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The Summer Queen Audiobook

The Summer Queen: Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy, Book 1

Eleanor of Aquitaine's story deserves to be legendary. She is an icon who has fascinated readers for over 800 years. But the real Eleanor remains elusive - until now. Based on the most up-to-date research, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Chadwick brings Eleanor's magnificent story to life, as never before, unveiling the real Eleanor. Young, golden-haired and blue-eyed Eleanor has everything to look forward to as the heiress to wealthy Aquitaine.
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Publisher's Summary

Eleanor of Aquitaine's story deserves to be legendary. She is an icon who has fascinated readers for over 800 years. But the real Eleanor remains elusive - until now. Based on the most up-to-date research, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Chadwick brings Eleanor's magnificent story to life, as never before, unveiling the real Eleanor. Young, golden-haired and blue-eyed Eleanor has everything to look forward to as the heiress to wealthy Aquitaine. But when her beloved father dies suddenly in the summer of 1137, her childhood is over.

Forced to marry the young prince Louis of France, she barely adjusts before another death catapults them to being crowned King and Queen of France. Leaving everything behind, Eleanor must face the complex and vivacious French court. She is only 13.Barely out of childhood, and forced to deal with great scandals, fraught relationships and forbidden love at every turn, Eleanor finally sees what her future could hold if she could just seize the moment. Overflowing with scandal, politics, sex, triumphs and tragedies, The Summer Queen is the first novel in a stunning new trilogy.

©2013 Elizabeth Chadwick (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (217 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sara 10-04-14
    Sara 10-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Romance Runs Strong in This One"

    I found this title in the coming soon to Audible area of the web site. It sounded terrific when I researched the series. Plus there was the added perk of many glowing reviews on Audible UK. Overall it seemed like a perfect fit for me. I have read numerous books about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her life and this sounded like a wonderful series to look forward to.

    The trouble started with a minor irritation in that the author and narrator decided to use the historic pronunciation of Eleanor's name. I soon got use to the odd pronunciation but in a way it sounded overly prissy and unnecessary. To me the narration came across as very young and childish. I suggest a careful listen to the sample before buying the book.

    The focus points the author chose to examine and stress in the story moved this book squarely into the Romance Genre for me -- without question. For example--when the old King of France died-- two lines are spent on this in the story explaining he had died, the travel to Paris AND that a rebellion was squelched on the way. Then paragraphs and even chapters are spent describing intimate details of the wedding night and other encounters of this kind.

    Further, I just finished watching the cable program The White Queen and so much of the court life depicted here in this book could be lifted from that story. The nastiness, the disapproving hateful mother-in-law and the daily traumas and manipulations. More than all of this I found the book slow. Very slow. I could have used more fact, more history and a great deal less conjecture and imaginings. Can not recommend-- unless you love a good romance.






    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nanette 07-19-15
    Nanette 07-19-15 Member Since 2007
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    "More novel than fact"

    I enjoyed the story but there was a little too much emphasis on sex and bodily functions for my taste.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DeAnna 04-09-15
    DeAnna 04-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "interesting listen"

    Its a fun story. A peak into what it would have been like, but having no clue if any of it happened that way. fun to think about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 11-07-14
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 11-07-14 Member Since 2014

    Voracious reader since age 2. I give unbiased reviews in all genres: history, mystery, bios, crime, sci-fi - from front to BLACK!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WRONG NARRATOR - GREAT SUBJECTS MATTER WASTED!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator sounds like a 12 year-old child - young and naive by current standards but of marriageable age during the era portrayed here. The story begins with The early life of Eleanor of Acquitane and the vocalization works for her.. However, the "Teen Queen" depictstion in the actual third- party accounts dust don't work,


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I regret to say that I didn't get more than an hour into the book and eventually threw in the towel, the whole experience was more like listening to a fairy tale told by a neighborhood reader who has yet to learn the skill and nuances required by audiobooks.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Katie Scarfe’s performances?

    I'm always open to give authors and narrators a second ride around the park. My criticism is not about Katie Scarfe's life repertoire - just that this a mismatched pairing.


    Was The Summer Queen worth the listening time?

    I'm a great fan of Eleanor of Aquitaine, having read or listened to dozens. But this book did not have enough "oomph" to engage me more than an hour. Beyond that, I found myself "zoning out" during major passages.


    Any additional comments?

    This is yet another example to the problemd that I have with audiobook producers and directors- no quality control, questionable production and directorial shills. The audio format of books are terribly expensive so it is of paramount importance that the production, casting, recording, continuity and, of course, the performance be of the first quality and running on ALL cylinders! This book is a case-book example of an "opportunity wasted". I am wayyyy past buying books, only to find them substandard, then keeping them in my Library. There are those who will like this book - I, for one, am not one of these people! REFUND!

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    serine 02-03-16
    serine 02-03-16 Member Since 2011
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    "great escape if you like queens and kings"

    I downloaded this to listen to while I used the elliptical. I find it takes a really imaginative book to help me get through each workout. Some books are interesting enough, but it still takes too much effort to make it through an hour. This book allowed me to get completely lost in the 1100s, in the worlds of kings and queens. Before I knew it, whole chunks of time would pass by. Without question I will download her next book and take it to the gym with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teadrinker Newark, NJ, United States 01-20-16
    Teadrinker Newark, NJ, United States 01-20-16 Member Since 2015

    World Champion Parallel Parker

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    "Disappointing"

    Lugubrious is the word I think of after wading through this novel. Perhaps because it is spread over multiple volumes the action is very, very slow. Despite the intentions of the author, the heroine is annoying. Perhaps it's that she's so entitled - "hubris" is another word that comes to mind. Too bad, I'd been looking forward to a good series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Watkins 06-16-15
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    "Thankful for the 21st century!"

