This is the first book by Dumas that I have read, and I have to assume his better-known ones are also better written. My main problem is with the characters, particularly Queen Joan, his protagonist. It seemed that he had intended to cast her as an adulteress and the murderess of her husband, and he even says that her governess had "corrupted" her, but his portrayal constantly belies that intention. Her adulteries (two of them, I believe) are with men with whom she is in love, and her husband is shown as so despicable that it's hard to gin up too much outrage over his murder. We are told (not shown) that she repents of her part in it, but after having it drummed into our heads how beautiful and noble she is, it's hard to feel that she has much to repent for. All the other characters are fairly one-dimensional as well, and the last part of the book is mostly narrative - this happened, that happened. These flaws may also be a result of the book's length, which is only a little over 100 pages.