Book review: Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell
review by Becky
A rich tale of power and forbidden love revolving around a young medieval queen
In 1002, fifteen-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son.
Determined to outmaneuver her adversaries, Emma forges alliances with influential men at court and wins the affection of the English people. But her growing love for a man who is not her husband and the imminent threat of a Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life.
Based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the perfect antidote to Tudor fatigue, Shadow on the Crown is packed with nonstop action, romance, and plenty of deliciously creepy Gothic flavor.
Available on Amazon.com: Shadow on the Crown: A Novel
Patricia has brought a renewed Emma back to life and in a way that makes her characters and historic retelling uniquely different but equally as strong as Helen Hollicks version. It is a must read for women as well as fans of historical fiction in general. It has all the energy, drama and gripping storytelling of many leading male authors of viking age fiction. I believe it is a great stepping stone to introduce people to this much forgotten period of history and Englands first strong Queen a full five centuries before Elizabeth I.
I am so glad that Patricia is dedicating a proposed trilogy to Emma as her story deserves it. She has masterfully shown how truly young Emma was when she became Queen of England and also rather interestingly how her newly adopted step sons were as well. She has shown how unsettling it must have been for the princes of Ethelreads first wife to have a new mum who is their age. Not to mention the new political dilemma they would find themselves in when Emma finally produces a son of her own, none other than Edward (yet to be known as the Confessor).
I am pleased to say that there are many parts of this amazing era of history that Patricia has told in a much different view to fellow Emma author Helen Hollick. It doesnt make the two clash if anything it nicely compliments and yet remains independent at the same time. Another highly exciting and evocative piece of debut historical fiction that promises much much more to enjoy.
Want to learn more about this amazing woman? We have another review right here.
Queen Emma and the Vikings
by Harriet O'Brien
Patricia has released the sequel to this book. It is: The Price of Blood. Becky has reviewed it here
Want to adventure throught the lands of the Vikings? The height of the Vikings is an amazing period of time and there is a lot of great fiction that is based on historical facts from that period and place. Rebecca Wilson has written a guide to the genre and to some of the best works in the genre.
If you are fascinated by the subject of Vikings you should check out her blog at: http://www.soulchaserbecky.blogspot.com/
You can follow her on Twitter @soulchaserbecky.
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