web site hit counter The Steel Beneath the Silk - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Steel Beneath the Silk

Availability: Ready to download

A breathtaking conclusion to Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy Trilogy, brimming with treachery, heartache, tenderness and passion as the English queen confronts ambitious and traitorous councilors, invading armies and the Danish king’s power-hungry concubine. In the year 1012 England’s Norman-born Queen Emma has been ten years wed to an aging, ruthless, haunted King Æthelred. T A breathtaking conclusion to Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy Trilogy, brimming with treachery, heartache, tenderness and passion as the English queen confronts ambitious and traitorous councilors, invading armies and the Danish king’s power-hungry concubine. In the year 1012 England’s Norman-born Queen Emma has been ten years wed to an aging, ruthless, haunted King Æthelred. The marriage is a bitterly unhappy one, between a queen who seeks to create her own sphere of influence within the court and a suspicious king who eyes her efforts with hostility and resentment. But royal discord shifts to grudging alliance when Cnut of Denmark, with the secret collusion of his English concubine Elgiva, invades England at the head of a massive viking army. Amid the chaos of war, Emma must outwit a fierce enemy whose goal is conquest and outmaneuver the cunning Elgiva, who threatens all those whom Emma loves.


Compare

A breathtaking conclusion to Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy Trilogy, brimming with treachery, heartache, tenderness and passion as the English queen confronts ambitious and traitorous councilors, invading armies and the Danish king’s power-hungry concubine. In the year 1012 England’s Norman-born Queen Emma has been ten years wed to an aging, ruthless, haunted King Æthelred. T A breathtaking conclusion to Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy Trilogy, brimming with treachery, heartache, tenderness and passion as the English queen confronts ambitious and traitorous councilors, invading armies and the Danish king’s power-hungry concubine. In the year 1012 England’s Norman-born Queen Emma has been ten years wed to an aging, ruthless, haunted King Æthelred. The marriage is a bitterly unhappy one, between a queen who seeks to create her own sphere of influence within the court and a suspicious king who eyes her efforts with hostility and resentment. But royal discord shifts to grudging alliance when Cnut of Denmark, with the secret collusion of his English concubine Elgiva, invades England at the head of a massive viking army. Amid the chaos of war, Emma must outwit a fierce enemy whose goal is conquest and outmaneuver the cunning Elgiva, who threatens all those whom Emma loves.

30 review for The Steel Beneath the Silk

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Bilyeau

    A queen's courage in the face of war, lost love, and betrayal takes center stage in this novel about Emma of Normandy, a woman whose critical role in English history is not as well known as it should be. I felt like I was plunged into the 11th century, thanks to the action-fueled pacing and sharply conveyed atmosphere. Anyone who enjoys 'Vikings' and 'The Last Kingdom' and is eager to read about the lives of women in such a tumultuous era should seize this book and prepare for an unforgettable s A queen's courage in the face of war, lost love, and betrayal takes center stage in this novel about Emma of Normandy, a woman whose critical role in English history is not as well known as it should be. I felt like I was plunged into the 11th century, thanks to the action-fueled pacing and sharply conveyed atmosphere. Anyone who enjoys 'Vikings' and 'The Last Kingdom' and is eager to read about the lives of women in such a tumultuous era should seize this book and prepare for an unforgettable saga.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    I really enjoyed Shadow on the Crown, the first in the Emma of Normandy trilogy, so when I was offered a review copy of The Steel Beneath the Silk, I jumped at it. I even reread Shadow on the Crown to make sure everything was fresh in my head (it didn’t hurt that the British History Podcast is covering about this era) and it all paid off. The Steel Beneath the Silk covers the last few years of King Æthelred the Unready and the transition from Æthelred to Edmund Ironside (for a very short time), a I really enjoyed Shadow on the Crown, the first in the Emma of Normandy trilogy, so when I was offered a review copy of The Steel Beneath the Silk, I jumped at it. I even reread Shadow on the Crown to make sure everything was fresh in my head (it didn’t hurt that the British History Podcast is covering about this era) and it all paid off. The Steel Beneath the Silk covers the last few years of King Æthelred the Unready and the transition from Æthelred to Edmund Ironside (for a very short time), and then to Cnut the great. Since this series is about Emma of Normandy, the book focuses on what she’s doing and how she’ reacting to all these events. If you want details on what’s going on, Emma’s Wikipedia page (and those of her husbands) can give you an overview. The key difference between this book and Shadow on the Crown is that in the first book, Emma is still finding her footing in the English court. By the time The Steel Beneath the Silk starts, Emma has come into her own as a queen and she has managed to cultivate her own allies. She is truly a queen by this point and she acts like one. Honestly, I loved this book so much. All the characters here are well-written and I find that I don’t have that many characters I hate even though everyone’s at war with everyone. The only one I dislike is Elgiva, who remains as power-hungry as she was in the first book, but I do appreciate her as a counterpoint to Emma’s character. The other characters who dislike Emma, such as Edmund and Æthelred, I could still somewhat sympathise with even if I disagreed with them. One of the most interesting parts of the book was the character development of Cnut. He starts off as the villain, since it’s him and his father who’s invading England, but we gradually start seeing him as a pretty principled person. I don’t quite want to give spoilers but there was one relationship in the first book that had to end badly (because of what happens with Cnut – you could read Wikipedia/a summary of Emma’s life for the spoiler) and I thought Bracewell handled that transition seamlessly. Cnut gets rehabilitated pretty well in the reader’s eyes and I ended up really satisfied with the ending. Now, one small confession: I mentioned this was a trilogy in my first review, but I forgot about the second book so I pretty much read the first book and then this. I have to admit, it felt pretty seamless but given how immersive and addictive these two books are, I’m definitely going to have to go back and read book two. I can’t finish this review without mentioning the author’s note. If you’re interested in the history behind the books, you’ll definitely appreciate the discussion on why certain characters were written a certain way and when certain authorial decisions were made. If you’re a fan of historical fiction or you just like really immersive books with well rounded characters, you definitely have to read the Emma of Normandy trilogy. I’m still learning about British history, but even without knowing much, I enjoyed these books so much and would definitely recommend them. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher but all opinions in this review are my own. This review was first posted at Eustea Reads

