Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme where we randomly select a book from our Goodreads To Be Read list and share it with the world. It’s hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners, so be sure to link back to her site so that we can all see what everyone plans to read!
The Forever Queen
by Helen Hollick
Published in December 2010, by Sourcebooks Landmark
What kind of woman becomes the wife of two kings, and the mother of two more?
Saxon England, 1002. Not only is Æthelred a failure as King, but his young bride, Emma of Normandy, soon discovers he is even worse as a husband. When the Danish Vikings, led by Swein Forkbeard and his son, Cnut, cause a maelstrom of chaos, Emma, as Queen, must take control if the Kingdom- and her crown- are to be salvaged. Smarter than history remembers, and stronger than the foreign invaders who threaten England’s shores, Emma risks everything on a gamble that could either fulfill her ambitions and dreams or destroy her completely.
Emma, the Queen of Saxon England, comes to life through the exquisite writing of Helen Hollick, who shows in this epic tale how one of the most compelling and vivid heroines in English history stood tall through a turbulent fifty-year reign of proud determination, tragic despair, and triumph over treachery.
I’m a big fan of The British History Podcast, and right now, Jamie has been discussing the reign of the failed king Æthelred and how he lost his crown to Swein Forkbeard. Though Emma of Normany does not come up very much in the story, her marriage to Æthelred, according to Jamie, leads directly to the Norman Conquest in 1066. The longer I listen to the BHP, the more interested I get in England’s history prior to 1066. I went looking for historical fiction set before the twelfth century and only found a few offerings– one of which was The Forever Queen.