I have mixed feelings about this book.
On one hand, the story is so intriguing. Going off of facts, Campion takes exciting (but not ridiculous) liberties with the story of Joan of Kent and creates an enthralling tale about this alluring cousin of a King who participated in multiple clandestine marriages. It’s an absolutely great topic for a historical fiction novel, and I truly enjoyed learning all about this family. I’m craving to know more — especially about Prince Edward and Catherine. All of the characters were so interesting and really each deserve their own books!
But on the other hand, I also felt like this book was very slow. The novel starts in 1338 and ends in 1361, leaving very few details out. I think that it would’ve been a more fast-paced and exciting read if some not-as-important parts had been cut out. For obvious reasons once you read it, the story necessarily needs to last for most of Joan’s life because of how everything plays out, but it was in serious need of some editing down. I did find it all very intriguing and I honestly did enjoy reading it, but it was not a quick read.
I also felt like there was too much foreshadowing used. Even though A Triple Knot is based on real life and the facts are there if you want to look them up beforehand, I thought that the story played out in a very predictable way. But I don’t think that it would’ve been as obvious if the author hadn’t made you feel like you knew what was going to happen. Particularly with how the book ends, I’d seen both of the two “twists” coming, so the story ended up not being as exciting as it could’ve been if it had been written slightly differently.
But there are so many things about A Triple Knot that I really enjoyed. The historical accuracy that clearly came from tons of research, the completely relatable character of Joan, the depth of each of the side characters, the political motivations of all the players involved…those nitty-gritty historical fiction-y parts of the book were awesome. I just would’ve loved a more fast-paced flow that was less straightforward in where it was heading.
Overall, though, I quite enjoyed this book and am definitely interested in reading more of Campion’s work. Especially if she writes more about some of the background characters from this one! An engrossing and romantic story, A Triple Knot masterfully intrigued me and made me want to keep reading. I’d recommend this to historical fiction fans who don’t mind a bit of a slow read and who are interested in characters who fight for love…in both good and bad ways.