Star Rating: 4 Stars
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell
Date of publication: March 14th, 2023
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Historical, LGBT, Fiction, Queer, Adult, Historical Romance, M M Romance
Two destined rivals fall desperately in love—but the fate of medieval Europe hangs in the balance.
“A pair of thrones between us, and my heart clutched like a rosary within his hands …”
Twelfth-century Europe. Newly-crowned King Philip of France is determined to restore his nation to its former empire and bring glory to his name. But when his greatest enemy, King Henry of England, threatens to end his reign before it can even begin, Philip is forced to make a precarious alliance with Henry’s volatile son—risking both his throne, and his heart.
Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, never thought he would be King. But when an unexpected tragedy makes him heir to England, he finally has an opportunity to overthrow the father he despises. At first, Philip is a useful tool in his quest for vengeance… until passion and politics collide, and Richard begins to question whether the crown is worth the cost.
When Philip and Richard find themselves staring down an impending war, they must choose between their desire for one another and their grand ambitions. Will their love prevail, if it calls to them from across the battlefield? Teeming with royal intrigue and betrayal, this epic romance reimagines two real-life kings ensnared by an impossible choice: Follow their hearts, or earn their place in history.
Mine was an easy birth. It was a birth my mother would later tell me was fit for glory, fit for a prince.Solomon’s Crown by Natasha Siegel
Philip is the newly crowned king of France and is determined to bring his nation back to its former glory. King Henry, his greatest enemy, has other plans. Philip must reach out to Henry’s second son, Richard, and form an unsteady alliance. He never thought that he would fall desperately in love with Richard.
Richard never thought he would be king. He thought he would forever be on the outside after staging a failed rebellion. He also never thought that he would fall in love with Philip. But everything changes when his brother (the heir to England) dies. He is now heir and can use Philip to help him destroy his father.
When war threatens, Philip and Richard must choose between their love and ambitions. Can their love survive? Or will the war end it?
I have always been fascinated with Medieval England. So, I was thrilled when I saw that Solomon’s Crown was set in this period. I also loved learning about Richard and Philip’s lives and their love story. The author notes at the beginning and end of the book that she took liberties with battles and other historical events. What I found intriguing was that there was a possibility that Philip and Richard were lovers when they were alive. The author states her reasons (her research), and I found it fascinating that it could be true.
Solomon’s Crown is told from dual 1st person point of view. The author labeled each chapter with either Philip or Richard. That made it so much easier to keep track of.
The main characters in Solomon’s Crown were Richard and Philip. I liked that they were complete opposites of each other. Richard was a bit of a mess. He was disorganized, quick to anger (oh so quick), and held grudges. Meanwhile, Philip was quiet, slow to anger, made informed decisions, and didn’t jump into things feet first (which Richard did). At first, I thought they weren’t compatible, but as they interacted, I could see how they complimented each other.
The main storyline was Richard and Philip’s love story and the intrigue of being king. This period was brutal, and the author didn’t dumb it down. She stated that Philip and Richard had to get their hands dirty (killing traitors/enemies) to win over their people. What surprised me (because I didn’t know this) was that being in a homosexual relationship back then wasn’t frowned upon. Did people not care for it? Yes, Henry made that very clear towards the end of the book. But they didn’t freak out when Philip and Richard stopped hiding. It was refreshing to read.
I mentioned intrigue in the paragraph above. This book was full of it, mainly on Richard’s side. Honestly, I couldn’t keep everything straight.
Solomon’s Crown isn’t a fast-paced book. It is slow to medium-paced. The author laid the background and groundwork for Richard and Philip’s romance, and it took time. While it worked for me, it might not work for some people.
The romance angle of Solomon’s Crown was cute. It wasn’t graphic (there were some kissing scenes) and was mostly left up to my imagination.
I wasn’t too fond of the end of Solomon’s Crown. I wish the author could have gone on a tangent and kept Philip and Richard together, but unfortunately, she couldn’t.
I would recommend Solomon’s Crown to anyone over 16. There is no language, non-graphic sex scenes, and moderate violence.
Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell, NetGalley, and Natasha Siegel for allowing me to read and review Solomon’s Crown. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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