Shadow on the Crown (Book) Review
Not so much?
Shadow On the Crown is a very well written tale that easily draws you into life in medieval England. Emma is both believable and relatable as a character, and the way she deals with the constant adversities she encounters only makes the reader love her more. Patricia Bracewell has promised that this is just the first in a series of books about Emma of Normandy, and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next.
Emma of Normandy was a young woman with grace, honor, and poise. And she’s going to need all that and more when she weds King Athlered and becomes his queen.
In Shadow On the Crown, Patricia Bracewell has taken a captivating story from centuries ago, and made it real. Though the real Emma of Normandy lived over a thousand years ago, this story is written in such a way that it is easy to imagine yourself right there with Emma as leaves all that she has ever known to marry a troubled king she has never met. Though it is difficult not to feel like a pawn on a giant chessboard, Emma handles everything with poise and icy demeanor that is befitting a true queen.
Although this book is based on real events from England’s distant past, Shadow On the Crown is a fictional retelling of events that had little documentation. The author has studied much of the history of that time, and used the information to imagine what life must have been like for young Emma, her guilt stricken husband Athelred, the king’s eldest son Athelstan (who was very close to Emma’s age), and one who schemed to be queen at any cost, Elgiva. It is a tale of murder and betrayal, sex and love, a king and his people – but most of all, it is the story of Emma.
Emma, the sister of Richard of Normandy, was married off to the newly widowed king in an attempt at buying peace from Viking raids. Although Emma was rightfully cautious, she had no idea of the web of intrigue and lies that she is being sold into. Although she is just fifteen, she vows to behave as befitting a queen at all times, never showing her fear and misgivings at entering a strange country with a strange language, not to mention the marriage to a stranger. It is a time of great peril in England, as the Danes become ever more bold in their demands for gold in return for not plundering the country.
Though Emma struggles to find love and acceptance in England, she knows that she must do her duty to the country and her marriage by bearing a son. The king, however, already has many sons from his previous wife, who was not conferred the status of queen. There are many who fear the new queen will seek to place her children higher in the order of ascension to the thrown, and many who would die (or kill) for the chance at a crown. Emma must constantly be wary of those around her, any of whom could be spying or plotting. The life of a queen is not an easy cross to bear.
Shadow On the Crown is a well written tale that easily draws you into life in medieval England. Emma is both believable and relatable as a character, and the way she deals with the constant adversities she encounters only makes the reader love her more. Patricia Bracewell has promised that this is just the first in a series of books about Emma of Normandy, and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next.