Author: Patricia Bracewell
Publish Date: February 1, 2013
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "A rich tale of power and forbidden love revolving around a young medieval 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. "
My Two Cents:
"Shadow on the Crown" is the first book in the Emma of Normandy trilogy by Patricia Bracewell. Emma is a young woman who is forced to marry King Aethelred of England. She is married off to him as so many medieval women were married because her family wanted to form an alliance. The king isn't all too happy to being married to Emma and is very suspicious of her true motives. This book is a great opening to a trilogy about a woman that I knew little about before I opened this book!
This book is a great kick off to the trilogy! We are introduced to many different characters. Our main character, Emma, is a really interesting character because as a medieval woman she really doesn't have much control over her own destiny. However, that she is incredibly strong and incredibly good at doing well with what she has. I really like getting to know her as a character. We get to follow her as she is a new bride and as her relationship with the King begins to change. We get to see her secret love and are privy to some of the things that she keeps hidden from most others! The author writes her in such a vivid way!
One of the problems with trilogies is that at the end of this book I found myself wanting more. Luckily I waited enough time so I was able to read the second book, The Price of Blood, right after this first book. However, the last book in the trilogy is not out yet. This is great historical fiction because of the detail that the author uses in order to bring the character to life. I like how vivid she was able to make Emma's life at court to me.