Shadow on the Crown

Shadow on the Crown A rich tale of power and forbidden love revolving around a young medieval queen In fifteen year old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England whom s

  • Title: Shadow on the Crown
  • Author: Patricia Bracewell
  • ISBN: 9780670026395
  • Page: 170
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 riA 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 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.

    One thought on “Shadow on the Crown”

    1. Shadow on the Crown is the first in a trilogy based on the life of Emma of Normandy. I'm feeling lazy today and other reviewers here have recapped everything nicely, so I'll pass on another rehash. I thought this was a solid effort from a first time writer, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Having read Helen Hollick's The Forever Queen (also published as A Hollow Crown), I was already familiar with the basics of Emma's life, but since there are so many gaps in the historical rec [...]

    2. Sadly, most people (even Anglophiles) are less versed with the Anglo-Saxon and Norman periods of English rule. Some may have heard of Emma of Normandy but only because she is the mother of Edward the Confessor. Patricia Bracewell attempts to remedy Emma’s silence in “Shadow on the Crown”.“Shadow on the Crown” begins in a slightly overwhelming manner, as a surplus of characters are introduced within alternating chapters/viewpoints making it somewhat difficult to immediately feel a conne [...]

    3. On Christmas morning, 1001AD King Aethelred of England's wife dies giving birth to their twelfth child. As king, he must find a second wife. Seeing an opportunity to strengthen his borders and make an alliance with Normandy, he agrees to a marriage with Emma, the sixteen year-old sister to the Duke of Normandy.Thirty-five year-old Aethelred is cruel, unpredictable and haunted. He treats Emma as little more than his broodmare, and fails to see the intelligent and clever woman she is, and the asse [...]

    4. Where I got the book: purchased at a conference. Signed. I know Pat Bracewell from the conference circuit and Facebook.This was my one buy at the 2013 Historical Novel Society conference because I'd read good things about it on . I wasn't disappointed. I don't generally like "kings and queens" historical fiction, but I enjoyed this account of Emma of Normandy's marriage to the king known in modern times as Ethelred the Unready. Possibly because OH THANK HEAVEN it was written in third person past [...]

    5. I'm going to have to start this review with the publisher's summary, simply because it's a really good one and does the job so much better than I would be able to:England, A.D. 1002In a world lit by fire and ruled by the sword, a fifteen-year-old girl kneels to receive an English crown – an act that will echo down the ages.Within that circlet of gold the ambitions of four powerful men are about to collide, for this young queen is the key to all that they desire.To a calculating Norman duke she [...]

    6. My rating: 4.5 of 5 starsA copy of Shadow on the Crown was provided to me by Viking Adult/Netgalley for review purposes."You must ever be prepared within yourself to face what trials may lay in store for you. let this be your first lesson: No one else must see you like this, Emma. Do you hear me? However great the provocation you must never allow anyone to see your fear."I'm a huge fan of historical fiction novels but to be honest, I don't branch out enough outside of my comfortable safe-zone kn [...]

    7. As I sit down to write this review, I find myself conflicted. Part of this book was very interesting to me and I enjoyed it. But there were things that I just didn’t like and couldn’t look past which affected my overall enjoyment of the book. I can’t call myself an expert on historical fiction but I have read my fair share and enjoyed quite a good number of them. I am not entirely sure this is one of them.Let me begin with Emma. Emma starts this story at the age of 15. She is sent by her b [...]

    8. Enjoyed this book immensely. I had previously read the second book in this trilogy. (But I would not advise reading any series backwards, especially history or historical fiction.)In this, the first of three books about Emma of Normandy, Emma marries Aethelred, the king of England in order to solidify a relationship between England and Normandy. Emma's brother, Richard, Duke of Normandy gains an alliance with a king who controls a vast area of England; Aethelred gets a promise that Richard will [...]

    9. "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 g [...]

    10. historicalreadings3.5 stars.Being the second of only two novels written about Emma of Normandy so far, it’s difficult not to compare this to the first, Helen Hollick’s The Forever Queen. Hollick’s novel is one of my favorites and so it would be difficult to stand up against in my eyes. At the same time, it's difficult to compare them because this novel only covers a portion of Emma's life whereas Hollick's novel covers her whole life.Shadow on the Crown tells a tale of a strong young woman [...]

    11. It never ceases to amaze me when I read a book such as this – one that is steeped in research and history and then weaved into a believable tale that is ripe with plot, voice and pacing. I’m all the more amazed for this is Bracewell’s debut novel.This novel is based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and fictionalizes the reign of King Athelred and his Norman queen, Emma. Bracewell does a superb job crafting a story rich in history, period details and vernacular that the [...]

    12. Find this and other reviews at: flashlightcommentary.Patricia Bracewell's Shadow on the Crown marked my first encounter with Emma of Normandy. The historic record is sketchy at best, so it isn't as if there's a lot of information for those looking to learn more about her, but even the basics were new to me. Naturally this blank slate mentality made it difficult to discern where fact met fiction, but it also made reading the book a unique experience as I was able to really lose myself in the narr [...]

    13. "Shadow on the Crown" is a beautifully written historical novel of love, loss, suffering and determination. Patricia Bracewell has created a vibrant world full of rich, engaging characters for the enjoyment of her readers. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, as it was well researched, creatively crafted and an overall enjoyable experience. If you are a fan of historical fiction, this book will not disappoint. The author has filled her pages with immaculate dialogue that transported me back i [...]

    14. I am torn: part of me is intrigued by Emma and what her role will be in the development of England, and the part of me is not eager to pick up the next book in this trilogy. I think that means a biography is in order. (Biographies are always in order.)Here are my problems:(view spoiler)[1. There are two POV / main female characters. One is the stalwart, brave, clever, virgin / mother Emma, who marries the evil king and fills his bed unwillingly. Then there is the conniving, whiny, materialistic [...]

