It is the year 1002. In a cynical political chess move by her brother the Duke of Normandy, fifteen year-old Emma is sent across the Channel to become the second wife of the English King Aethelred. Almost immediately she is thrust into a lion’s den of political and military intrigue among English, Norman and Viking rulers. All are eager to carve out territory and extend their influence, at the point of a sword, if necessary.
Thus begins Shadow On The Crown, book 1 in the Emma of Normandy Trilogy. Author Patricia Bracewell has done her history homework, embellishing Emma’s real story only slightly for dramatic effect. Much of Bracewell’s narrative is culled from original sources, including the 11th century Encomium Emmae Reginae, a contemporary account commissioned by Queen Emma herself. We are carried along in a terrific swirl of medieval English history as Emma quickly matures from naive teen to a politically astute young woman, desperate to save herself and her position among men who might just as easily discard her.
Book 2, The Price of Blood, has just been published and I look forward to reading more about this fascinating woman, Emma of Normandy, and her remarkable story of survival among men who played for the highest of stakes. Readers of historical fiction, political thrillers, and just good old storytelling will all find something to enjoy in Shadow On The Crown.
And you can reserve it here.