Book review: The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick
review by Becky
What kind of woman becomes the wife of two kings, and the mother of two more?
Saxon England, 1002. Not only is Æthelred a failure as King, but his young bride, Emma of Normandy, soon discovers he is even worse as a husband. When the Danish Vikings, led by Swein Forkbeard and his son, Cnut, cause a maelstrom of chaos, Emma, as Queen, must take control if the Kingdom-and her crown-are to be salvaged. Smarter than history remembers, and stronger than the foreign invaders who threaten England's shores, Emma risks everything on a gamble that could either fulfill her ambitions and dreams or destroy her completely.
Emma, the Queen of Saxon England, comes to life through the exquisite writing of Helen Hollick, who shows in this epic tale how one of the most compelling and vivid heroines in English history stood tall through a turbulent fifty-year reign of proud determination, tragic despair, and triumph over treachery.Praise for Helen Hollick
Available on Amazon.com: The Forever Queen
Absolutely 100% brilliant gripping epic storytelling with the greatest material provided by actual historical figures, locations and events. A book everyone should read before they die. The chapters may be minute but to be honest the strategy behind it is fantastic as each chapter is allowing the reader a brief glimpse back in time at important moments from histories records, both on record and off record, such as Queen Emma's wedding night with King Athelred, or when Athelstan defys his father's ill-advised actions yet again or when Canute first meets Queen Emma, when the young princes Edward and Alfred are cast into exile in Normandy for the majority of their lives, when Alfigfu of Northampton tries yet again to seat her son on the throne, the list goes on and on and because it is such a VAST span of history. A generation of history that is so often over-looked it is a true scandal and insult to the honour and memory of so many brave, charismatic, powerful and history-changing personalities. That all lived during the reign of the first Queen in England's young history to truly cause so much imbalance in the power-struggle filled world of men. It's only after reading this EPIC homage to Queen Emma that I learnt about the great Livia of Rome who married Octavious who went on to be known as Emperor Augustus and who lived quite a similar life and suffered a similar fate.
This is a great book for anyone interested in Anglo-Saxon, Norman, French, Danish history. Helen Hollick is perhaps written a story of equal mastery and beauty and depth as Bernard Cornwell. I do hope her awe inspiring narrative telling of this unqiue and incredible woman who changed the course of English history and who ultimately is responsible for 1066 and all that happened after, spreads far and wide and awakens the british public. As they realise that as much as we all love good old Elizabeth 1st for being the first female ruling monarch to reign for so long and so well in a world of male politics, a full six centuries before her Queen Emma just did as well if not more so with the simple difference being one was married (twice), the other wasn't.
Want to learn more about this amazing woman? We have another review right here.
Queen Emma and the Vikings
by Harriet O'Brien
This is the British Version. You might be able to grab this on amazon.com
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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