Monday, March 10, 2014

D. Afonso Henriques - Diogo Freitas do Amaral

I've had this biography of Portugal's first king in my TBR for quite some time (years actually as I don't even remember when I got it) and, as I was looking for books for this challenge, I thought this would be the perfect read.

I did enjoy reading it (even if I skimmed a few bits). If you want to know more about King Afonso Henriques' life and chronology this is a great book. But in terms of historical fiction it just doesn't work.

The mistake is probably mine, because I thought this would be HF, and not the author's, who detailed every known fact in the king's life. But it felt a bit like just a list of facts. There's contextualization of the time to explain political actions but there wasn't much information about the king's every day life. His thought process and what led him to this and that action. His interaction with his family and nobles on a day to day basis.

It felt like there was a lot of history and little, if none, fiction. Since I am a big fan of medieval HF (think Elizabeth Chadwick or Sharon Kay Penman) I am very sorry that we don't have an author capable of bringing Portuguese historical fiction (medieval but not only) to life as they do.

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