    The information about 12th century life was very interesting. But, I grew weary of the restrictions placed upon the women of the time. While that part was very depressing, this wasn't the author's fault! I'm very happy to be living in the 21st century...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Santos United States 03-14-15
    K. Santos United States 03-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    "I loved this book, Elizabeth!"

    I found a new hero because of the masterful writing of Elizabeth Chadwick. She is a true historian and storyweaver.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vinnie Los Angeles, CA USA 02-18-15
    vinnie Los Angeles, CA USA 02-18-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Eleanor of Aquitaine Lives"
    If you could sum up The Summer Queen in three words, what would they be?

    Heartbreaking, insightful, powerful


    What other book might you compare The Summer Queen to and why?

    The Winter Queen, also by Elizabeth ChadwickThe book isn't in print yet, but I listened to Katie Scarfe;s reading of the novel.


    What about Katie Scarfe’s performance did you like?

    Use if characters' voices. Pronunciation of words, and especially the beautiful ways in which she read the story. Her voice helped to paint a picture in my mind's eye, of the characters.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    No film could possibly capture the shades of voices, and insightful the reader gets from Katie Scare's performance,


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sara 02-13-15
    sara 02-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Good book"

    The narrator did a great job with voices. I enjoyed the dialog of the story. It was witty and entertaining. There was more of a romance feel than I expected until I learned that the author started as a romance novelist. Would recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Diane
    Eastbourne,, United Kingdom
    7/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written & a joy to listen to."

    I am a great fan of Elizabeth Chadwick's work and yet again she has produced another wonderful read, this book is beautifully written with perfect narration. I was sad to reach the
    end of this book but know that it is not the end of Eleanor's story and so I await with eager anticipation for the next book in this trilogy where perhaps we will also see the appearance of the Greatest knight William Marshall !.
    If you love Elizabeth's work then I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy this book, her research put together in a story such as this teaches us much about this period and gives us a sense of that time in history. Well done and thank you Elizabeth for sharing your talent with us, such a joy to listen to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • elizabeth
    ALFORD, United Kingdom
    10/9/13
    Overall
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    Story
    "Wonderful"
    Where does The Summer Queen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Number 1


    What did you like best about this story?

    Ive tried twice to read about Elenor before and have given up. This summer I have been reading my way through all of Elizabeth Chadwicks novels. I love the way she weaves a story in to known facts. details of the small stuff such as the description of the jewels on clothing food and drink. The hazards of the traveling. All from a female point.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The whole book was a joy from first to last.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Samantha
    Bridgwater, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic book!"
    Where does The Summer Queen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have read and/or listened all of Elizabeth Chadwick's books and this was up there was all the others!


    Have you listened to any of Katie Scarfe’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    The reader took a bit of getting used to, not the best by a long shot. I do think that another reader could have given a better feel and personality. Knocked off one star.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The book is fantastic and really leaves you wanting more, the reader wasnt engaging enough for me to want to listen in one sitting.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Adele
    Strusshamn, Norway
    6/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Medieval romance...based on true events!"

    I am not generally a fan of medieval stories, but Chadwick’s novel had me hooked very early on, and I enjoyed it very much from start to finish. I felt I was given great insight into the life of the famous Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine and her struggle to be respected as both a woman and heiress. The story is beautifully narrated and the characters are made lively and believable.
    I often became frustrated with how badly Eleanor was treated by a lot of the people around her, but she was a strong-willed woman and always seemed to survive her ordeals with grace. I couldn’t help but cheer her on! In short, this is a fascinating, romantic and beautiful story, which is made even better by the fact that it is based on real events. I can’t wait for the next two audio books in this trilogy...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Michelle
    1/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent read"

    A bit slow at first but excellent reading when the story became more involved definitely recommend. Looking forward to the next instalment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • TheFluffyViking
    UK
    1/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intriguing!"

    Fantastic story, eminently likeable heroine, plenty of passion, some pain and frustration, but lavishly beautiful. The narrator's voice came across as a little girly, but enhanced the image of young and innocent Alienor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr G A Wicks
    1/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So real I felt the perilousness of the age"

    Beautiful narration of a evocative and tumultuous period in history. Aleanor and any woman of the age needed resilience and fortitude. I pictured everything from the dress to the horses to emotion and felt involved by subtle weaving of details. Bodes well for The Winter Crown'. It showed that wealth and position were no guarantee of a long life, and the greatest enemy was likely to share your bed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    12/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, but average"

    I read a lot of historical fiction, however I found this a little bland. It went on a few hours longer than necessary and I found myself losing concentration in many parts. Having said that, the story of Eleanor's early life was very interesting

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emma
    MILTON KEYNES, United Kingdom
    8/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Historical Mills and Boon"

    Not the interesting historical novel I was expecting. It feels like the historical story is a poor excuse for badly written bodice ripping.
    It was too tedious and silly I couldn't get past chapter 20.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tracey
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    6/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story but more of a romance"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the book and the historical details but it ain't no Philippa Gregory. The author had obviously done a lot of research but there were more heaving bodices than I would have liked! However, it is one of a trilogy so I listen to the next book just to find out what happens.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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