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bruno

    The Steel Beneath the Silk Blog Tour with HF Virtual Book Tours! March 1-30

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    A well-researched look into one of the most fascinating times in British history. I found this book fairly interesting and entertaining, if a bit slow at times. It's a very in-depth look into the politics of the time with a decent dash of romance thrown in, but it lacks a bit of actual action. I really would have liked it if the book covered more years/historical territory. It goes so in-depth that the plot barely moves for chapters at a time. We see the same situation from multiple different PO A well-researched look into one of the most fascinating times in British history. I found this book fairly interesting and entertaining, if a bit slow at times. It's a very in-depth look into the politics of the time with a decent dash of romance thrown in, but it lacks a bit of actual action. I really would have liked it if the book covered more years/historical territory. It goes so in-depth that the plot barely moves for chapters at a time. We see the same situation from multiple different POVs, which slows everything down. It's very reminiscent of ASOIAF, but without dragons and the majority of the things that made that series so fun. There are a few too many instances of the words "across the Narrow Sea" and "King in the North" for it to be anything other than a deliberate mimicry. I get that Martin got these terms from history, but they are used so often in this book that it's like watching a lost pilot from some show made by the same people as GOT but set in the eleventh century. If you liked all the politics of GOT, you will probably like this book. If you found GOT too slow and only cared about the dragons and White Walkers, this book will likely be too slow. My biggest complaint with this book was in the choices the author made regarding place names and personal names. She uses jarl and thegn, but then most of the place names are in their modern form (so Canterbury instead of the Anglo-Saxon Cantwareburh, etc). But York (which should rightly be called Eoforwic to the Anglo-Saxons) is called Jorvik?!?! Is there some method to this madness or did the author just arbitrarily decide which place names would be accurate to the time? I understand that at this time the spelling of place names was all over the place, but I strongly feel the author should have gone with either all Anglo-Saxon spellings or all modern/Norman spellings. Since she refers to Wales as the "Waylisc kingdoms" she should at least refer to the English as the Englisc. Maybe there will be an explanation for the place names in later copies of this book but there wasn't in mine. But my biggest pet peeve was how the author described everyone's age. No one is just 27. They are all X winters or summers old. Emma's son is six summers old and her step-son is twenty seven winters old. Why can't they just be X years old, at least occasionally? "Edyth, all of eighteen summers old .... had been wed for five years to the..." She can use years in this context but not for someone's age? It was just really overdone for me. And every single person's age is told in this way. Every. Single. Time. And not just at the beginning of the book either, but all throughout. If someone's age is mentioned, they're never simply twenty, it's "the man had seen only twenty winters, but he...." All that said, there was a decent amount about the book to like. Names aside, the history of the book is solid and the author really shines when detailing some of Emma's more interesting accomplishments. I wish the series moved a bit faster--three books in and Emma is still only in her twenties--but I'm glad we got to see some of the stuff with Swein and Cnut. I could have lived without all the romantic drama between Emma and her step-son and without quite so many exclamation points, but I loved the little excerpts from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The author does a good job explaining the political scene of the time and it's nice that we get to see all the sides of the political spectrum through multiple narrators, but everything just felt a little too drawn out and a little too slow-paced for my taste. I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Renae

    After a six-year wait, Patricia Bracewell's trilogy about Queen Emma of Normandy comes to a close in The Steel Beneath the Silk. The is an ambitious book that chronicles the massive upheaval during the final years of King Æthelred the Unready's reign, as seen through the eyes of several key players during the era—not least of all his wife, Emma. After re-reading Bracewell's first two books and then this one, my verdict is as follows: this is a perfectly good book, but it doesn't fully satisfy. My After a six-year wait, Patricia Bracewell's trilogy about Queen Emma of Normandy comes to a close in The Steel Beneath the Silk. The is an ambitious book that chronicles the massive upheaval during the final years of King Æthelred the Unready's reign, as seen through the eyes of several key players during the era—not least of all his wife, Emma. After re-reading Bracewell's first two books and then this one, my verdict is as follows: this is a perfectly good book, but it doesn't fully satisfy. My primary complaint with respect to this novel is that it feels rushed, wooden, and a bit clumsy. While I don't think there is enough material here to expand out into two books, Bracewell had a lot of ground to cover, and in her attempts to fully paint the sociopolitical picture of the time, other aspects of good fiction writing had to be scaled back or altogether abandoned. In order to keep the complex dynamics between the various military leaders straight for her readers, Bracewell primarily relies on dry expository passages that read more like a summary than true, in-the-moment storytelling. And between the cramped plot movements and historical events, there is little space for the author to invest in the people who populate her pages. I do understand that certain genres (historical fiction included) tend not to emphasize character development to the extent that you might expect in, say...romance novels or many types of literary fiction, but Bracewell truly lost sight of her protagonist here amidst all of the war and scheming and moving pieces of international conflict. The Steel Beneath the Silk spends a fair amount of time telling readers what Emma and the other characters do, but aside from a few awkward attempts to tell the audience how Emma feels, there isn't much of a sense of character here. And there's certainly no "showing" at all. (This is made particularly worse, by the way, when the author crams a poorly constructed romantic arc into the final three chapters.) I can say that it's evident that The Steel Beneath the Silk was meticulously researched, and considering all of the ground that needed to be covered, it's tightly plotted. I just can't help but feel that, in terms of execution, this book was not as polished as Bracewell's prior novels. I don't know the circumstances that led to the book's delayed release and change in publishers, but from an outside perspective, it seems to me that any difficulty in molding the source material into a workable novel is reflected in the way this book comes across as graceless and inelegant in terms of both style and narrative voice. Overall, I found this to be a somewhat disappointing conclusion to the series. Particularly disappointing because, if you had asked me in 2015 to list my favorite books, I would have included Bracewell's Emma of Normandy trilogy in the lineup. But a lot of rain has fallen since that time, and my 2021 reaction to The Steel Beneath the Silk is more akin to a shrug and a nod than any kind of satisfaction or celebration. 📌 . Blog | Review Database | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

  6. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robb

    Steel Beneath the Silk is a triumphant conclusion to Bracewell's Emma of Normandy trilogy. As her husband King Aethelred and his sons confront the invading Danes on the battlefield, we watch Queen Emma wield power behind the scenes, forging alliances with cunning and diplomacy. Romantic, thrilling, richly embroidered with historical detail. Highly recommended! Steel Beneath the Silk is a triumphant conclusion to Bracewell's Emma of Normandy trilogy. As her husband King Aethelred and his sons confront the invading Danes on the battlefield, we watch Queen Emma wield power behind the scenes, forging alliances with cunning and diplomacy. Romantic, thrilling, richly embroidered with historical detail. Highly recommended!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    This is not my first time reading the tale of the formidable Queen Emma of Normandy and given the story she has left to history I somehow suspect it might not be the last. I did not read the first two books in this series but I discovered that I do have the first one on my bookshelf. I have read about this fascinating woman in other books and was thrilled to again visit with her. England in the 10th and 11th centuries is dealing with raids from the Danes who want to lay claim to England. It’s a t This is not my first time reading the tale of the formidable Queen Emma of Normandy and given the story she has left to history I somehow suspect it might not be the last. I did not read the first two books in this series but I discovered that I do have the first one on my bookshelf. I have read about this fascinating woman in other books and was thrilled to again visit with her. England in the 10th and 11th centuries is dealing with raids from the Danes who want to lay claim to England. It’s a time of almost constant war. King Æthelred, married to Emma of Normandy to strengthen his alliance with William of Normandy is hoping for help from that quarter but William has his own designs on England. He sees Emma as a way in – little does he know that his sister is not a wilting flower. As Emma navigates court, her aging husband, almost constant war, a brother who is reluctant to send aid, along with an overwhelming fear for her children she finds a strength she didn’t know she had. She is the Queen of England and her people need her. The Steel Beneath the Silk is a well researched, well written novel that brings Emma’s world to vivid life. It’s the last book in the series but one wishes there were more as Emma’s story does not end with Æthelred’s death. In some ways it only just begins. It’s a real page turner of a novel about a woman who refused to be lost to history and who left her mark in a time when women were considered chattel and only good for the sons they could give to their husbands.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda Shields

    The Steel Beneath the Silk Posted on October 16, 2020 by Patricia The third novel in my EMMA OF NORMANDY TRILOGY will be published on 2 March 2021.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Asheley

    (I know this is long, but I have a hard time talking about stories like this one with only a few words. I love this type of historical fiction so much, and this period of history is one of my favorites.) Emma of Normandy is historically important because of her two marriages to kings. She was married to King Aethelred the Unready and then she was also married to King Cnut the Great. She ultimately outlived both of her husbands and had a lot of influence on politics during her life. She was also a (I know this is long, but I have a hard time talking about stories like this one with only a few words. I love this type of historical fiction so much, and this period of history is one of my favorites.) Emma of Normandy is historically important because of her two marriages to kings. She was married to King Aethelred the Unready and then she was also married to King Cnut the Great. She ultimately outlived both of her husbands and had a lot of influence on politics during her life. She was also a visible presence and influence when her sons were in power. But even though she was notable and influential, there is still so much that isn't known about her. We know more about her than most women during this time, but it is still just so little. That's why I love stories like this one, where the author takes real people and events, bases them heavily on history, and then fills in details by imagining how conversations may have gone or how decisions may have been made. This book featuring Queen Emma was quite thrilling for me to read. There is so much that happened politically during Emma's life. So much! This book picks up in 1012 A.D., when her marriage to King Aethelred was about a decade old. They had been married for political reasons and their union sealed an oath between Aethelred and Emma's brother Richard, Duke of Normandy. When the Danes intensified their effort to seize the English crown, the relationship between Emma's husband and her brother was jeopardized and things got really interesting. So my favorite part of this story is all of the kingdom politics. There are allies formed and oaths made, and oaths are broken and attacks are made. There is revenge and death. It took me a while to read this book because I liked to stop when something or someone interested me and to research more about it. Throughout everything, Emma was the most interesting to me because she seemed to show up just about everywhere I was reading, as a wife or a mother or a sister. It was interesting to read about her relationship with Aethelred in this story, but it was more interesting to me to read about her relationship with Cnut. When Cnut comes into the picture as an invader for his father King Swein, he and Emma already know one another from an event in their past. You wouldn't expect that Emma would feel positively toward Cnut because he essentially stole the kingship from her own son, but her relationship with him did change from a purely political decision to one that had affection and admiration. I loved this story. I genuinely loved reading the perspectives of all of the characters, even the ones that were bad guys. It is fascinating to have a means to visualize what may have happened centuries and centuries ago. I love that Emma had so much influence even though it was so hard to be a women in her time. I also really respect and admire the other women in the story for their influence, even as they weren't the decision-makers. There were a few times when I was reading that I wondered if events on the page were recorded in history or were they fiction that the author included to move the story along (I mainly wondered this where the romances were concerned). Reading the Author's Note does answer these questions and more, as the author talks about research she used and liberties that she took. I debated back and forth about whether to read the first two books before I read this one, and ultimately I decided to go ahead and start with this story since it begins a couple of years after another of my recent reads ended (The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett, which also includes Emma as a character). These two books are not related, but I loved seeing the continuation of Emma in their storylines, and I found it easy to pick up this series with this third book. I want to go back and read the first two, though, and I actually already own copies of them. Many of the marriages and relationships in this book were formed and developed during the previous two, so I think I would obviously have had more background knowledge coming into the story had I begun at the start of the series. I actually think I may read this one again once I've read the first two. I selfishly wish this series would continue because this book ends right in the middle of my interest in Emma's life. At the end of the story, she has a lot of life left and many things left to do. But I did enjoy this glimpse into the 11th century immensely and am excited that I can go back and read the two preceding novels about Emma of Normandy. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via HFVBT in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my thoughts and opinions about the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julianne Douglas

