A Sword in Her Hand is masterful storytelling, rich in historic detail, and fast paced. The characters are well developed and the dialog is lively and colorful. Originally published in Belgium and The Netherlands, the novel loses no steam in its English translation.
Born into royalty in 1347, Marguerite will someday inherit the vast holdings of the Count of Flanders and control the mighty army. The Count, Marguerite's father is horrified and angry when she is born a girl; he had counted on an heir, a son who will reign in glory and he never passes up a chance to show his only daughter his contempt of her.
The only way to save the kingdom is to use Marguerite as a pawn in the struggle for dominance in Europe. The Count wants her to marry Edmund, the future King of England, and Marguerite is infatuated with him through his letters. When she meets him in person, however, she is repulsed by his stature, his appearance, and his personality. She refuses to marry him and falls in love with Phillip, the future King of France.
Can Marguerite stand up to her tyrant father? Will she be able to pull a disappearing act and outsmart Edmund? Can she ever marry Phillip? In a world dominated by men, Marguerite wields her own mighty will and a razor-sharp sword. Readers will be captivated by Marguerite, a girl/woman who stands head and shoulders above the men around her. She refuses to stand in any man's shadow including her father's. She is fierce, proud, passionate, and strong.
Translation by John Nieuwenhuizen
Highly, highly recommended for high school collections. Grade 9-up. Some language, one bathtub scene, no sex.
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, MLIS, Library Media Specialist
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