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  • The Beggar Queen

  • By: Kelly Evans
  • Narrated by: Deryn Oliver
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

Kidnapped in seventh-century England and sold as a slave to a powerful mayor in France, Bathilde needs to adapt to survive. When the mayor’s beloved wife passes away, he looks to Bathilde for comfort. Fleeing his attentions, she is forced to live on the streets until she catches the king’s eye and everything changes.

Now a queen, Bathilde must provide the king with heirs and continue the charitable and social work that has become her life, all while fighting her detractors. By the end of her days, Bathilde had changed the face of medieval France forever. 

How did a slave navigate the treacherous Merovingian courts and rise to rule an empire? And why have so few people heard of her? 

Content Warning: sexual assault, childbirth trauma.

©2021 Kelly Evans (P)2021 Kelly Evans

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Irritating narration

Accepted that trying to write about a 7th century woman will be difficult due to lack of data, the author has done a passable job of fleshing out the story which unfortunately comes over as a romanticised version of events. I feel sure this was a far grittier period of history than this story would have one believe. This is compounded by the rather cloyingly affected narration. I finished the book with gritted teeth.

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loved

I loved the narration of Deryn Oliver, just right for this book

An enjoyable historical fiction about Merovingian Queen Bathilde. An extraordinary life , A truly enjoyable listen.