Sheree's Reviews > I Am the Chosen King

I Am the Chosen King by Helen Hollick
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's review
Jan 20, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: arc, historical-fiction, read-in-2011, reviews
Read from January 20 to February 15, 2011

In I Am The Chosen King Helen Hollick eloquently continues the story of Saxon England begun in The Forever Queen culminating with one of the most famous dates in English history; 1066 and the Battle of Hastings.

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 one as I was with The Forever Queen. However Harold and Edyth & Hollick's meticulous attention to detail and plausible artistic license won my heart in the end.

We follow Edward's reign (son of Aethelred and Emma) as King of England (in name only) as Earl Godwine does all the hard work in ruling England. Hollick gives a colourful rendition of the exploits of the Godwin family and a highly detailed account of the events leading up to the Norman conquest.

Once again the author excels with character portrayal. Duke William of Normandy was both fascinating and terrifying, Edith and Tostig (Harold's siblings) grasping, self centred and easy to dislike. The love between Harold Godwinesson and his handfasted wife Edyth brought tears to my eyes and while it was expected he would marry in the christian way eventually, I was saddened when it actually occured; even though his Queen, Alditha is sweet and understanding.

The descriptions of the Battle of Hastings were breathtaking, and heartbreaking, I had goosebumps reading these scenes. Hollick's author notes were a wonderful addition and much appreciated by this reader. All up, another winner for Helen Hollick and fans of historical fiction.

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Reading Progress

01/20/2011 page 25
01/31/2011 page 269
45.0% "really enjoying this one now!"
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