The Empress by Meg Clothier

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Meg Clothier takes some very different and interesting historical characters to write about – in this case, Agnes of France, one of the daughters of Louis VII, who married two Emperors of Byzantium, both of whom were murdered, and then lived happily ever after (hopefully!) with a Byzantine general. Not too much is known about her, but Meg Clothier fleshes out her story and her character wonderfully, starting with her first marriage and ending with the nightmarish Fourth Crusade when a bunch of Western Crusaders sacked Constantinople instead of doing what they were supposed to be doing.

My one complaint is the use of “crude” language. I hate to sound unduly prudish, but was it really necessary for the characters to say “fuck” and “piss” quite so often?! Other than that, this is a very good book about a person and a place little covered in Western historical fiction.

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