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Quest for the Crown

Diana M. Johnson

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Superior Book Publishing Co.

Published : 2002

Copyright : Diana M. Johnson 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 0-96615-042-2
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-96615-042-1

Publisher's Write-Up

Charlemagne's father, Pepin the Short, yearns to become King of All Franks, a title the Merovingians have claimed for hundreds of years. But even should he succeed, how can Pepin fight his beloved older brother, Carloman, for the crown? No such scruples hold him from warring with his contentious younger half-siblings.

Gaining the crown through the power of the pope in Rome, Pepin establishes the idea of the divine right of kings. Then, to protect his mentor, Pepin must leave his kingdom in the able hands of his wife, Bertrada Big Foot. He and his army scale the formidable Alps to battle the Lombards, threatening the pope and Rome. In donating the cities he wins to the papal chair, Pepin begins what will become the Vatican—geographic territory belonging to the pope.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (180207) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 9/10
Set approximately 1300 years ago, this novel is the story of Pepin the Short, one of the heirs of Charles Martel. After Martel’s death, his kingdom (present-day France and Germany) is split between Pepin and Carloman, his older brother. A huge secret in the family is the very old prophecy that someone of this bloodline will become King of All Franks, a prophecy that Pepin would very much like to fulfil. Since the Merovingians have held the throne for the past several hundred years, public knowledge of the prophecy would upset many people.

Pepin can’t exactly fight Carloman for the crown(Carloman is next in line), but he has no such problem dealing with anyone else who gets in his way, including a treasonous, younger, half-brother named Grifo. Years later, Carloman is racked with guilt over a cold-blooded murder he committed in the heat of battle. He is convinced that the only way to atone for his sin is to "give" Pepin the crown, and join a monastery.

Pepin is constantly on the move, consolidating and expanding his territory. With help from the Pope, he establishes the Divine Right of Kings. He takes an army over the Alps, and almost does not make it, to help out the Pope in Italy. The conquered Italian cities are donated to the Pope, and become the Vatican.

This novel is a first-rate piece of writing. As much as possible, it’s based on historical fact, so it feels very plausible. It’s well done, and is a fitting end to a really good trilogy (See Destiny's Godchild and Pepin's Bastard).
Paul Lappen (18th February 2007)

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