Read The Passionate Enemies by Jean Plaidy Online


DISCOVER A LOST CLASSIC IN PLAIDY'S SCINTILLATING NORMAN SERIES This is the third and final book in The Norman Trilogy and tells the story of the last days of the reign of Henry I. His son and wife are dead, and Henry hastily remarries a woman more than thirty years his junior in the hope of producing a male heir and securing the succession. If he fails, the throne willDISCOVER A LOST CLASSIC IN PLAIDY'S SCINTILLATING NORMAN SERIESThis is the third and final book in The Norman Trilogy and tells the story of the last days of the reign of Henry I. His son and wife are dead, and Henry hastily remarries a woman more than thirty years his junior in the hope of producing a male heir and securing the succession. If he fails, the throne will pass to Matilda, and Henry fears that his nobles will not willingly serve a woman. But after his death this feckless daughter becomes the focus of a line of would-be kings and soon the country is plunged into a bitter civil war that only a child can undo.'Jean Plaidy, by the skilful blending of superb storytelling and meticulous attention to authenticity of detail and depth of characterisation has become one of the country's most widely read novelists.' Sunday Times 'Full-blooded, dramatic, exciting.' Observer 'Plaidy excels at blending history with romance and drama.' New York Times 'Outstanding' Vanity Fair...

Title : The Passionate Enemies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780330252423
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 316 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Passionate Enemies Reviews

  • Sonya Wanvig
    2019-04-29 18:20

    No nasty descriptive sex in this book, like all her books. And I like that. I love all her books,but I liked The Bastard King; the first of her Norman Trilogy, the best.

  • Marie
    2019-05-23 15:16 stick a fork in me

  • Melanie
    2019-04-29 23:02

    I think I prefer Sharon Kay Penman's "When Christ and all his saints slept" to this book. It was a good book but I found too much was crammed into the last 150 pages. Sharon's book has more detail into this civil war and the people involved than Jean does.

  • Becky
    2019-05-06 18:20

    The Passionate Enemies has a laughable jacket description. Definitely leaning on the side of ridiculousness: She was Matilda. The arrogant, cold daughter of Henry I. An empress, a woman who had worn out one aging husband, only to dominate her next, a mere boy, Geoffrey, first of the fiery Plantagenets.Only one man had ever mattered to Matilda, ever since childhood. He was her cousin. He was married. He was her true love. He was her rival to the throne -- her enemy... He was Stephen. A man who used honey in a land of warriors, who sweetened whatever cup would toast his claim to the throne. And the only obstacle in his path toward ruling all of England and Normandy was Henry's daughter, his own cousin, his one true love. Forever to fight. Forever to love, they were... THE PASSIONATE ENEMIES.The Passionate Enemies falls into the so bad it's almost good group. I definitely enjoyed The Bastard King more than this one. This is the third book in the trilogy. The middle book is The Lion of Justice. Stephen and Matilda's "love story" begins in the second book. Considering the fact that she left Henry I's court to marry when she was so very young (at most 12 or 13), there are so many creepy layers to this one. (NOT that I'm saying The Passionate Enemies is creepier than say Flowers in the Attic. That would be impossible!!!) The book begins with the tragedy of the White Ship. Henry I loses his son and heir, William. While Henry I has scores of illegitimate children, he has only one other legitimate child: Matilda. His first idea is, of course, to remarry and have a new son. But after years of waiting for this new wife to conceive, he admits that it isn't to be. He then decides that Matilda will be the one. But can he convince a nation to be be ruled by a Queen? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, Stephen, is the ever-hopeful nephew. He wants his uncle to name him as heir. He is desperate to be king. If only he wasn't married to ANOTHER MATILDA, he would try to marry his cousin, Matilda. (By the way, the two Matilda's are cousins as well.) Life would be perfect if Matilda and Stephen could "share" the throne. The reader is "privileged" to all of Stephen's daydreams about his cousin. The battle between Stephen and Matilda begins after Henry I's death...The book is readable. I couldn't say I enjoyed it exactly. It is so dramatic and ridiculous in places. But it's never boring.

  • Phil Syphe
    2019-05-15 21:11

    Like the second instalment of the Norman Trilogy, “The Passionate Enemies” does not match the brilliance of Book 1, yet it is impressive nonetheless.I find this period of the 1100s an interesting one. Here we see the latter days of Henry I followed by the reign of King Stephen. Throughout the narrative there’s Henry’s daughter – and Stephen’s cousin and sometimes lover – Matilda, one of the most arrogant royal woman in history. The love/hate relationship between Stephen and Matilda serves as the novel’s backbone, which works well on the most part, though at times it becomes too repetitive in its nature. The amount of times one of the other states how they should’ve been married, or ponders how different things would be had they been married, is so overdone that it grew to irritate me.Similarly, Henry’s regular reference to the sinking of the White Ship that cost his son’s life becomes tedious. As much as I like this author, if I had to pick one fault in her writing in general it would be her repetition of certain themes throughout all her novels.But apart from the above negative comments this story proved engaging. Think my favourite character has to be another Matilda – for there are several – namely the one who became Stephen’s queen. She enters the tale as a meek background figure but when her and the king’s backs are against the wall she develops into someone quite formidable. I also liked Stephen himself and Robert of Gloucester. Although it was impossible to “like” the arrogant Empress Matilda, she is a fascinating personality, and her two methods of escaping capture may be compared to the best episodes in the average adventure story.