    The wait was definitely worth it. THE STEEL BENEATH THE SILK (Bellastoria Press) caps off Patricia Bracewell's trilogy on eleventh-century Emma of Normandy, Queen of England, with all the drama, emotion, and skill that fans of the series have come to expect. With consummate ease, Bracewell plunges her readers back into a perilous, war-torn England ravaged by marauding Danish raiders from without and crumbling from treachery within. As King Swein of Denmark and his ambitious son Cnut penetrate eve The wait was definitely worth it. THE STEEL BENEATH THE SILK (Bellastoria Press) caps off Patricia Bracewell's trilogy on eleventh-century Emma of Normandy, Queen of England, with all the drama, emotion, and skill that fans of the series have come to expect. With consummate ease, Bracewell plunges her readers back into a perilous, war-torn England ravaged by marauding Danish raiders from without and crumbling from treachery within. As King Swein of Denmark and his ambitious son Cnut penetrate ever farther into England, suborning English lords and capturing city after city, Emma's raddled husband, King Æthelred, alienates allies and squanders the loyalty of his people. Calling upon her wits, her faith, and the counsel of a trusted few, Emma must discern rumor from fact, friend from foe, solid hope from fleeting fancy as she strives to hold the besieged country together and make her dream of a united, peaceful England an enduring reality. The story moves at a rapid and entertaining clip, thanks to Bracewell's strong command of the historical material and her intimate familiarity with her characters. Readers, even ones new to the series, will never lose their bearings. Customized maps of England and London detail the physical setting; chapter headings provide locations and dates to set the scene. The author takes care, especially in the opening chapters, to weave in accounts of past events that bear on the present action, keeping these flashbacks fresh by recounting them from a new perspective or shading them with recent insight. Both to control the pacing and to introduce important historical events tangential to Emma's narrative arc, Bracewell inserts snippets from the contemporary Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. This historical scaffolding plays an additional role: the contrast between these brief, factual passages and Bracewell's emotionally rich, internalized narration demonstrates the power of historical fiction to transform the dry bones of history into a compelling reflection on the human spirit, wholly relevant to modern readers. Readers of the previous installments will recognize and welcome the reappearance of favorite characters who continue to evolve. Although the main story arc focuses on Emma and her efforts to foster a united England, the journeys of these other characters deservedly vie for attention. The narrative point-of-view shifts when circumstance requires; Bracewell hands these shifts of perspective with finesse and a keen sense of what another viewpoint can contribute to a given situation. Æthelred, Athelstan, Edmund, Elgiva, and Cnut all take turns as viewpoint characters, experiencing events beyond Emma's purview and fueling the conflicts and passions that motivate the central action. The strongest aspect of THE STEEL BENEATH THE SILK is precisely the psychological richness of its characters. Even if the reader knows the historical trajectory of Emma's life, this imagined, emotionally nuanced account of her struggle to reconcile her personal desires with the strategic needs of her kingdom will nonetheless appeal and intrigue. As Bracewell admits in her Author Note, although the events that she portrays are factual, "Emma's role in them is my own invention. Although we know that she was there and must have played some part in all that occurred, we simply cannot be certain about what that was." Having thought long and hard about Emma's participation in these critical events in England's history, Bracewell fashions a main character with whom the reader can identify as well as admire. The trilogy as a whole presents Emma as a poignantly complex, achingly real woman whose actions not only define her individuality, but serve as the point of departure for broader contemplation of the very notion of queenship. "Long live the queen"--Bracewell closes her monumental endeavor with this resounding and devoted cheer. It is precisely thanks to Bracewell's meticulous research, keen insight into human nature, and first-rate narrative skills that Emma of Normandy, Queen of England, will live long and vividly in the minds and hearts of the trilogy's readers. THE STEEL BENEATH THE SILK, along with its companion volumes, merits a prominent place in the canon of exemplary historical fiction.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Judith Starkston

    Emma of Normandy, Queen of England in the 11th century CE, is one of the barely remembered women in history who deserve our attention. Patricia Bracewell has brought Emma to life in her trilogy with meticulous research and powerful writing. The Steel Beneath the Silk is the last book in Bracewell’s series, following Shadow on the Crown and The Price of Blood. Because Bracewell does an excellent job of giving just enough of the backstory from the first two books, readers can jump to this third bo Emma of Normandy, Queen of England in the 11th century CE, is one of the barely remembered women in history who deserve our attention. Patricia Bracewell has brought Emma to life in her trilogy with meticulous research and powerful writing. The Steel Beneath the Silk is the last book in Bracewell’s series, following Shadow on the Crown and The Price of Blood. Because Bracewell does an excellent job of giving just enough of the backstory from the first two books, readers can jump to this third book without reading the other two if they wish. They won’t be confused. But this is a stellar trio and Emma’s tale deserves the deep dive that all three books provide. At the opening of this third book, Emma has been married for ten years to the much older King Æthelred. He goes down in history as Æthelred the Unready, so, as you can imagine, he’s not the ideal leader or husband. The Vikings invade regularly, and this threat has escalated so that their goal has shifted from raiding to conquering. Emma and Æthelred’s sons try to defend England in the face of the king’s incompetence. Bracewell brings the 11th century to life in every detail, revealing the depth of her knowledge about the time and people. In the dramatic opening scene, she introduces a viking Dane named Thorkell and builds his presence with tangible vividness, using physical details to show his status and character: “He was a Danish jarl, and he had come to London to parley with a queen. He wore a tunic of fine red wool belted with a colorfully embroidered silken sash. His dark blue cloak was trimmed with fur, and from a chain around his neck hung a slender silver cross. He was a big man who towered over his companions, and he stood with his arms folded across his wide chest, chin jutting forward and jaw clenched. His head was shaved bare except for a long, black tail of hair that hung down his back, and above his thick beard a livid scar seamed his cheek.” I especially enjoyed the politics, intrigue, and treachery that threads through the plot. Both the English court and the Viking leadership were rife with conspiracies and double-dealing that raised the stakes and tension throughout and kept the pages turning with delightful speed. While Æthelred would have loved to sideline Emma into passive inactivity, she rises to the challenges facing her country and family with intelligence and skill, while staying within historically accurate behavior and thinking. Bracewell faced a particularly thorny problem when constructing this third book. I won’t include any spoilers, but the known history of Emma’s life creates challenges for persuasive character development in the part covered by this book. There are so many gaps for Bracewell to fill in Emma’s life story, so much that is lost to history, but there is one startling known event that must have caused Bracewell a lot of sleepless nights as a writer. She surmounted this challenge with brilliance, creating a totally believable, seamless arc of development for Emma. She also achieved the essential, nuanced gradual shift in the readers’ understanding of Cnut, one of the key antagonists. In the process, she also brought the trilogy to a particularly thrilling conclusion. I am profoundly impressed. I highly recommend Bracewell’s trilogy to all readers who love historical fiction focused on royal intrigue with a moving romantic thread, and a vivid, accurate portrayal of a long-ago world.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Poptart19 (ren)

    4 stars A book that made me think & feel & (figuratively) bite my nails in suspense, even though I knew based on the historical record who was gonna die when. That is an accomplishment. [What I liked:] •I loved the unrequited love story! •Women characters play important parts in the power struggles—especially Emma and Elgiva. •I love court intrigues, treachery, complex politics, shifting alliances, divided family loyalties, and battle strategy in historical fiction, and this book delivers nicely on t 4 stars A book that made me think & feel & (figuratively) bite my nails in suspense, even though I knew based on the historical record who was gonna die when. That is an accomplishment. [What I liked:] •I loved the unrequited love story! •Women characters play important parts in the power struggles—especially Emma and Elgiva. •I love court intrigues, treachery, complex politics, shifting alliances, divided family loyalties, and battle strategy in historical fiction, and this book delivers nicely on that front! •The prose is good. It’s not my favorite sort of flowery lyricism, but it suits the genre, is clear & easy to follow, & gives enough detail to ground the reader in the story without overwhelming the narrative in description. •The basic chronology of historical events is followed pretty faithfully, with snippets from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle interspersed between chapters. The author’s note at the end clarifies this, discussing her research & where she chose to embellish the story where historical facts are sparse. •Emma has beauty, wit, influence, & is (deservingly) respected by many in her sphere, yet she also is shaped by her flaws & weaknesses. Many of her weaknesses are a result of her societal limitations as a woman & foreigner, though her struggles to overcome grief, hate, & disillusionment show her humanity. She has empathy & is a decent person, but does not balk to (occasionally) manipulate others to negotiate her aims, showing her strength & grit. She knows fear, but will risk taking a stand. I admire her bravery. •The story isn’t overwhelmed with the minutiae of how brutal medieval life was (possibly because the main characters are nobles, thus not the worst off), but the narrative doesn’t shy away from describing the ravages of war on the land, on the citizenry, & on national unity. That helps heighten the stakes of the struggle for the English throne. •The ending focuses on Emma’s reflections on her relationships over her lifetime, which I think was a nice & emotionally satisfying way to wrap things up. •I haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy, but the book did a good job of introducing me to the characters and catching me up on the plot. I do plan to read the previous two books. •The portrayal of how religious beliefs influenced daily life in this era was interesting, & as far as I know historically accurate. Especially the acknowledgment of the syncretism of Catholic & traditional pre-christian religious beliefs that was common at the time. [What I didn’t like as much:] •There is lots of perspective jumping, sometimes mid-scene, which is not a personal preference. As the story progressed though, I got used to it. The benefit of this approach, though, is that we get to know the motivations, suspicions, & emotional ties of many of the important players in this complex drama, not just Emma’s perspective. I think it does enrich the story. •Everyone is in love with Emma—or intrinsically attracted to her on sight (insta-lust). Not insta-love, which I’m glad for, but it did seem a bit unrealistically fawning sometimes. •Elgiva as a villain is a bit one dimensional in her extreme villainy. Eadric as well. [I received an ARC ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for the book!]

  13. 5 out of 5

    gwendalyn _books_

    𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚝𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝙱𝚎𝚗𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚒𝚕𝚔 𝙱𝚢 𝙿𝚊𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚊 𝙱𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚠𝚎𝚕𝚕 (𝟹)𝙸𝚗 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙴𝚖𝚖𝚊 𝙾𝚏 𝙽𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚢 𝚃𝚛𝚒𝚕𝚘𝚐𝚢.   @𝚙𝚊𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚊𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚠𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚛  This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers. The last installment in 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚝𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝙱𝚎𝚗𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚒𝚕𝚔 𝙱𝚢 𝙿𝚊𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚊 𝙱𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚠𝚎𝚕𝚕 (𝟹)𝙸𝚗 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙴𝚖𝚖𝚊 𝙾𝚏 𝙽𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚢 𝚃𝚛𝚒𝚕𝚘𝚐𝚢.   @𝚙𝚊𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚊𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚠𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚛  This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers. The last installment in Patricia Bracewell in The Emma Of Normandy Trilogy. A beguiling richly atmospheric book that catapults the reader into the the eleventh century. An unpredictable turbulent time, with complex alliances continuously moving back and forth. Both England and the Danes struggle to gain supreme rule, but only one will succeed. A stunning woven tapestry with an expansive cast of well defined characters. The Viking Dane’s have been raging a continuous war, with their ultimate goal being complete invasion. England and King Æthelred, are barely holding on. Emma was sent to England as a child bride of Normandy. An arranged marriage to the English King Athelred. His unstable ability to remain on the throne is evident and his paranoid disposition is evident. As the storyline progresses we see the fall of this King and rise of another. A compelling tale of vindictive characters and power struggles as the rise and fall of the English empire swiftly changes. Patricia Bracewell unique descriptive prose is astounding, as she deftly weaves threads of historical fact along with her own imagined creativity, to create a colourful fabric affording unique insights into the life of Emma of Normandy of eleventh century. Focusing on the years 1012 to 1017 Queen Emma growth of character is superbly done. Her strength and fortitude is evident as seek to align herself with those who would benefit her and her sons. Bracewell writing is polished with impeccable execution and has been worth the wait. Historical fans will be pleased with this last book in this powerful series. Emma of Normandy's story comes full to life under Bracewell very talented writing expertise. This legendary Queen who's place in history has been somewhat over looked by the masses. A stunning series that will richly reward the attention of any reader who enjoys strong heroines, and engaging historical fiction. #TheSteelBeneaththeSilk #PatriciaBracewell

