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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
The year is 1508. Anne of Brittany and King Louis XII of France have been married for a nearly a decade but still have no son. Numerous pregnancies and miscarriages have taken their toll, and Anne is no longer young. But her failure to produce an heir, a queen’s most important duty, torments her. Louis, however, is more concerned about his wife than the succession. He is content with their only surviving daughter, and has an heir presumptive in his young cousin, Francis. But Francis’ reign would likely mean the end of Brittany’s independence, for which Anne has fought all her life, and she remains determined to have a son. Louis’ disastrous political and military campaigns in Italy and Anne’s final pregnancies and failing health put a strain on their marriage and threaten their domestic happiness. As the sun sets on their reign, Louis and Anne must both come to terms with reality and somehow find peace.
Anne and Louis: Forever Bound, the fourth book in Rosza Gaston’s Anne of Brittany series, covers the last tumultuous years of Anne of Brittany and Louis XII. Gaston’s exquisite writing brings Renaissance France to life and draws readers into the convoluted lives of the aristocracy. She deftly weaves together the romance and reality of Anne’s life as a queen and wife and expertly captures her personality and emotions. The attention to detail and meticulous research shine through in the story’s realism and authentic atmosphere. Anne and Louis: Forever Bound, and the entire Anne of Brittany saga, are definite must-reads for history lovers of all ages.