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The Sea Queen

(The Half-Drowned King #2)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,188 ratings  ·  168 reviews
An exhilarating Viking saga filled with the rich history, romantic adventure and political intrigue that have made Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, as well as Phillippa Gregory’s historical fiction and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology popular bestsellers. 

Six years after The Half-Drowned King, Ragnvald Eysteinsson is now king of Sogn, but fig
ebook, 480 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Harper (first published 2018)
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Sue I read the books in order...and an think reading them out of order might spoil the earlier book because the books are a continuation of the same chara…moreI read the books in order...and an think reading them out of order might spoil the earlier book because the books are a continuation of the same characters and their stories. (less)
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Will Byrnes
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Unna made a skeptical noise and tightened her arm in Svanhild’s “Every man will fail you eventually,” she said. “Look to your own future.”

…She seemed to be carved of ice and fire, not the wood and earth that made up most people.
In volume two of The Half-Drowned King trilogy, Ragnwald, (the glug-glug royal of book 1, henceforth referred to as Rags) is off engaging in battles to secure as much of Norway as possible for King Harald, and suffers a bad oopsy when he is tricked into attacking Ha
Amy Imogene Reads
4.5. stars

Vikings, Norse origin stories, swashbuckling sea epics, intrigue, betrayal, love, hate, brotherhood, suspense, surprises, death. And a dash of women's oppression/agency to make your emotions extra confused. The Sea Queen is such a large concept I don't even know how to break it down.

Plot: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★ and ★★★★
Sense of time and place: ★★ 1/2
Character growth: ★★★★★

The Sea Queen is the second book in the Half-Drowned King trilogy, which is set in a historically-grounded ancient Norway
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Half-Drowned King viking trilogy has been compared to the Game of Thrones books and in some ways this is understandable. Both consist of a series of assembled pages of mushed wood fibers bound with heavy covers and spines. Both are rectangular in dimension and portable. And both make top-grade spider crushers if you happen to stumble across a particularly aggressive arachnid scurrying across the kitchen floor. Yet in other ways this is unfair. Game of Thrones is such an established, popular ...more
The Sea Queen is the 2nd book in this trilogy. This book takes place 6 years after the Half Drowned King. We find Svanhild is married to Solvi Hunthiofason, her brother King Ragnvald’s arch enemy. Ragnvald is fighting battles for King Harold, who wants to rule all of Norway. There is much conflict between Ragnvald and Solvi and King Harold.
This series was inspired from “The Saga of Harold Harfagr”. It is very well written and researched but I seemed to enjoy the 1st book better.
I was very confus
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The second book of this trilogy was a fine Viking adventure, with fortunes changing with the wind and tides. The smell of the sea and the whirling Nordic sky are a welcome backdrop to life here in parched Florida, and I look forward to reading the final book.

My rating is 4.5.
Gary K Bibliophile
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Sea Queen is the second of Linnea Hartsuyker’s Half-Drowned King trilogy (I’ve also seen it listed as The Golden Wolf Saga). If you are reading this I’m hoping you read the first book (The Half-Drowned King). If you haven’t, there are some minor spoilers ahead regarding the first book.

This book picks up 6 years after the first. The war theater has expanded. Many kings who have refused to bend the knee have fled to either Iceland, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, as well as Ireland and Sc
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fc-for-review
Much of what I loved about The Half-Drowned King is repeated in this sequel, only much more enhanced. I've always loved Svanhild's character, but she has grown even more here. Her ambitions are much appreciated because if there is one good thing that comes from history, it is that women are determined not to be walked over. While Ragnvald is fighting his own battles concerning Harald, Svanhild is fighting an even bigger battle. It's no spoiler that she is a mother now, but she wants more for the ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hartsuyker creates an incredible background of Norway and melts family drama, alliences and Viking fights in a perfect way like no-one else!
When I finished the first book THE HALF DROWNED KING, I never thought that the second book can be that interesting and enjoyable, but it turned that The Sea Queen was even more thrilling and beautiful, I really love the sorting of acts the Author has written, and the details are perfect!
My biggest wish is to see these books in a big major picture, it really
Stephen Richter
What do you do if your genealogy goes all the way back to a King? You write a trilogy about the King. In this case it is the first King of Norway. In the second book of this series, Linnea uses her Brother and Sister POVs to continue the tale of King Harald's united Norway. Ragnvald and Svanhild are the characters used to retell the story . Story flows nicely around battles and political intrigues. ...more
1) The Half-Drowned King ★★★☆☆

"She seemed to be carved of ice and fire, not the wood and earth that made up most people."

