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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Queen Emma Of Normandy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Young Emma of Normandy must have needed a great deal of determination, strength and courage to leave her homeland and marry a much older English king.  Patricia Bracewell has created a heroine with all of these qualities in her captivating debut novel, Shadow on the Crown.

She has imagined a heroine who has to deal with a husband, King Aethelred, who is haunted by the death of his brother, Viking foes and a star-crossed love.  Emma has to think on her feet and strive to be resourceful as she attempts to win the love of her people, and decide who is really on her side.

Elgiva, another strong character, is a worthy rival to Emma.  A well-rounded character, her motivations are always understandable, and Patricia Bracewell even manages to make her likeable at times.

This well-researched and exciting novel will keep you reading late into the night, as Emma and her kingdom are beset by rapacious Vikings and intricate intrigues by traitors hiding in the highest echelons of the court.  But life is not all harsh even in these dark ages.  Patricia Bracewell also brings the extravagant ceremonies of the time to life with her descriptions of lavish feasts by roaring fires.

This is part of a trilogy.  I hope that we don't have to wait too long for the next instalment!



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Young Emma of Normandy must have needed a great deal of determination, strength and courage to leave her homeland and marry a much older English king. Patricia Bracewell has created a heroine with all of these qualities in her captivating debut novel, Shadow on the Crown. She has imagined a heroine who has to deal with a husband, King Aethelred, who is haunted by the death of his brother, Viking foes and a star-crossed love. Emma has to think on her feet and strive to be resourceful as she attempts to win the love of her people, and decide who is really on her side. Elgiva, another strong character, is a worthy rival to Emma. A well-rounded character, her motivations are always understandable, and Patricia Bracewell even manages to make her likeable at times. This well-researched and exciting novel will keep you reading late into the night, as Emma and her kingdom are beset by rapacious Vikings and intricate intrigues by traitors hiding in the highest echelons of the court. But life is not all harsh even in these dark ages. Patricia Bracewell also brings the extravagant ceremonies of the time to life with her descriptions of lavish feasts by roaring fires. This is part of a trilogy. I hope that we don't have to wait too long for the next instalment!

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