Refugee. Queen. Saint. In 11th-century Scotland, a young woman strives to fulfill her destiny despite the risks....
Shipwrecked on the Scottish coast, a young Saxon princess and her family - including the outlawed Edgar of England - ask sanctuary of the warrior-king Malcolm Canmore, who shrewdly sees the political advantage. He promises to aid Edgar and the Saxon cause in return for the hand of Edgar's sister, Margaret, in marriage.
A foreign queen in a strange land, Margaret adapts to life among the barbarian Scots, bears princes, and shapes the fierce warrior Malcolm into a sophisticated ruler. Yet even as the king and queen build a passionate and tempestuous partnership, the Scots distrust her. When her husband brings Eva, a Celtic bard, to court as a hostage for the good behavior of the formidable Lady Macbeth, Margaret expects trouble. Instead, an unlikely friendship grows between the queen and her bard, though one has a wild Celtic nature and the other follows the demanding path of obligation.
Torn between old and new loyalties, Eva is bound by a vow to betray the king and his Saxon queen. Soon imprisoned and charged with witchcraft and treason, Eva learns that Queen Margaret - counseled by the furious king and his powerful priests - will decide her fate and that of her kinswoman Lady Macbeth. But can the proud queen forgive such deep treachery?
Impeccably researched, a dramatic pause-resister, Queen Hereafter is an unforgettable story of shifting alliances and the tension between fear and trust as a young woman finds her way in a dangerous world.
©2010 Susan Fraser King (P)2011 Audible, Inc
"Although you might think that Saxon-era England has been done to death, King’s move north pleasantly reinvigorates a period rife with political, religious, and social tensions and turmoil." (Booklist)
I usually love historical novels but I'm afraid I had to force myself to slog through this one. There were characters who could have been amazingly interesting but unfortunately, the narration made the story as dull as dishwater. The way that the narrator spoke as Margaret made one think her character was more like a robot than a real person - where did she get that accent???
Just finished the seven hours of part 1 and can't go on listening. I will usually slog through narration issues because I hate wasting my credits. But in this case, I just can't. The narrator--although a decent reader--makes the voices of all the male characters sound like robots or zombies. It's so bad that I can't muster any sense of the male characters as real or interesting. It's a pity though; the story is quite good--guess I'll finish it on my kindle.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
I loved the fact that even though Margaret at times was a little too saintly, Ms. Fraser was able to show the humanity in her. When she starved her self, I thought her a little anorexic, but when she let the hostages go, I was laughing and saying,"You go, Girl!"
Any good Jean Plaidy novel since the subject matter is similar. Historical royal fiction is a great genre that the best give you some insight on why the Royals acted like they did.
I think she did wonderful with Princess Eva, not as great with Margaret. However she did a nice job making sure every character had a different voice.
Naughty or nice?
This is a good book, I didn't give it 5 stars because at times the subject matter was a little too dry for my taste. I did enjoy the book.
Margaret's accent comes of as more Japanese than Nordic.
Worth the time in that it led me to other historical characters and places for research.
I finished the book because the story was interesting. The narrator drove me crazy!!! I hated her male voices!! I had hoped the story was building up to something exciting but in the end it was a real disappointment.
It ranks pretty high for me because it is a bit personal. Queen Margaret is my 26th direct grandmother so to imagine the possibility of what her adventure and life was like is special.
Whenever she does something because she thinks it's the right thing and Malcolm can only respond "Oh Margaret what have you done now...?"
The relationship between Margaret and Malcolm made me chuckle. She has a good heart and yet so naïve and at times mischievous but she can stand up to Malcolm to influence him to be a king to take Scotland into the 12th century.
I wish there could be more novels about historic people and not just text book narratives The novels brings our ancient relatives back to life and remind us of their wisdom learned. .
Inconsistent; halting; odd
Leisurely paced, character-driven novels can be as riveting as action-packed mysteries. However, this book fails to achieve that and instead is so slow and empty that it tested my patience. At more than 12 hours, it is twice as long as it could have (should have?) been to tell the sparse tale of a period in the life of Scotland's Saxon queen, Margaret. The lengthy descriptions of Margaret's gowns, her pious devotions, her generosity, etc., become repetitive and boring.
In addition, like most overly pious individuals, she is tedious and tiresome. For most of the book, she does almost nothing except pray, fast, plead with her husband king to be more charitable, redecorate the castles, and mope around in a guilt-ridden stupor. This is NOT the description of a powerful or vibrant queen. Perhaps that's really how she was, but it doesn't make for good reading.
The other characters were more alive, though they too did little throughout the book and I was left with a "who cares" feeling toward them all.
Finally, the narrator really did a poor job on Margaret. Her voice was weirdly halting and robotic ("I ... am ... a ... queen"). It was an annoying distraction. She did far better on the other characters.
I have read a number of historical novels set in this same era and this doesn't live up to its promise.
The narrator is great.
The story line.
She makes it easy to keep characters straight, consistent voices.
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