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.
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.
Patricia Bracewell’s first installment in her Emma of Normandy trilogy, Shadow on the Crown, breathes life into eleventh century England and a little-known queen.
Bracewell’s Emma is clever, courageous, and fiercely intelligent, bound by duty and forced into maturity at a tender age. Told in multiple, distinct voices, Shadow on the Crown is an evocative coming of age tale as a young Norman girl becomes queen of medieval England. The story is rich in historical detail and gives the reader a glimpse into the customs, the daily life, the political machinations, and the language of that turbulent, uncertain era.
Compelling and lyrical, Shadow on the Crown, is a fast-paced read that transports the reader and brings gripping humanity to a young woman who is too often lost to the pages of history.