Hellooooo First Line Friday!
I am super excited to share my First Line this week especially, because it is from a book I had REALLY REALLY wanted to read and received as an ARC from Amberley. I've been reading it for a couple weeks now but am using the very first line, straight from the introduction, because that sums things up pretty nicely.
First, the beautiful cover to admire:
I mean really. How can you not look at that and be like, "Wow."
My line this week is actually a short paragraph. Oops.
"King Henry III of England is a monarch who slips from the notice of history. Many famous events took place during his reign, but few would know that he was sitting on the throne at the time they occurred. He is overshadowed by events before his rule, great problems and even greater personalities during his kingship, and by the force of will that was his son and successor."
Safe to say this is one of the most accurate statements in the history of the world. Consider these facts:
1. King John was his father. We all know how that hot mess turned out. Worst. King. Ever. (Or at least pretty close.)
2. Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine were his grandparents. Henry II is arguably one of the great medieval kings, despite his major personality flaws. Need I even share my opinion of the great Eleanor of Aquitaine at this point?
3. Empress Matilda was his great grandmother. Her long and devastating civil war for the English throne wrecked havoc on the country. She is not the only one to blame, or even most at fault. Her sneaky cousin, King Stephen, was the usurper who stole the throne because the barons could not bear the thought of being governed by a woman. Cue lots of death and destruction.
4. Henry I was his great great grandfather. Who knows how differently things might have gone had the White Ship never sunk. The Plantagenet Dynasty might very well never have come about.
5. His great great great grandfather was none other than William the Bastard. Some of you might know him as William the Conqueror, another usurper who fought long bloody battles to claim the throne from King Harold Goodwinson.
Seems like a lot of pressure, huh? ESPECIALLY when your dad is widely considered one of the worst kings to ever rule.
Oh, and by the way, his son and heir was Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots. Not that I like anyone hammering my Scots in any way, shape, or form because Scotland is pretty much my favorite country ever, but you get the idea. So really, it is easy to see sometimes, often, how Henry III is overlooked. Which is why I was SO PSYCHED for this one. Thus far, it has not disappointed. It is such a happy feeling when a book you really really wanted is just what you were hoping it would be.
Let me know what you think about ol' Henry III and/or his colorful family tree (did you know his dad/aunts/uncles, but mainly the boys I am assuming, were referred to as the 'Devil's Brood'? Not to their faces of course...). Then head over to see what my fellow First Liners have waiting for you today
Carrie - Reading is My SuperPower
Rachel - Bookworm Mama
Heather - Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Beth - Faithfully Bookish
Andi - Radiant Light
Sydney - Singing Librarian