I feel pretty much the same about this book as I did about the first novel of this trilogy. I absolutely love the amazing historical part the author put so much dedication into. She deserves a lot of praise for this, because it's not easy. The plot follow the end of The Half-Drowned King of course, so we have our two siblings, Ragnvald and Svanhild, each fighting their own bat
Kim McGee
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ragnvald the half-drowned king is still fighting battles to keep his kingdom and fight for Harald who will be the King of all Norway. This powerful sequel to THE HALF-DROWNED KING features more tough Viking women - none more fierce than Svanhild, dubbed the Sea Queen. While most women were passed from family to family for political alliances or survival, Svanhild knew better than most men how to play to win. She was a superior sea captain and understood the politics better than most men. Linnea ...more
Ned Lud
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I preferred the first volume in this series. Although this sequel was a pretty decent read. If a bit flat and anticlimactic. The author did extensive research while compiling this story. Which I really appreciate when reading historical fiction.
A. L.
3.5 rounded up to 4. A good, solid story. I’m enjoying learning part of the Nordic history I’d never learned before.
As I said in my review for the prior book, this sort of thing isn't my usual style at all, but it shares a lot of qualities with the sort of sprawling epic fantasy I tend to really enjoy, so I'm ultimately so very here for it. The plot is dense but never moves too quickly; the characters are engaging, compelling, and complexly intertwined in super delightful ways. The writing is gorgeous, and the worldbuilding (if you can call it that in historical fiction??) is so intricate and lovely. I really ...more
Rowena Andrews
I persevered with this one primarily because I had already got it out of the library and it seemed a shame to return it without giving it a chance, and I am glad I did, because it was a stronger book than the first one in the series.

I would still say that the characters and plot are weaker than the setting and detail, but they are more balanced this time, as though the author has settled more into the narrative. There was certainly a lot more depth to the plot than in the first book, and Svanhil
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Brilliant! Heartbreaking! Magnifiscent!
This outdo by far the previous volume and I can but marvel at the intricate story, the depth of the characters and their ambitions crossing what they want. I feel like I know them better and Svanhild owned the show throughout the book like a true sea queen! Ragnvald seems to have become a complicated man instead of a boy and I got to say I squealed when reading about Rolli and any of Ragnvald's sons, knowing what they would become next.
This was a wonderful
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this second part of Hartsuyker's trilogy of Viking [circa 9th C] life even more than the first, maybe because it focused more on the sister sibling, Svanhild, than her warrior brother. Svanhild is quite an adventurer herself but also had to learn how to navigate/negotiate/manipulate with the men around her for her very survival, not to mention success. It's an engaging world, easy to get lost in while reading; if you're like me you'll start speaking like a medieval Viking if you're not ...more
Holly Blevins
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I really liked this book! I saw it sitting on a shelf at the library and just grabbed it, and I'm glad I did. I didn't realize that it's the second book in a trilogy until over halfway through, because the author does a great job of informing the reader of the backgrounds and histories of the families. Very refreshing perspective on Vikings, especially women at that time. It was a lot of fun to read, thrilling and intense with plenty of action. I would read this again. ...more
I adored this book! My one quibble with The Half-drowned King, the first book in this trilogy, was that it dragged a little in places; The Sea Queen most definitely does not. I was deeply engaged through every turn in the fate of all the many characters and their complex relationships with one another, their loves and loyalties and betrayals. As the title indicates, this is first and foremost Svanhild’s book, and I absolutely love her. Can’t wait to see what Hartsuyker has in store for the final ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another good installment in this series. This one, as is pretty typical for a second book in a trilogy, has a LOT of moving parts and pieces and people...but Ragvnald and Svanhild are still the main focus of the plot, and that makes it worthwhile in the parts that drag a bit, because they're such engaging characters. ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Book two of this addictive and hard to put down Norse historical fiction. Svanhild is definitely becoming an all-time fave literary character for me. Compelling multi-character story about the battle for the unification and throne of Norway. Game of what now?
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Didn't get anything done the past 2 days because I just had to keep reading! Highly recommend. It's the 2nd book in a projected trilogy so read the 1st one before this one. ...more
Sydney Young
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even better than the first. The characters and world grow with more and more complications.
Monica Hills
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this one better than the 1st novel. There are aspects to these books that really draw me in and then at other times it is just too wordy. I get lost in all of the characters. I will read the 3rd when it comes out because I do want to know what happens. Plus I don’t get a chance to read many books about the 9th century that often.
Heidi Jeanine
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put the book down, adventure, history and all with a queen in the lead. ...more
Angelique Simonsen
FRUSTRATION! I loved the first book The drowned king but I cannot get into this one. It might be that I'm not in the mood ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sure enough, this did remind me of the middle seasons of Vikings, as the heroes go about securing more sons on more wives. What will become of Harald Finehair's quest to subjugate all Norway in the series finale? ...more
As a fan of Vikings (TV show), I was really looking forward to reading this, however, I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I had hoped.

Like the first book, the history and culture are clearly very well researched, and the characters are also well rounded and fleshed out, but I had a hard time connecting with them. The storytelling almost seemed detached from the characters, like I was reading an historical (rather sterile) account of the facts instead of being right there amid the action with
Ruth Harwood
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love a good icelandic saga - well-written and gripping!
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now that this review is live, here it is on the blog:

Long story short, loved it.
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I am a full time writer of historical fiction with an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU and a BS in Material Science and Engineering from Cornell University. I live and work in New Hampshire.

I am also an avid knitter, Crossfitter, traveler, and cook, and a reader of all genres of fiction and non-fiction.

Other books in the series

The Half-Drowned King (3 books)
  • The Half-Drowned King (The Half-Drowned King #1)
  • The Golden Wolf (The Half-Drowned King, #3)

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