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Three Times the Lady: The Story of Judith of Flanders by Anna Chant - IHIBRP 5-Star Book Review

A Powerful & Charismatic Historical Romance About One Of History’s Most Influential Women!

Overview: Athelwulf, the aging but kindly King of Wessex, is far from the romantic figure Judith has dreamed of. But when he proposes marriage, the daughter of West Francia’s King Charles seizes her chance to escape the nunnery. Taking her place at Athelwulf’s side as Queen of Wessex, Judith will directly influence court politics for decades to come and forever change history.

In “Three Times the Lady”, Author Anna Chant presents a colorful historical portrait of one of the Dark Ages' most important politically influential female figures—Judith, Queen of Wessex. In this compelling and provocative Historical Fiction/Romance novel, Author Chant brilliantly takes a behind-the-scenes look, through the eyes of her Frankish princess, at how European nobility utilized the institution of marriage to form alliances with rival courts in order to magnify their power and unite Europe with Britain’s most powerful rulers. Chant also demonstrates how very involved the Catholic Church was in the political maneuvers of Europe’s wealthiest families—So much so, that individual high-ranking clergy most often aligned themselves with whatever royal figure could gift them the most wealth and lands, thereby gaining power and influence within the Church. Chant’s story brings to light the old adage of “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer”.

Readers will find Chant’s main protagonist, Judith, quite provocative as she is transformed from an innocent maiden pressured by her father, King Charles of Frankia, to take her religious vows into one of the most influential women of the Dark Ages. With a keen mind and regal demeanor, Judith seems to cheat Fate at every turn as she maintains limited freedom through the use of her keen wit and feminine wiles. Judith's life is in constant peril as she strives to survive a series of highly controversial marriages—the first, in which she is married off by her father’s command to the elderly King Athelwulf; the second, to retain her powerful status as Queen of Wessex and avoid a lifetime of religious service; and finally the third, for true love.

Each of Judith’s marriages causes its own set of problems when political and religious factions choose their sides as they fight for the retention and enhancement of their own positions, power, and wealth. Judith’s story clearly demonstrates the lack of women’s rights during this dark period in history. Judith has a very limited say in her own destiny, but when she learns about the interdependence between the nobility and the Church, and how Kings use bishops and cardinals as pawns to keep their enemies in check and maintain their power, lands, and privileged lifestyles, she triggers a dangerous game in which her very life may be forfeited.

“Three Times the Lady” is a brilliant, in-depth character study of a young woman destined for greatness. It is obvious that Author Anna Chant has done a copious amount of research to write this novel, and she has molded an often shocking but eye-opening story around her main character. Although Judith of Wessex held no rights to her own body, she used her grace and intelligence to her advantage, thereby paving the way for the future of women's rights across the ages.

As an historian, I highly recommend “Three Times a Lady” for its accurate portrayal of Frankish/British/Church politics, arranged marriages, and the rights of women in the Dark Ages. Author Chant paints a vivid portrait of a woman who rose above all to steer her own fate through the manipulation of the existing system and developed a quite formidable personality. Stunning vistas, a chivalrous culture, and a determined young woman who became a highly influential historical figure provide an irresistible draw to readers in this sweeping, romantic tale. Readers who love Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, tales of the Dark Ages, myths and legends, and portraits of powerful figures throughout this era of history, will greatly enjoy this powerful and charismatic read.

Congratulations to the author on this award-winning story! This novel will be permanently featured on my website at under IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Reads!

Find "Three Times the Lady: The Story of Judith of Flanders (Women of the Dark Ages Book 3)" by Anna Chant on Amazon & Kindle here.

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