3 1/2 out of 5 stars
I bought the entire Royal Diaries Series many years ago. They are beautiful, small, and hardcover books with gold gilded edges and published by Scholastic. I’m such a history lover that I knew they would be of interest to me even though they are written for grades 4-7 or ages 8-12.
Totally not ashamed to say I still read young adult books especially when they are about history. I wish these had been around when I was a young adult. This is the first one I read.
Although this is a fictional account of Eleanor’s young adult years right before she married at age 15 I thought it was well researched into the pre-medieval years and kept my interest. It wasn’t written in a conversation style but like a diary. So, there was some storyline choppiness (is that a word?) due to the fact that the author was trying to make you feel like you were reading Eleanor’s private diary.
I also liked that at the back of the book there are photos, a family tree, a glossary of characters, and some historical notes.
There were some terms related to the Catholic church and feudal society that even I didn’t know at my age so I had to look those up to understand what was going on. If you are going to let your young adult read it I suggest a dictionary close by. It isn’t too much but if they haven’t studied medieval history they may not have a good grasp of what is going on.
Your young adult may even find the finer details of medieval living kind of gross. . . . the fact that fleas and lice were common in the hair, eating peacocks and swans, rats everywhere, and even some interesting descriptions of bathroom/toilet behavior. It definitely made me glad for my flush toilet and soft tissue paper.
So, if you have young adults in the house check it out. It’s a light read and I think it may even be interesting for boys to read too.