The Forever Queen (The Saxon Series #1)
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...more
A pewter sky hung low, brooding over a shrouding mist that sidled along the banks of the River Itchen and clung, wraithlike, to the cluster of alder and ash. Their shapes shifted and moved as the mist slithered through the trunks and oozed across the winter-bare ground; if spring was coming, it was a long way off. No bug showed on branch or bush; n
Married to Aethelred first, Emma is unhappy and I think this is the slowest moving part of the book and I will agree with other reviewers that is a little wordy at times in this section. Howev...more
Typically I hate readin...more
"Emma is the only woman to have been an anointed, crowned and reigning queen to two differ...more
First off, know that this book is a fictional filling in the blanks in the life of a historical figure from Anglo-Saxon England: a Queen Emma.
From this book I learned of the extensive intertwining of Danish Vikings with the Normans, and their further twining into England.
Second, I got a visceral sense of how uncertain life was for individuals with some degree of nobility or royalty. When a new king rose...more
Helen Hollick has obviously done her homework; it tells in the details. From the small bits of documentation that have survived since circa 1000 a.d., she has created a rich, accessible, realistic depiction of Queen Emma's world.
I was a little chagrinn...more
And don't be put off by the period...yes, it isn't those head-chopping Tudors or the silk and satined Georgians but if you know little about early British history you come out of this book with a wider knowledge...and quite a take on Canute, the on...more
Emma's world is full of violence, political intrigue, war and uncertainty - which makes for a gripping...more
Emma of Normany married King Aethelred when she was 13. One son would become Edward the Confessor. But the Swein Forkbeard of Denmark invaded together with his son Cnut, and all was lost. But Emma was one strong woman who after her husband's death married Cnut, and once again reigned as queen of England.
I loved it, the story was so rich in history and details, and it was exactly like a good historical novel should be like. Following the facts, but still inventing and creating a...more
What Hollick needs, however, is an editor who will ruthlessly pare down the purple prose and lop out the unnecessary filler that swells this novel into a doorstop.
There are scores of distracting vignettes that lift us away...more
* I am a huge fan of historical fiction and truly enjoy this genre. What really drew me to this story was that I had never heard of Queen Emma and I wanted to learn more about her life.
What worked for me:
* The descriptions! Wow..I felt like I was there in medieval England. Hollis has a magical way with her words which really brought the story to life for me.
* Emma- She is an amazing woman and I'm truly astounded that more books have not been written about her. T...more
I loved the character development, the solid references to real history (I forgave the slightly off things -- it's a novel!), and the quick pace. I was a little annoyed by how much time gets skipped, but since...more
The beginning was actually very interesting, and I liked the Queen as a 15 year old. I didn't like who she became, and as t...more
1.) Reasons you chose this book
I read Book 2 of Hollick's Arthurian trilogy Pendragon's Banner, and thoroughly enjoyed. Therefore, when another of her works was offered for review, I jumped at the chance. I am still going to read her Golden Age of Piracy based books though. Didn't forget about those :)
2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book
*Although this book is about Emma, it is also about the major players of England's history during this time. Although these characters ar...more
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When you find a woman to love, Cnut, your life changes forever.”