Matilda is summoned home after her husband the Emperor dies. Her brother has died and King Henry I has only a daughter for heir. He tries to find suitable husband for her and chooses young Geoffrey, Count of Anjou. Matilda is less than pleased with the decision but knows that duty comes first.Adeliza of Louvain is Henry I’s second wife and close to Matilda’s age. Despite Henry having bastards fron numerous women, Adeliza seems to be barren much to her distress. But everything changes when Henry dies and Matilda’s cousin Stephen takes the throne. The women’s close friendship gets tested when Matilda fights for her crown and Adeliza is married to William D’Albini who supports Stephen.Another great book by Chadwick! It was hard to put down and I wished I would have had more time to read it faster.Matilda is determined and strong and yet she’s not without faults and I really liked how she was portrayed. She did what she believed was right and would not back down. Matilda’s and Brian’s relationship was portrayed well and thankfully not glossed upon.I really enjoyed reading about Adeliza since there’s not much written about her. She was more submissive and gentler than Matilda but that doesn’t make her any weaker. I loved reading about her life with William which seemed to be a loving marriage.I wish there would have been more of Robert of Gloucester and it would have been interesting to know Stephen’s thoughts about the whole thing, But guess you can’t have all.