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A Triple Knot    by Emma Campion order for
Triple Knot
by Emma Campion
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A Triple Knot by Emma Campion is a fine rendering of one of the world's enduring love stories. However, this one is not all sweetness and light.

Joan Plantagenet, called the Fair Maid of Kent, betroths herself to Thomas Holland in 1338 at the age of twelve! At that time, betrothals were considered as binding as marriage vows. And twelve was not today's twelve. Although Thomas was ten years her senior, Joan knew she didn't want to be married to anyone else. Ever. But the monarchs of the day, Edward III and Isabella, had other plans for their niece.

They wished her to wed to secure an alliance with another country. Also the king's son and heir had his eye on Joan. Thomas and Joan spent ten years trying to win recognition of their betrothal from the Crown. Thomas, a knight of the King's household, was sent off to war, his lord obviously hoping he would be killed which would solve the problem. Thomas survived but at a cost.

A Triple Knot transports the reader back to the 1300s. With all its warts and blemishes. The research involved must have been tremendous, and is very well integrated into the novel, which has an exciting storyline. And, of course, credible characters, based on real historical figures.

Joan's father had been executed when she was five. This was later decided by the Crown to have been a mistake but that did not bring back Joan's beloved father. She never shed the anger that boiled in her heart, not only for her father's death but also for the manner in which her mother was treated at court. The Royals felt magnanimous about their charitable treatment of the wife of the man they wrongfully put to death.

I have always loved history and A Triple Knot reminded me why. It's well written, with more than a touch of empathy for the strong-minded Fair Maid of Kent.

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