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Whose Son Will Be King? - an Editorial Review of "The Importance of Sons"

Book Blurb:

Whose Son will be King?

In 1491, France conquers Brittany. As part of the peace treaty, fifteen-year-old Duchess Anne must marry the young French king. She arrives in France, defeated, homesick and surrounded by enemies. Once the ruler of her duchy, her only value and duty as queen is to provide an heir. With only her pride to sustain her, can Anne make a place for herself in her enemy’s court?

All France rejoices when Charles-Orland is born—except one woman. Countess Louise d’Angoulême resents the tiny, beguiling Queen Anne from the moment they meet. The countess is determined that her son shall reign. When the king sets off for Italy, his sights set on conquest, he appoints his sister as regent. Countess Louise, using her considerable skills for intrigue, grasps the opportunity to challenge the queen.

Because her husband’s sister orchestrated the defeat of Brittany, Anne detests the woman. Yet the king relies on his sister, so she holds the key to the king's confidence. Can Anne put aside her anger to make his sister an ally?

Most important of all, can she protect her children from Louise's determination that her son will be the next king? Whose son will succeed to the throne?

Based on the eventful life of Anne, beloved Duchess of Brittany and influential Queen of France, this is the riveting story of a dangerous rivalry between two strong women in a man’s world and sets the stage for The Importance of Pawns.

Lovers of historical fiction will be delighted by this rich portrayal of an overlooked Renaissance queen and her courtiers. Great for fans of: Elizabeth Chadwick, Alison Weir.

—Booklife Review, 2022

Book Trailer:

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 is now available. She is working on the next two.

Reach her at her website,

or write her at or join her quarterly newletter for

* info about her latest writing,

* reviews of books by her favourite writers

* giveaways and contents

* and other fun stuff.


Editorial Review:

Dressed as a boy, small and slender for her years, she looked like a child of ten. But behind those large hazel eyes and flawless complexion lay a mind as sharp as a dagger and an iron will. She was as immovable as those giant granite boulders rooted into the rocky soil along the coast of Brittany that had stood there for longer than time itself.

In 15th century France, one incredible woman rises to the throne... not just once, but twice in her lifetime – Anne, Duchess of Brittany. In history, this fascinating woman saw a vast line of suitors, from the likes of Henry Tudor to Edward, Prince of Wales, as well as Maximillian I of Austria, to whom she later wedded by proxy at the tender age of eleven. But as politics would have it, King Charles VIII of France maneuvered the dissolution of that marriage and wed Anne at Chateau de Langeais on 6 December 1491, with Pope Innocent validating the union early the next year. Their marriage brought peace between the Duchy of Brittany and the Kingdom of France... and Anne's focus became the bearing of an heir for the throne, as well as for the Duchy.

Wars left innocent people homeless and bereft – not only of their loved ones, but also of their homes and lands. They beggared a country and stole its wealth. And everywhere, death, death, death. Yes, she was a devout Christian, and she believed in obeying His Holiness, but could they not send mercenaries and gold? Pope Innocent did not need her husband as much as she did.

Within the intrigue and political wranglings of France and all the surrounding kingdoms, a woman's place, that of bearing a child to carry on the noble line, was of utmost importance. As a young fifteen-year-old, she had much to learn about the French court, taken away from her homeland and surrounded by enemies... and other women who viewed her in an unfavorable light.

One of these women, Louise d'Angoulême resents Queen Anne from the outset... and determines to compete with her in bringing a son to birth, especially after Louise receives a blessing about the fate of her son. The throne of France is in her sights... yet Queen Anne is in her way, along with any sons that she bears.

Still, it was only at the instant that she saw Duchess Anne in the entryway to the great hall that Louise hated her. The feeling came over her in a molten flood, starting in her heart and burning outward through her veins until she could feel the heat flowing through the soles of her shoes and out the tips of her fingers. She was glad to curtsey so she could lower her head, for her face felt flushed.

When Anne bears a son, Charles-Orland, Louise becomes even more determined for her son to reign, and after the King sets off to conquer Italy, Countess Louise uses all her skills, especially those of spying, to challenge Queen Anne's position. This rivalry is the basis for Ms Morgan's novel, and delves deep into the challenges beset on women of the day... not only in the political arena, but in the precarious times and fragility of bearing children. So many women lost their lives. So many children never reached their first year. Due to sickness, unhealthy conditions, disease, and many other factors, women faced fear head-on each time the birthing day approached. Ms Morgan depicts the scenes with utmost care and historical accuracy, yet still allows the reader to truly feel the anguish of mothers during that day... and sometimes with tragic results.

She stopped and sat in silence beside Madame la Grande. When she spoke again, her voice was stronger. “I also learned a great deal from you and came to admire you. It is never easy to rule. When I ruled as duchess before, I was so young. I did not fully understand hard choices until the treaty. It was easier to blame you than... I understand better now.”

Anne's reigned alongside Charles until his death, and then, according to a previous treaty, married Louis XII after an arranged annulment of his marriage to Joan of France, and was able to reestablish the Duchy of Brittany under her control. The author portrays Anne's character quite successfully, as a strong and resilient woman who learns much during the years, morphing knowledge into wisdom, and overcoming tragedy after tragedy. There are moments of utter sadness in the narrative, heart-wrenching yet poignant passages, all revealing the human heart and connecting the reader to this remarkable historic woman. There is an old saying that says, 'behind every great man is a great woman' and Anne is the epitome of this saying... not only for one King of France but for two. This is a great pure historical read, one that educates as well as entertains, and is highly recommended.

All is as well as it can be in this imperfect world.”


The Importance of Sons” by Kiera Morgan receives five stars from The Historical Fiction Company and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence


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