I Am the Chosen King (The Saxon Series #2)
In this beautifully crafted tale, Harold Godwinesson, the last Saxon King of England, is a respected, quick-witted man both vulnerable and strong, honorable and loving-and yet, in the end, only human. After the political turmoil and battles leading up to 1066, we all know William the Conquerer takes England. But Helen Hollick will have readers at the edge of their seats, h...more
I knew how this book was going to end. Even still, even knowing, I found myself turning the pages as it reached the conclusion hoping for a different result. Ms. Hollick writes a tale of Harold that had me rooting for him and wanting him to live. But alas, all students of history know that England lost its King that day and the memory of the date of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 remains.
This is the second book by Ms. Hollick I have had the good fortune to read; my first was The Forever Qu...more
Published March 2011
Trade paperback, 592 pages
Reviewed by Sandra
The Battle of Hastings, also known as the Norman invasion of Britain or the Norman Conquest, is familiar terrain to history buffs. I Am the Chosen King is essentially the lead-up to it as the book covers the years from 1043 to 1066 A.D. Viking raids still occur and Edward the Confessor, of Westminster Abbey fame, sits on the throne of England.
I found the...more
Harold Godwinesson is the son of Earl Godwin of Wessex. In his youth he falls in love with a beautiful woman, Edyth and takes her as his handfast wife. Because he knows that in the future he must make a alliance and get a wife in a Christian ceremony. We follow his life as he becomes Earl of East Anglia, as his sister Edith marries Edward (the confessor), as he fig...more
The author created characters out of single personality traits- petulant, beautiful, cruel, and of course the handsome and honorable Harold. I...more
Like Beethoven’s Symphony Number 7, I am the Chosen King starts out quiet and touching and then slowly, almost without you reali...more
Herein are Dowager Queen Emma of England, a daughter of Richard the Fearless Duke of Normandy, and widow of Ethelred the Unready and Cnut the Great, Kings of England. She and her son Edward the Confessor mutually detest each other. Edward refused to cohabit with his wife Edith, a sister of Harold Godwinson, presumably for rel...more
Harold the King is a great read. Helen Hollick has the ability to transport the reader right into the story / time frame. Her...more
"Yawn!" You might say...but you'd be wrong! It is a fascinating glimpse into medieval England when "English" names included those like "Aethelred," "Aelfgifu" and "Aedric."
Did you know that Queen Emma was the first woman who was crowned queen twice? Once to an ineffectual Anglo-Saxon king, Aethelred...more
I Am The Chosen King took me a lot longer to read than The Forever Queen and like many weighty historical fiction novels, I think it's best read when you have large chunks of time to devote to the experience. Due only to reading time constraints I wasn't as quick to fall in love with this...more
The characters seem shallow, and you never quite become intimate with Harold, and the gamut of minor characters don't even register. The only character I found with a bit of depth was William the Bastard.
The pacing was off, with constant wrangling back and forth between ultimately unimportant persons and their geographical settings, while years flutter by. This sapped much of the vitality...more
William The Bastard sets out ruthlessly to subdue Normandy and then to invade England for the British crown. We know that he became William I and overran England but he did not succeed in tot...more
The first book mainly followed Emma of Normandy and her two husbands and her reign as Queen of England. This book starts with the reign of Emma's son, Edward the Confessor, and ends with the Norman conquest....more
I knew how it ended, and that's about all I knew. (Art History, Medieval study, the Bayeux tapestry.) But as a reader of all English historical fiction that I find, I decided it was time to learn more about the battle of Hastings.
I found the books fascinating and full of information that I never knew. I enjoyed almost all of the journey.
And I now understand why the su...more