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Rivalry and Friendship in Brittany - an Editorial Review of "The Importance of Sons"

Book Blurb:

Step into a captivating tale of intrigue, rivalry, and friendship in "The Importance of Sons." Immerse yourself in the world of Duchess Anne, the young ruler of Brittany forced into a bitter choice: marry the French king or lose her duchy. Surrounded by enemies, she must navigate the treacherous French court and secure her place as queen.

Rejoice as the heir, Charles-Orland, is born, but Countess Louise d’Angoulême resents Anne's presence. Louise, with ambitions for her own son, challenges the queen's position and manipulates the king's decisions. Witness the gripping clash between Anne and Louise as they compete for power and control. Can Anne turn her enemy into an ally to protect her son and secure his future?

Based on the remarkable life of Duchess Anne of Brittany, this riveting tale brings to life the dangerous rivalry between two strong women in a man's world. A rich portrayal of Renaissance royalty that historical fiction lovers will adore!

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Author Bio:

KEIRA is passionate about France and the Renaissance

Adventure and romance first attracted Keira to the Renaissance when she was a young girl living with her grandparents. She was that girl who sat around with her nose in a book rather than playing sports and she hasn't changed. The Renaissance with its fancy clothes and life in castles or cottages sounded like life in a fairytale to her.

History was her favourite subject at school. Not the wars and dates or things like that. No, she read about the food, the way people travelled, how they lived, what they worked at, what books they read and what they talked about.

At university she studied Renaissance and Reformation history and English literature. She thought it would be a great way to learn about the things she liked. The farther she went, the more academic university became. Finally, she recognized that to do what she really liked she would do better to take up writing historical fiction.

She now lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, two cats and two dogs where she writes historical fiction full time about the French Renaissance. The first two books of her four-volume series about the dramatic life of Anne of Brittany are:

*The Importance of Sons

*The Importance of Pawns

The third is:

The Importance of Wives. Its cover is posted in A+ content.

She is writing the last.

She has a website where you can join her quarterly newsletter. It has:

* info about her latest writing,

* reviews of books by her favourite writers

* giveaways and contests

* and other fun stuff.

Editorial Review:

It was a long ride for a young and fragile female. Especially one with a diseased hip that left her with one short leg and a noticeable limp. “How do you go on, Duchess Anne?” he asked.

She looked surprised. “Well. Why do you ask? About Cousin François, you mean? Do you think I take it as a bad omen? I do, of course. But nothing about this journey into France pleases me, as you know.”

Louis hid the smile that leapt to his lips. He should not be surprised. He had never heard her complain about being tired. She might look fragile, but she was as sturdy as the bedrock that formed the spine of her duchy.


Keira Morgan's "The Importance of Sons" stands as an enthralling exploration of the life and trials of Anne, Duchess of Brittany, during the 15th century –  the first stirrings of the French Renaissance. She was the only woman to have been queen consort of France twice. Morgan masterfully combines historical accuracy with compelling storytelling, offering readers a vivid glimpse into the complex world of politics, power, and the trials that women of the time had to endure.


The novel opens with Anne's early struggles, thrust into the political machinations of the French court at a tender age. Morgan depicts Anne's frustrations and aspirations in an engaging way, capturing the essence of a woman navigating a society that often devalued her gender. She proves to be an admirable heroine, effortlessly winning the reader's affection and garnering their support. The constant of wars and political maneuverings in her life provides a poignant context for Anne's journey, as she faces her duties to the throne and the Duchy of Brittany.


We watch her grapple with the responsibilities thrust upon her – to bring peace between the Duchy of Brittany and the Kingdom of France and to secure an heir for both the throne and the Duchy. Morgan captures the complexities of Anne's position, emphasizing the importance of lineage in a world fraught with peril and uncertainty.


Central to the story is the contentious relationship between Anne and Countess Louise d'Angoulême. Morgan adeptly portrays Louise's resentment and determination to compete with Anne, driven by her own ambitions for her son. The novel captures the essence of Anne's challenges as a young fifteen-year-old thrust into the intrigues of the French court, surrounded by enemies and scrutinized by women who view her unfavorably.


The rivalry between these two figures forms the crux of Morgan's narrative, with Louise determined to challenge Anne's position, especially after a prophetic blessing regarding her son's fate. The intense emotions and political machinations come to a head, highlighting the precarious nature of a woman's role in a society that often underestimated her.

The situation reaches its peak when Anne gives birth to Charles-Orland, and Louise, fueled by an even stronger determination for her son to reign, employs espionage to contest Anne's position.


Now that my son is dauphin, should not the king provide him with an income? I am sure you would know, and also what it should be.”

Yes, indeed, Mme Countess, he should and—”

What about his own duchy of Orléans and its income?” she suggested.

When Sire Jean grimaced doubtfully, Louise went to work to persuade him, and to convince him it was his own idea.


Morgan's attention to historical detail shines through, particularly in her depiction of childbirth and the precarious nature of life during that era, showcasing the stark reality faced by women in a world fraught with sickness, unhealthy conditions, and disease. The novel delves into the challenges faced by women, not only in the political arena but also in the fragility of childbirth. The heartbreaking scenes are shown with both care and historical accuracy, allowing readers to empathize with the profound fear experienced by mothers during childbirth.


The story follows Anne's reign alongside Charles and her subsequent marriage to Louis XII, and we experience her transformation from a young duchess to a determined and wise leader. Anne's determination and constant devotion to her duty in the face of tragedy is a recurring theme, and she is depicted with nuance, revealing a woman who learns from tragedy, turning knowledge into wisdom. The novel educates readers about an iconic period in history while offering an engaging and emotionally charged story. The richness of the characters, especially Anne, transcends the norm, making her a compelling and relatable historical figure.


Morgan adeptly captures the nuances of court life, telling a complex story that explores themes of power, betrayal, and resilience. The shifting alliances and personal struggles of the characters create a sense of unpredictability, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.


In the tradition of historical fiction that reveals the often-overlooked stories of remarkable women, "The Importance of Sons" emerges as an enlightening read, dense with historical detail. Morgan's research, coupled with her storytelling prowess, ensures that readers are not only entertained but also enriched with a deeper understanding of Anne's significance in history. This story stands out as an uncommonly well researched and emotionally charged historical novel. Keira Morgan's ability to seamlessly blend historical events with fictional elements, coupled with her nuanced portrayal of characters, makes this book a compelling read for fans of historical fiction.


“The Importance of Sons” by Keira Morgan receives 4.5 stars from The Historical Fiction Company


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