Brunhild was a foreign princess, raised to be married off for the sake of alliance-building. Her sister-in-law Fredegund started out as a lowly palace slave. Yet these two strategists reigned over vast realms, and in the process laid the foundations of what would be Charlemagne's empire. Yet after the queens' deaths their stories were rewritten, their names consigned to slander and legend. In The Dark Queens, Shelley Puhak sets the record straight. She resurrects two women in all their complexity, striking at the roots of some of our culture's stubbornest myths about female power.