Helen Hollick is amazing. This is my first book that she wrote, and I am impressed. The book is quite long, but seems perfect!
Emma of Normady is ready to leave home and wed the king of England, Aethelred, soon to be known as the Unready. Emma discovers that Aethelred is a weak, but abusive man. He relies on the counsel of men who wish to see him fail, and refuses help and advice from others who would help him, such as his oldest sons. Emma soon learns to avoid the king at all costs. This works until Aethelred, flying into one of his rages beats and rapes poor Emma, leaving her battered and pregnant. The child born from this union favors his weakling father, and grows up to be Edward the Confessor. This unfortunate situation happens twice more, resulting in Goda and Alfred. While the later two children favor Emma, she never can grow to love her children the way she should. Emma eventually becomes the only thing standing between Cnut, the Viking King of Denmark and the English Crown.
Emma and Cnut unite to form a union to rule England as husband and wife. *Sidenote, it seems odd to me that Cnut needed Emma, but.... hey. * They marry and get along well, producing two children, Harthacnut and Gunnhild, and good times for England.
This book is wonderful. You feel the urgency of Dane and English relations. You feel the bareness and vitality of medieval England. Emma is a wonderful character, a woman who will stop at nothing to be queen and retain her rights at such.
As for the end of Emma's story, you will have to read this wonderful book for yourself. Believe me its worth the time!!!
Up next is Queen Hereafter by Susan Fraser King. I received this book from Heather at The Maiden's court ! I am so excited to start reading this one. It seems like a perfect jump from one to the other!