A dazzling first novel, in which the supernatural affects the lives of mortals, sometimes with cruelty sometimes in the service of love.
Poitiers, 1137. Eleanor, the very young duchess of Aquitaine, is hopping with impatience. Today is the day that Loanna of Grimmwald is to arrive at her Court. She is also fifteen years old. A new young lady-in-waiting for Eleanor, and one who will perhaps be more entertaining, as it is said that she is quite racy.
Eleanor, however, is quite unaware that the beautiful Loanna descends from a line of Druids, begotten by Merlin the Soothsayer and Vivienne, the guardian of druidic secrets. They are passed down from mother to daughter, who in turn watch over the destiny of England. Like her ancestors before her, Loanna is part fairy, part witch… She has been sent to be near Eleanor for a specific purpose: to befriend and advise her, to shadow her until the day she marries Henry, heir to the throne of England, who is still only four years old.
Loanna becomes Eleanor’s most intimate friend at the Court of Aquitaine, renowned for its easy morals. But fate is to thwart her plans: Eleanor’s hand has been promised to Louis VII, the lacklustre King of France. But no matter, Loanna follows her to the Court of France… for as long as Eleanor does not give Louis a male heir, Henry’s cause is not lost! Together the two young women will live through fifteen years of intrigue, love, great adventures in the Crusades, the death of their beloved ones… until final triumph in 1152, when the marriage of Eleanor to the King of France is annulled. Two months later, Eleanor marries Henry, who is to become King of England under the name of Henry II Plantagenet. Their first born son will be the famous Richard the Lionheart, but that’s quite another story…