I like historical novels. I especially like them when it’s not yet another Anne Boleyn or Louis IV. Shadow of the Crown fits the bill as Bracewell takes us back to the years 1001 to 1005. Building on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Bracewell relates the story of young Emma of Normandy, sent by her brother to marry the much older King of England, an alliance that should benefit all. But the Danes hover over both England and Normandy causing havoc.
That Emma survives the brutality and triumphs is rather miraculous. Throughout the story you will be cheering for this vibrant smart young queen.
In 1002, fifteen-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son.
Determined to outmaneuver her adversaries, Emma forges alliances with influential men at court and wins the affection of the English people. But her growing love for a man who is not her husband and the imminent threat of a Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life.
Based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Shadow on the Crown introduces readers to a fascinating, overlooked period of history and an unforgettable heroine whose quest to find her place in the world will resonate with modern readers.