    15. This is an excellent debut historical fiction novel. The plot is captivating, the characters are vivid and complex and the time period is portrayed so starkly real that I could see, taste, smell and feel everything that our central protagonist, Emma, did. It was brilliant from start to finish.Emma of Normandy is mostly known for her role as the mother of Edward the Confessor and also for her second marriage to Cnut the Great, when she became the Queen of England once more. This novel however foc [...]

    16. I had gone into this one expecting that it was going to be yet another historical romance, but instead found it to be a fairly solid historical novel. Not too many novels are set in England before the Norman Conquest, and this one tells the story of Emma, the sister of the Duke of Normandy who marries AEthelred II, king of the English. Expecting at least affection, Emma discovers herself in a court where her husband sees her as just a vessel to breed up sons on, a mistress who isn't above treach [...]

    17. Brilliant. Just brilliant. The beautifully described settings transport the reader to Saxon England. The complex and skillfully developed characters become friends . . . or enemies. Scenes of drama, love, and suspense are interspersed with quotes from historical texts, showing how and where the author embellished Emma of Normandy's story. Since her story takes place at the beginning of the 11th century, there is much left to the imagination. Bracewell fills in these gaps marvelously. I enjoyed t [...]

    18. In Shadow on the Crown, Patricia Bracewell has written an engaging story about Queen Emma and her journey from Normandy to England, embellished with forbidden love, crushing sense of duty, and ultimately hope. King Aethelred (the Unready) of England’s uncrowned wife has died in childbirth, and admidst unrest on his council and Viking raiders on England’s shores, he is forced into an alliance with Normandy. Emma is to be the peaceweaver whose influence spans the Narrow Sea. To Emma’s disapp [...]

    19. Started this book as a quick indulgent Saturday night read, and the writing was certainly more competent than I expected. However, I found the constant and unmitigated abuse of women (physical and sexual) to be very grating. While I understand that this was a common feature of medieval society, I feel that it was given undue reign in a book that took many imaginative liberties. I kept hoping for the two main female characters to overcome their social restraints and assert themselves; instead the [...]

    20. This was the first time I've ever read a book from this era, so the historical part of this was eye-opening. Unfortunately the narrative wasn't as great. I really did want to like it, but I had a hard time differentiating between all these Nordic names starting with E. And a book centered around a woman trying to produce an heir isn't exactly the most exciting of reads. The history was good though.

    21. Shadow on the Crown covers a few years around 1006, during the reign of Æthelred the Unready in England.  Emma, a Norman, is sent to marry Æthelred in order to secure peace between the Normans and the English.  But Æthelred is cruel, more interested in another woman, and all but ignores Emma. And Emma finds herself falling for Æthelred's son, Athelstan.  Emma struggles to keep her place as queen of England, despite rivals, a miscarriage, and her own dislike of Æthelred.  And, of cours [...]

    22. 3.5 Stars. This first book in this trilogy about Emma of Normandy started strong. Having read The Forever Queen, I enjoyed this different take from Bracewell. The first book covers Emma's marriage to AEthelred. This subject was braised over in The Forever Queen, so I enjoyed more detail and more history, especially the St. Brice's Day Massacre. The second half of the book on the other hand started dragging for me. Unnecessary storylines about side characters took up too many pages, in my opinion [...]

    23. I received a copy to review as a first reads winner.I started reading this book with an open mind. Not generally my genre, which I really should just leave a expectations behind because frankly I've come to find I don't rely have a set genre I like to read anymore. This book takes place long in the past when Kings & Queens ruled the land. As a debut novel I have to say it was very well written, consistent and easy to understand. I find more often than not novels written in this genre are to [...]

    24. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Bracewell's imagining of Queen Emma's early years of marriage to King Athelred and am eagerly anticipating the second and third books in the series. I especially liked her portrayal of King Athelred - his mistrust, his inner deamons, his brutality; and her inclusion of a meeting with a young Cnut. Well done!!

    25. Read by Katie FirthLength 13.7 hrs• UNABRIDGED This is the story of King Athelred of England and two women who fight for conquering his love: Emma, his Norman bride and Elgiva, his Anglo Saxon mistress.

    26. Highly enjoyable story that kept me captivated from start to finish. Enjoyed the way the author uses poetic license to fill in the blanks which does not detract from the story at all. Eagerly anticipating installments 2 and 3.

    27. I read a fair amount of historical fiction, but so much of it covers the same eras and places over and over again. Not that there's not a lot to draw from in Tudor or Regency England, or from WWI and WWII, but it's so refreshing to read historicals that draw from other eras, ones that I know less about. In fact, I knew nothing about the time period in which Shadow on the Crown is set, early eleventh century Europe, primarily England. Bracewell draws a brilliant portrait of a young woman sent to [...]

    28. Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/WriterRating: 4.5 out of 5 ControllersReview Source: PublisherReviewer: MeShadow on the Crown is an electrifying and adventurous breath of fresh air. It’s a medieval and semi-historical tale, which read with the appreciated ease of a swashbuckling fantasy. I couldn’t put it down, I did NOT want to put it down. The novel transported me to places, ignited my imagination, and delighted every book loving bone in my body.Based off the events recorded in the An [...]

    29. Medieval England in 1001 is disrupted not just by the power and might of the marauding Danes who seek to invade this prosperous country, but also by the volatile and unpredictable nature of its ruling King. When the Danish leader, Swein Forkbeard attempts to negotiate a truce with the ruling powers across the narrow sea in Normandy, the English king, Æthelred, in desperation, agrees to marry Richard of Normandy’s fifteen year old sister Emma, in return for Richard’s sporadic protection agai [...]

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