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rajiv

    [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] “The Steel Beneath the Silk” was a wonderful ending to the series. The book was by far my favorite out of all of them. Firstly, the author did a brilliant job in setting the pace with the storylines and the characters. There is so much in the tale! I loved how the author did a brilliant job in the emotions of the characters. There are also moments of gripping adventure, for instance, when Athelstan and Edward fight the Danes. [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] “The Steel Beneath the Silk” was a wonderful ending to the series. The book was by far my favorite out of all of them. Firstly, the author did a brilliant job in setting the pace with the storylines and the characters. There is so much in the tale! I loved how the author did a brilliant job in the emotions of the characters. There are also moments of gripping adventure, for instance, when Athelstan and Edward fight the Danes. There is treachery, betrayal, and revenge as the story progresses to a gripping climax. Moreover, the characters highlight the series, but the author took them to another level in this book. Elgiva is a fascinating character, and I loved the emotions she went through. She goes through many emotions and never faced a dull moment. At times she is devious, as she plants seeds of doubt with Cnut against his father. But, she also shows fear when she hears of Tyra’s premonitions. I also found her hilarious when she deals with Gunnhild back in Denmark. Similarly, even Emma shines in the story. My heart went out to her when she longs for Edward to show her some affection. One of the highlights is when Emma receives the ring from Athelstan. Also, I loved her scenes with Cnut and her bravery towards the climax. Moreover, one person who surprised me was Edmund. He is a gray character who you don’t know how he will react. Then there are characters you love to hate, like Eadric. However, I wished we had seen more of Edyth. She does not appear much except in a few scenes to annoy Emma, and I thought she had potential. Apart from that, this was the perfect ending to “The Emma of Normandy Trilogy,” and I loved it!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    The final installment of the series about Queen Emma deals with the last few years of King Æthelred´s reign. The Danish king Swein Forkbeard and his son Cnut still haven´t given up on invading England, they are supported by Cnut´s English concubine Elgiva who has hated Æthelred ever since he had members of her closest family killed. The ageing and ailing king doesn´t find the energy to fight against the Danes which leads to conflict with his grown-up sons from his first marriage who don´t want t The final installment of the series about Queen Emma deals with the last few years of King Æthelred´s reign. The Danish king Swein Forkbeard and his son Cnut still haven´t given up on invading England, they are supported by Cnut´s English concubine Elgiva who has hated Æthelred ever since he had members of her closest family killed. The ageing and ailing king doesn´t find the energy to fight against the Danes which leads to conflict with his grown-up sons from his first marriage who don´t want to be robbed of their heritage by Danish invaders. Queen Emma meanwhile doesn´t only fear the Vikings, she also fears for the lives of her young sons Edward and Alfred, who might be in danger of being harmed by their elder half-brothers as well… Ideally this novel should be read following the first and second volumes, because otherwise it might be difficult to understand the current developments concerning the English-Danish relations. Fortunately, the novel is preceded by a list of acting characters (Dramatis Personae) and a glossary which facilitates keeping track of the unfamiliar Anglo-Saxon names. As in the preceding novels the author occasionally uses citations from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, informing the reader about the most important events in the forthcoming chapters. The characters in “The Steel Beneath the Silk” are historical figures, but of course parts of their personalities are fictionally embellished. Most of the characters are well differentiated, this holds true especially for Cnut, others are painted in a very unfavourable light like the weak and craven Æthelred and the malicious Elgiva. Eadric, one of the king´s sons in law, is the arch villain: lying, treacherous, without any sense of loyalty, he serves those he can profit from most. Due to these intrigues and power struggles the plot is full of suspense. “The Steel Beneath the Silk” is a highly readable conclusion to a trilogy allowing interesting insights into the Anglo-Saxon era.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    I had been wondering for a number of years when the final instalment in the Emma of Normandy Trilogy was going to be released. Excitement mounted in the fall when I heard that March 2nd would be release day. The previous books in this series, Shadow on the Crown and The Price of Blood were both 5 star reads and this conclusion to the series followed suit. It is the year 1012 when The Steel Beneath the Silk begins and I'll confess to being a little nervous that I didn't do a reread for fear of forg I had been wondering for a number of years when the final instalment in the Emma of Normandy Trilogy was going to be released. Excitement mounted in the fall when I heard that March 2nd would be release day. The previous books in this series, Shadow on the Crown and The Price of Blood were both 5 star reads and this conclusion to the series followed suit. It is the year 1012 when The Steel Beneath the Silk begins and I'll confess to being a little nervous that I didn't do a reread for fear of forgetting what happened previously. But those fears were unfounded as people and circumstances were brought back with lots of 'oh right, I remember that' or 'yea I remember her now' - Elgiva comes to mind there. Emma is one of those women I knew nothing about until I read this series and now I am on the lookout to learn more about her and the time period. She was a formidable woman, a pawn for her family who lived life with courage, heartache and by the time this book takes places she has rooted herself in England. She was a woman ahead of her time, a queen with confidence and integrity. This book was vivid in not just character development but with a story that was vivid. I love what she wrote in the author notes - Because I write fiction and not history, I do not claim that things happened exactly in the way, only that they could have. Which is what I love in historical fiction. This book was well researched and the author put me right there. The closer I got to the end the faster I read, loving the ending though not at all what I expected - remember I didn't know my history on Emma. This series is one I highly recommend. If you are a fan of Eleanor of Aquitaine you should give this series a go. My thanks to the author and Netgalley for this digital arc in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tinney

