The central conflict in this exciting historical novel is focused on the character of Eleanor of Aquitaine and how she grew up to be a highly significant and important female figure in history. In particular, what is noted through the way in which her life is charted in this story is the parallel between the Middle Ages and the pre-adolescent child who is herself of "middle age." Eleanor is shown to initially lack wisdom and astuteness and also to be rather literal. One of the central conflicts of this story therefore is the internal conflict that Eleanor faces as she must mature and become wiser on her path to becoming a significant historical figure. She needs to conquer her own lack of perspective and literal nature to become one of the most significant female figures in European history.
This of course correponds to the way in which the novel really centres on the life of Eleanor and the sense in which life is presented as something that we choose and a life-long development based on a series of options that we ourselves make as we decide the kind of person that we want to be. There is a massive difference between the Eleanor that we first meet in the novel and the final Eleanor that we are presented with, and this makes us focus on the change in the interim and the kind of choices that Eleanor has made to become the famed Queen from history.