  • MaryKate
    2019-05-21 20:55

    Jean Plaidy's writing can be too over the top sometimes, which is a shame because the first book in this Norman trilogy, The Bastard King, was excellent. The Passionate Enemies left me wanting something, though.Henry I finds himself advancing in age with no son and heir in sight and so he marries Adelicia of Louvain, a woman much younger than he is, to produce a son. After some time without even a hint of a pregnancy, Henry forces his court to swear fealty to the Empress Matilda (former empress of the Holy Roman Empire, newly returned to England after the death of her husband). That doesn't quite work out the way anyone planned when Henry dies and his nephew, Stephen of Blois, takes the throne instead. A bloody civil war ensues.This story is fascinating in and of itself and any time I read an author's interpretation of the events, I love to see how they characterize the major players. Here is how Plaidy characterized them:Women = either megalomaniacal with a touch of sadist or meek and mild.Men = sex-crazed and obsessed with power or good and loyal.You would think that would make for a good story, but the characters were over the top. I especially disliked the overarching theme of obsession between Stephen and Matilda, it didn't fit at all. I'm sure I will pick up another Plaidy novel at some point, but for now I think I'll stick to Philippa Carr's novels.

  • Tania
    2019-05-12 16:13

    King Henry I left no male heir, only his daughter Matilda. His nephew Stephen of Blois felt himself a more appropriate ruler and insisted his uncle meant him to rule. So begins the feud between these lovers, a feud which breeds much hatred although their connection can never be severed. While Stephen marries yet another Matilda, a soft sweet woman who shows a surprising aptitude for government, Matilda of Normandy is forced to marry first the Emperor of Germany, many years her senior, and then Geoffrey Plantagenet, 15 years her junior. Because Matilda never reaches the title of Queen, she clings to her title of Empress for the rest of her life.Matilda in the end realizes that the people will never have her as their queen; her haughty behavior puts them off. So she resigns herself to knowing that one of her three sons from Geoffrey, most likely the oldest, Henry, will be able to succeed Stephen upon his death as the true heir.Plaidy remains true to her storytelling ability and characters of long ago times jump to life off the page.

  • Lee
    2019-05-12 22:19

    Matilda was the only living child of Henry I of England. Stephen was his nephew. While Matilda was arrogant and cold, Stephen wanted nothing more than to please the people of England. Raised together as children and married to others, they still had a passion for each other. When Henry I died Stephen was in England with his wife while Matilda was with her husband Geoffrey, Count of Anjou resting from childbirth. Stephen wasted no time in claiming possession of the crown and the treasury and so began years of battles between these passionate enemies both desiring to rule the country.

  • Mary Collin
    2019-05-10 15:56

    Even more enjoyable second time around. First read this trilogy in the late 70s. Completed the repeat run 2015. That's a heck of a gap but I was drawn into their world as fully this time as I was first time around. These are such enjoyable, interesting and captivating books I don't think I'll leave it so long next time! Think I'm ready to revisit the next set - Plantagenets here I come!

  • Angela Joyce
    2019-04-25 15:14

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the Tudors had nothing on the Plantagenets and the Normans before them! I wonder how much of this really happened and what is speculation? I was reminded at times of Gone With The Wind and the Scarlett/Ashley/Melanie triangle, only in this case it's Matilda/Stephen/other Matilda. It would make a great film.

  • Emma
    2019-05-05 18:59

    I enjoyed this one a lot. I assume the odd relationship between Stephen and Matilda is her own poetic licence/oppinion but it did give some reason to his behaviour. I read all Philipa Gregory's books on the Plantagenets so I am excited to now start Jean's. Especially now I know the back story thanks to this series.

  • Yuka
    2019-04-24 21:55

    I normally love Jean Plaidy's book but I can't agree the relationship between Matilda and Stephen and also their charactors in this book. Makes me dislike Matilda... It is far different from what I visualize. Though the book is fun to read.

  • Sara W
    2019-04-29 23:02

    Matilda (daughter of Henry I) and Stephen (nephew of Henry I, grandson of William I)

  • Lee Pectol
    2019-05-03 23:00


  • Karen Galber
    2019-05-06 15:12

    Describes the reign of King Stephen and his battles with Matilda as to who should reign. The problem was that Matilda was the true heir to the throne but she was a woman

  • Nicole
    2019-05-02 16:55

    Norman Series 31102 - 1167 (M) 1096 - 1154 (S) Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I, & her cousin, Stephen of Blois

  • Allison
    2019-05-13 19:20

    Plaidy is not a good writer, and this is one of the weaker books. However, she does seem to get her history right.

  • Sheila
    2019-05-05 18:57

    Jean Plaidy's historical fiction - enjoyable as ever.

  • Amy
    2019-05-17 18:59

    Although these books have the cheesiest covers ever, they are very good stories, accurate stories that help me understand English history during, and a century or so after, the Norman Conquest.

  • Deb
    2019-05-01 18:16

    Highlights a fascinating slice of English history when a woman tried to reign. Success would not be possible again until Elizabeth.