    Absorbing and satisfying, this book is what historical fiction should be – utterly involving, true to history, and springing from the author’s genuine empathy for people who lived in the past. And it’s a distant, colorful, violent past. Bracewell’s England comes vividly to life at a time when its crown was a prize that many contenders sought and would stop at nothing to obtain. And moving throughout that turbulent world, peaceweaver that she was, is Emma, a woman fully of her time, but who would Absorbing and satisfying, this book is what historical fiction should be – utterly involving, true to history, and springing from the author’s genuine empathy for people who lived in the past. And it’s a distant, colorful, violent past. Bracewell’s England comes vividly to life at a time when its crown was a prize that many contenders sought and would stop at nothing to obtain. And moving throughout that turbulent world, peaceweaver that she was, is Emma, a woman fully of her time, but who would have been something much more than ordinary in any time. Emma’s commitment to her responsibilities as queen outweighs all personal considerations, for herself or even for her children, and this is all the more admirable and poignant because we as readers are privy to those considerations, even while we watch Emma make the difficult, courageous and honorable choice, again and again. We sympathize as we watch her struggle, we admire her intelligence and her astute knowledge of human nature, and we hope against hope that this extraordinary woman can find some personal happiness in the midst of it all. Other readers have noted that we waited a long time for this third book in the series, and that it was worth the wait. I agree, and I envy those who are just coming to Emma’s story now, because you have all three books available to you right now. You could start with this one and you would not be lost or confused, but all three together comprise a wonderful reading experience. Highly recommended!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sheryle

    This is the third book in the Emma of Normandy trilogy and it has been a long time coming. I was excited to see that it had finally arrived and even more excited to begin reading it. Unfortunately, that excitement did not last long. I was disappointed by many things in this book, beginning with the jarring cover which did not fit with the other covers. I was hoping in this book we would see a complete telling of Emma’s life. That did not happen. For approximately the first half of the book Emma This is the third book in the Emma of Normandy trilogy and it has been a long time coming. I was excited to see that it had finally arrived and even more excited to begin reading it. Unfortunately, that excitement did not last long. I was disappointed by many things in this book, beginning with the jarring cover which did not fit with the other covers. I was hoping in this book we would see a complete telling of Emma’s life. That did not happen. For approximately the first half of the book Emma seemed more like a secondary character, with the war between the English and the Danes being the main character. I felt that the characters in the book were secondary to the historical events of the time and that made for a very dull and plodding story. I know the war was important, but I would have liked to have gotten it over with and gotten on with Emma‘s life. It wasn’t until into the second half of the book that the story really became interesting to me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the book ended and there was still the most interesting part of Emma’s life left for her to live. My copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to the the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    DebK

    Satisfying Grand Finale The life of Emma of Normandy is one of the most fascinating when it comes to English queens, and as the author notes, it is a story not as well known as that of other English queens. I thought that this third book in the trilogy was satisfying, and I think it ended at an appropriate apex in Emma’s life; however, I wish there would be a fourth book, so we could know more about her days at Cnut’s side. Cnut is clearly the more likable of the two kings Emma married, at least Satisfying Grand Finale The life of Emma of Normandy is one of the most fascinating when it comes to English queens, and as the author notes, it is a story not as well known as that of other English queens. I thought that this third book in the trilogy was satisfying, and I think it ended at an appropriate apex in Emma’s life; however, I wish there would be a fourth book, so we could know more about her days at Cnut’s side. Cnut is clearly the more likable of the two kings Emma married, at least as depicted in this historical fiction. I really appreciated the attention paid to historical details. Elgiva made for an interesting protagonist, but I would have liked to know more about her feelings in the matter of Emma’s marriage and what her life was like after Cnut set her aside. Also, why was it that Elgiva’s son did inherit the throne before Emma’s son by Cnut? Is it historically true that Cnut gave Emma a pledge of preference that her sons would come first? These are questions I would wish to see addressed in a fourth book. Overall, a good read!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike Shoop

    A fitting conclusion to Bracewell's trilogy about Emma of Normandy, twice queen of England during the 11th century. I enjoyed the various characters, especially Athelstan, Emma, Elgiva, Edmund, and Cnut, the intrigues and plots and counterplots and betrayals, the historical details were well done, and even the romantic elements worked. Emma is a fascinating character, and even though most of her story was fictional, Bracewell made it seem that things could have happened the way she described. I A fitting conclusion to Bracewell's trilogy about Emma of Normandy, twice queen of England during the 11th century. I enjoyed the various characters, especially Athelstan, Emma, Elgiva, Edmund, and Cnut, the intrigues and plots and counterplots and betrayals, the historical details were well done, and even the romantic elements worked. Emma is a fascinating character, and even though most of her story was fictional, Bracewell made it seem that things could have happened the way she described. I appreciated her character list (as there were many to keep track of), her glossary was helpful for unfamiliar terms, and I even pulled out some reference books to learn more about these people and events. The only thing that bothered me was that throughout the book, the word "viking" was never capitalized, as in Viking. Is that the trend now? It bugged me and distracted me every time I saw it. As far as I know, this is the first place I've seen it that way, and somehow it just didn't sit right. Other than that, it was an enjoyable read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    It may have been a long wait between books 2 and 3 of this trilogy, but it is a rewarding finish I very much enjoyed and well worth the wait. The treatment of Emma throughout is respectful of what she went through with her string of marriages and birthings as well as threats to her security most of the time. To put it briefly, she was shrewd, adaptable and the ultimate survivor. With so little to be found in written records of what her life was really like, Bracewell has given us a believable ve It may have been a long wait between books 2 and 3 of this trilogy, but it is a rewarding finish I very much enjoyed and well worth the wait. The treatment of Emma throughout is respectful of what she went through with her string of marriages and birthings as well as threats to her security most of the time. To put it briefly, she was shrewd, adaptable and the ultimate survivor. With so little to be found in written records of what her life was really like, Bracewell has given us a believable version of what could have transpired. Examples of her steel: "Emma rebuked him, her voice sharp as steel. And it must be the king, not you, who will determine if he has spoken the truth! Now, put away your sword!" "She turned her face into the wind, steeling herself against whatever lay ahead. She had lived through other perils, and she would not give in to despair..." "Make no mistake, there is steel beneath all that silk." Thank you to Bellastoria Press for this Advanced Reader Copy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alejandra

    I DON'T KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK. I don't think I have been so immersed in a final book of a trilogy since Clockwork Princess, and this book seriously surpasses it. Emma of Normandy has been one of the medieval figures that has caught my attention the most, she is part of the characters that led me to the obsession that I have today with the Middle Ages, so when I found out about this trilogy, do not hesitate to start reading it and MY GOD. The steel beneath the silk is undo I DON'T KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK. I don't think I have been so immersed in a final book of a trilogy since Clockwork Princess, and this book seriously surpasses it. Emma of Normandy has been one of the medieval figures that has caught my attention the most, she is part of the characters that led me to the obsession that I have today with the Middle Ages, so when I found out about this trilogy, do not hesitate to start reading it and MY GOD. The steel beneath the silk is undoubtedly now one of my favorite books, I know I will spend years thinking about it. Maybe later I will do a much more extensive review (and maybe with some spoilers since I SERIOUSLY HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT HOW WONDERFUL WRITTEN IS THIS STORY) but for now, let's just say that the television series "vikings" is nothing compared With this beauty, if I had enough money I would seriously contribute capital to adapt this trilogy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Excellent book. My only complaint in the last of this 3-book series is that Queen Emma finally marries someone who appears to respect her, and their relationship takes only 50 pages! I read close to 1,000 pages about men disrespecting and abusing her. I honestly felt a little cheated. A 4th book is needed! Other than this complaint, this series transported me into pre-England history and Ms. Bracewell’s research made the trip seem authentic and exciting. I hope she is already working on her next Excellent book. My only complaint in the last of this 3-book series is that Queen Emma finally marries someone who appears to respect her, and their relationship takes only 50 pages! I read close to 1,000 pages about men disrespecting and abusing her. I honestly felt a little cheated. A 4th book is needed! Other than this complaint, this series transported me into pre-England history and Ms. Bracewell’s research made the trip seem authentic and exciting. I hope she is already working on her next book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This is the first book I’ve read in the trilogy, I have to say I absolutely loved it. Knowing how immersive this book is, I’m definitely going back to read books one and two. I felt plunged into the 11th century, a story of Queen Emma of Normandy’s courage in the face of betrayal, war and lost love. As King Aethelred confronts the Danes on the battlefield, we see the Queen forging alliances with power, diplomacy and cunning. For fans of historical fiction or ‘Vikings’ or Game of Thrones, this is This is the first book I’ve read in the trilogy, I have to say I absolutely loved it. Knowing how immersive this book is, I’m definitely going back to read books one and two. I felt plunged into the 11th century, a story of Queen Emma of Normandy’s courage in the face of betrayal, war and lost love. As King Aethelred confronts the Danes on the battlefield, we see the Queen forging alliances with power, diplomacy and cunning. For fans of historical fiction or ‘Vikings’ or Game of Thrones, this is highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Like many others, I have waited years to read this final book in the trilogy of Patricia Bracewell's Emma of Normany saga. I loved this book and must admit I love Emma also, my mother's family came to Ireland with the Norman kings by the early 12th century. It was a wonderful tale enhanced by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle excerpts which give it great credibility. I think it ends in a very good place with a relationship between Emma and Cnut amicably looking toward the future. Very much recommended to Like many others, I have waited years to read this final book in the trilogy of Patricia Bracewell's Emma of Normany saga. I loved this book and must admit I love Emma also, my mother's family came to Ireland with the Norman kings by the early 12th century. It was a wonderful tale enhanced by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle excerpts which give it great credibility. I think it ends in a very good place with a relationship between Emma and Cnut amicably looking toward the future. Very much recommended to all, even those who have not read the other two books ( but I recommend them to you)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dead Sirius

    Took me a while to finally catch up to this book as I wanted to read the rest in order to give The Steel Beneath the Silk a fair review. I had a hard time getting into it, but was eventually full immersed in the book. I liked how Emma was portrayed and how she used the power available to her to fully launch herself into a political world that wasn't always accepting of her. Overall, a good read and satisfying ending to Patricia Bracewell's trilogy. Took me a while to finally catch up to this book as I wanted to read the rest in order to give The Steel Beneath the Silk a fair review. I had a hard time getting into it, but was eventually full immersed in the book. I liked how Emma was portrayed and how she used the power available to her to fully launch herself into a political world that wasn't always accepting of her. Overall, a good read and satisfying ending to Patricia Bracewell's trilogy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Krista C

    Excellent This is historical fiction at it’s finest, and can be attested to by the six years of work that went into it. I thoroughly enjoyed this portrayal of Queen Emma. Most authors portray her as being cold, calculating and scheming. Make sure you read the first two novels in this trilogy. It’s not necessary, however they are both just as fabulous as this one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    One of the rare conclusions to a series that's the best of all. There were unexpected twists and turns, and not all the story lines were tied up. Still Bracewell stayed true to historical facts and some things lost to history. One of the biggest story lines that didn't work as well was Algiva's and the whole story of those left in Denmark, including Cnut's son Swein. One of the rare conclusions to a series that's the best of all. There were unexpected twists and turns, and not all the story lines were tied up. Still Bracewell stayed true to historical facts and some things lost to history. One of the biggest story lines that didn't work as well was Algiva's and the whole story of those left in Denmark, including Cnut's son Swein.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bmeyer

    Interesting but the writing style was pretty repetitive and it ended very abruptly where I tend to think the story was really getting started. I'm a lot more interested in the relationship between Emma and Cnut, and the integration of Vikings in England's government than a relationship between Emma and Aethelred's son or even Aethelred himself. Interesting but the writing style was pretty repetitive and it ended very abruptly where I tend to think the story was really getting started. I'm a lot more interested in the relationship between Emma and Cnut, and the integration of Vikings in England's government than a relationship between Emma and Aethelred's son or even Aethelred himself.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sue Rupe

    An extraordinary woman in hard times! Little is written about women's roles within royal families during medieval times as men took the center stage. But this woman did not fade into the long dark night of history. An extraordinary woman in hard times! Little is written about women's roles within royal families during medieval times as men took the center stage. But this woman did not fade into the long dark night of history.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.