Phoebe's Reviews > I Am the Chosen King

I Am the Chosen King by Helen Hollick
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's review
Oct 17, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: adult, historical
Recommended for: Lisa
Read in October, 2011

Another harrowing yet deeply satisfying reading experience from this eminently talented author. Picking up quite close to where The Forever Queen leaves off, Hollick draws her readers into the complicated, hostile relationship between Harold and Swegn, Godwine's two eldest sons. Swegn is an unsavory character who causes all manner of grief for his family, and Harold is a warm, intelligent, sensible, and all-around nice guy who will eventually have the crown of England thrust upon him--and we all know how it will end for him. William of Normandy is an interesting, rather detestable character who, although he had absolutely no right to the English throne, changed the course of English history, and the author's afterword discusses the fact that all of the information we now have about that decisive battle of Hastings was provided by the Norman invaders, so we don't know what was real and what was invented. She also points out that "although William had himself crowned king, and while most of the male English aristocracy were replaced by Normans, the ordinary English--the Saxons--remained English. England was ruled by Normans but never became Norman--if that had happened, we would be speaking French, not English."

A glorious set of books, for anyone who loves English history and can drop out of responsibility for a little while. Highly recommended.

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