Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Follow the Author
Lotharingia: Charlemagne's Heir (A novel of medieval Europe) (Comitissa of Tuscany Book 1) Kindle Edition
A unique tale of love and politics, betrayal and survival, male and female power, relics and prophecies, against the backdrop of the Investiture Controversy.
A.D. 1062. The Holy Roman Emperor is dead, and his underage son, snatched from his mother, is a puppet in the hands of regents. The fate of the empire lies in the hands of three women. Surprisingly, the Church takes their side, but Rome’s support has a price. Matilde refuses to be a pawn in the marriage game. Is she the child of Charlemagne’s prophecy?
HFC 2021 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER (WORLD HISTORICAL FICTION CATEGORY); SHORTLISTED FOR THE PAGE TURNER AWARDS; HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY EDITOR'S CHOICE; AMAZON HISTORICAL FICTION UK, CANADA, AND AUSTRALIA NO. 1 BESTSELLER.
From the royal halls of Germany to the papal Curia, to the walled cities, mighty fortresses, and rolling hills of Central Italy, Lotharingia is a rare journey through the characters and events that convulsed the Holy Roman Empire at the dawn of the second millennium.
Countess Matilde prepares to succeed her late father as margrave of Tuscany. A descendant of Charlemagne, heiress to the most prestigious relics in Christendom, and a trained warrior, she could comfortably rule on her own. To her dismay, the Church will support her extraordinary claim to power only if she accepts a traditional role and marries the Duke of Lotharingia - a man who fills her with dread.
Despite her formidable mother's diplomatic nous and mysterious relics of the Holy Blood, Matilde's efforts to extricate herself from her betrothal are crushed by the intrigues of the all-seeing papal archdeacon Ildebrando.
Across the Alps, the late emperor's son, King Heinrich, has come of age, in a court rife with passions and treasonous ambitions. Resenting the bride chosen for him, he stuns his subjects and Rome with a defiant request to divorce. Ildebrando shatters his hopes. When, after a chance meeting, Heinrich rescues Matilde from her abusive husband, friendship blossoms into forbidden love. If their sin is discovered, the Church may strike them down with excommunication - political and personal ruin. And unbeknown to Matilde and Heinrich, the stakes are even higher: Charlemagne's prophecy may be about to come true.
In the 11th century, Countess Matilde of Tuscany was the most famous woman in Christendom, a trailblazer who defied the gender expectations of her age to become the most powerful prince of the Holy Roman Empire for two generations. Exploiting the gaps and contradictions in medieval chronicles, Lotharingia weaves history and fiction into an alternative account of the world and challenges that shaped her youth, as she grappled with the constraints of femininity in her quest for self-definition, power, and love.
PRAISE FOR LOTHARINGIA
'Byrne writes beautifully and brings the politically unstable world of 11th-century Europe to life.' Historical Novel Society
'First-rate historical fiction.' Rose Auburn
'If a book could get ten stars, then this is one of them!'Historical Fiction Press
'A superbly constructed probable tale, spell-binding, sensual, and bittersweet, loaded with exquisite detail, and entirely engaging.'GoodReads Review
'Don’t pass this one up…. it’s a must if you enjoy medieval history!' NetGalley Review
'Something between the Medici and the Tudor, with a tad bit of Shakespeare thrown in.' Ink & Insights
'Historical fiction at its very best and a highly recommended read.' GoodReads Review
'In a period in which many noblewomen were no more than political pawns, the author has brought to light several strong female characters.'Rosie Amber Book Blog
From the Publisher
Matilde's birth place?
Matilde was a thirdborn and the exact day of her birth, in 1046, is not recorded, although the month of March has been put forward as a suggestion.
Her birthplace is also unknown. Some historians suggest the city of Mantova, others one of her father's magnificent castles guarding the roads to Rome on the Emilian-Tuscan Apennines. Rossena castle, shown here, is a short walk and an even shorter ride from her father's stronghold of Canossa. This countryside of rolling hills, rivers, and rock cliff fortresses was the setting of Matilde's childhood.
About the Author
Obsessed with history since childhood, after spending too long in a corporate career, Lara took redundancy to follow her dream: turning the period and characters she loves into stories.
Her debut novel Lotharingia made it to the shortlist of the 2020 Page Turner Awards, was Best World Historical Fiction at the HFC Book of the Year Award, and is a Historical Novel Society 2022 Editor's Choice.
Lara's fiction brings to light the larger-than-life personalities and political dramas that marked the history of the Holy Roman Empire in the middle ages. Her approach of thorough research paired with artistic licence delivers a blend of romance, political intrigue, religious mystery, and dynastic drama, rediscovering some of the extraordinary women, who changed the course of European history at the turn of the first millennium.
If you enjoyed Lotharingia, you will be happy to know that Lara is writing the sequel! The Road to Canossa is due to be released in 2022. Sign up to Lara's mailing list at for updates on its publication.
Lara is also on:
- GoodReads: goodreads.com/author/show/20593109.LARA_BYRNE
- Bookbub: bookbub.com/profile/lara-byrne
- Tweets as @larafbyrne
- ASIN : B094G4XPB3
- Publication date : May 28, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3065 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 432 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #85,784 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #42 in Historical Italian Fiction
- #48 in History of Medieval Europe
- #121 in Historical European Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Despite being right next door, there's no mention of William of Normandy's monumental conquest of Britain, which happens during the chronology of the story and would DEFINITELY have concerned King Heinrich. And, of course, it takes place before the 1st Crusade. I'm about 60% through the text and the most I've gotten out of it is that the Church is far more about power than pastoral, and wants to have an iron grip on all the laity--kind of like the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Will I make it to the 2nd novel? I do not know but unless it picks up a lot, probably not.
Top reviews from other countries
Against this background misadventures of an ever changing political power base between the Church, comprising various high officials, the Pope, & a number of Dukes, Princes all brokering to be King, Emperor. Not a book to read if you expect action on the battlefield.