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European Royalty Group Reads > Shadow on the Crown: Ch. 1 - 18

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Please discuss Shadow on the Crown Chapters 1 to 18 here.


message 2: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Enjoying it so far and I thought the set up and introductions of all the politics was well done. Not sure how I feel about the romance between Emma and Athelstan - wasn't expecting that since I've read that evidence suggests there was no affection between them. Fair play putting another spin on it, there is not that much known about Emma - but I still don't completely understand what made Athelstan do a u-turn and decide to give her a chance when she is the very person who could threaten his position as heir. Was it only because he saw her playing with his siblings? Or to spite his father? Or both?


message 3: by Kirstin (new)

Kirstin (kteller585) | 3 comments i think it had a lot to do with Emma being young and beautiful. in Shadow on the Crown she is also depicted as a very loving and compassionate person. i think this is very intriguing to Athelstan especially because royal women were not encouraged to behave like that. She is also forbidden to him as his father's wife.


message 4: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments I get why he loves her - just not why he initially decided to give her a chance and invite her on a horseback ride. Plus, we didn't really see their relationship blossom - it felt to me like one minute he hated her, the next he loved her and I just wasn't really feeling it. Otherwise it's been great though and I know it's not a romance novel but I wouldn't consider SKP romance either and yet the relationships in her novels are always thoroughly explored, romantic and non. I guess it's not fair to compare a debut author to SKP but I did just finish one of her novels so it's hard not to.


message 5: by Whimsical (last edited Mar 22, 2013 08:40PM) (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 55 comments I think Athelsan's motives for the moment, is to find out what is causing his father to act so weird and the only way to find out is through is wife, Emma. I think he has many questions concerning his father the least of which is his reason for marrying and kind of agreement he made with the Danes. He suspects that something is a foot but he does not know what it is and hopes use Emma to find it. Both their actions, Althelstan and Emma's might be forbidden but then, they are not ordinary individuals, both are headstrong and and very driven and both seem unafraid.


message 6: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 55 comments Robin wrote: "Enjoying it so far and I thought the set up and introductions of all the politics was well done. Not sure how I feel about the romance between Emma and Athelstan - wasn't expecting that since I've ..."

I see what you mean about Athelstan's and Emma's relationship--it seem to have come out of no where. We were not given any clues by the author. Having said that, they both seem to be of the same opinion that his father, her husband, is doing himself a deservice by ordering the killing of all Danes- that and they have spent allot of time together. I wonder if it will be revealed later what really brought them together and how either will benefit from this relationship?

I also wonder why Athelred agreed to a marriage when he seems to hate the idea of marriage--he treats his wives as he would a prisoner, has no respect for women in general, does not care about female off-springs but negotiates with the Danes for a wife (Emma)-- the agreement made with Emma's brother does not benefit him. Is he just wacky or is it a ploy?


message 7: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments I think he married again because it was politically advantageous - a marriage to Emma would help prevent the Danes from attacking England and a marriage to Elgiva would strengthen the relationship with the north, which was still brittle. Had it not been for those two advantages I don't think he would have even considered marriage again.


message 8: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 55 comments Robin wrote: "I think he married again because it was politically advantageous - a marriage to Emma would help prevent the Danes from attacking England and a marriage to Elgiva would strengthen the relationship ..."

Thanks Robin--excellent point one I did not consider. However, I think Athelred is a "hothead." The agreement he made with Emma's brother was to ward off future attacks from the Danes; however, he literally insighted an attack from the Danes by killing Danes living in his country, without provocation. The reason he gives is the so-called asassination attempt which was something he orchestrated, which leaves me baffled. Any thoughts?

One last thought, Emma although very young is very intuitive which is something we would expect from someone older and more experienced. What besides the treatment from her husband do you think is causing her to be cynical?


message 9: by Robin (last edited Mar 26, 2013 02:56AM) (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments Yeah, he very shortsighted and poorly advised, as his own son points out. He is known as Athelred the Unready but this is a mistranslation from the Old English 'Unraed' which means poor counsel, a play on Athelred's name which means noble counsel. One of the other things I don't think was too well done in the novel so far is the fact that we only hear about Athelred's advisors via Athelstan saying his father is ill advised. But Athelstan is obviously bias so all the blame for poor decision making is laid on Athelred. His advisor Eadric Sterona especially should play a large role in this story and maybe he will later on, I'm still only about half way through plus there are two more books to come. But so far it's really only been about Emma, Athelred, and Athelstan.

I think Bracewell is also portraying Athelred as not entirely mentally stable, because he is so haunted by his past, he is paranoid and seeing shadows where they don't exist. I think this is why he fabricated a reason to slaughter the Danes - in his head, it was real.

As for Emma, she does seem wiser beyond her years but I am actually pleased to see this for once - I feel like a lot of authors make teenaged characters too childish and immature when in their day, they would have been considered adults and expected to think and behave like adults. Emma is the perfect example of a woman well groomed and primed for a political marriage.


message 10: by Whimsical (new)

Whimsical (goodreadscomb_flowers) | 55 comments Robin wrote: "Yeah, he very shortsighted and poorly advised, as his own son points out. He is known as Athelred the Unready but this is a mistranslation from the Old English 'Unraed' which means poor counsel, a ..."

Thanks Robin. I am especially glad to hear that this book is the first in a series--that explains allot. I can't wait to see how it all plays out! I love Emma as a female protagonist, a woman in a man worlds who can gives as good as she gets. But, I am anxious about Elgiva because of her ambitions to unseat Emma and her proximity to Athlered whose hatred for the Danes and the dislike for his wife, Emma, makes it seem that Elgiva has all the advantage she needs.


message 11: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 55 comments I think that Emma has the right mix of innocence and strategic thinking. She knows her role but is still struggling in such a hostile environment. I love how she has become a mother figure to Athelred's younger children. It must of been her way to find some connection to her new home.

I am curious as to where her relationship with Athelstan will lead. I think I read that he is 17?


message 12: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Is anyone still reading? I just started last week.. I love Emma of Normandy, my 3rd book about her.
I am a little bit confused with the invasion by Sweyn Forkbeard so early in Emma's reign..I guess he came multiple times..
Will be standing in line for the next 2 books and hate for it to end. A fascinating period in history.
Kathleen


message 13: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments I'm still reading, but I just haven't had the time to sit down with this book (I think I've renewed it three times already). I am enjoying it when I get to it, so I think it's more a problem with me than with the book, lol.


message 14: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments I'm still reading, about 3/4 through. I'm a little confused about the timeline too but I'll have to check my nonfiction book on Emma. Bracewell is definitely taking more liberties with the unknown than Helen Hollick did with her novel on Emma. Not that that's a bad thing, it makes a great story but it feels less likely to be real history.


message 15: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Yes I have a nonfiction book and Helen Hollick's book.It does make it a great story for sure. I liked that she terminated the romantic interlude between Athelstan and Emma.I am such a realist that I need to know how accurate it is.


message 16: by Whitney (new)

Whitney (whitneychakara) | 11 comments almost picked this book up at BN today. Really want to read it :(


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