Rated Reads

Shadow on the Crown

by Patricia Bracewell

Rated: Moderate

In 1002, Emma of Normandy, only 15, travels to England to become the wife of King Aethelred, who is much older and not in any way kind. Forced into a hostile and cold court, with few friends, Emma must find the courage to be the queen of England.

But when she falls in love with the oldest son of the king and the country faces a bloody invasion from a Viking force, Emma worries that she may lose her crown and much more.

Based on actual historical events as recorded in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Shadow on the Crown is must-read historical fiction.

From the very first page of this fascinating book, I was riveted. I started reading in bed, late one night, and very reluctantly closed the book after the first couple of chapters. I rolled over, shut my eyes and thought, “Whoa! This is gonna be an amazing read.”

And it is! Emma, a character who until now was lost to history, is a heroine everyone can relate to, admire and love. The book is the first in a trilogy about the brave woman’s life. Author Patricia Bracewell writes with passion and gorgeous prose. Many times, I actually held my breath as I turned the page, eager to see what would come next.

With everything from war and betrayal to forbidden love and sweet romance, Shadow on the Crown is one of the best historical novels I’ve read. I cannot wait to read the rest of the trilogy.

Rated: Moderate. There are about five or six brief, but moderately descriptive, sex scenes between the king and Emma, some in violence (King Aethelred is a bad guy!), a few other sexual references, brief battlefield violence, including mention of rape, and a few uses of foul language.

— Reviewed by Teri Harman

Teri Harman is an author, reader and book enthusiast. Her young adult novel, Blood Moon, was published by Jolly Fish Press in summer 2013. She writes a biweekly column, Book Matters, for ksl.com and also contributes a monthly book segment to KSL’s #1 lifestyle show, Studio 5.

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  • Shadow on the Crown
  • by Patricia Bracewell
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: