 7, 2014 at 8:27 pm Reply

    Historical fiction regarding such famous characters demands at least some accurateness in regards to known history. The plot holes and dead characters reappearing alarm me, while I can overlook editing errors as it is an arc, I would think the actual plot would have been hashed out before arcs were distributed. I would hesitate to purchase this even though it is a subject that interests me. Me thinks this will be a library read first. Wonderful review Sherrey 🙂


    • Sherrey Meyer February 9, 2014 at 11:00 am Reply

      Kimba, thanks for the thoughtful feedback. It’s always nice to know when you step out on a limb in reviewing a book that someone else understands what you were bothered by. Hope you’re having a good weekend!


  3. tpolen February 7, 2014 at 10:26 am Reply

    Gorgeous cover. I’m also a fan of historical fiction and hope the publisher took your recommendatoins to heart!


    • Sherrey Meyer February 7, 2014 at 11:54 am Reply

      I really wish I knew who was at fault in allowing this book to get out to reviewers. Very unfortunate indeed for the author and the publisher. It’s a great story and without the errors I would have likely given it at least 4 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.


  4. DoingDewey February 7, 2014 at 5:27 am Reply

    I love a strong female character too and it’s especially wonderful when historical fiction can manage both a strong female character and historical accuracy. It’s too bad there were so many distracting problems with your review copy! Even if they’re fixed in the end, it makes it hard to know how to review the book in the mean time.


    • Sherrey Meyer February 7, 2014 at 11:56 am Reply

      This review definitely presented me with qualms and conundrums about what to say but I felt honesty wins out every time! Colin Falconer is a very popular writer and I’ve read great reviews of other works. I’ll give him a chance and read something else. But I certainly didn’t want anyone buying this one unless they verified it was a final final.


And what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: