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2.0 out of 5 starsDisappointing sequel
Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2018
A number of reviewers are writing about a Chuck Logan book with the same title. This is the continuation of Shadow on the Crown which was a much better book since it at least moved at a reasonable pace and while not especially gripping at least it was readable. I got very frustrated in the middle third of this book since nothing was really happening except the passage of time waiting for the Danes to attack where one of the characters was waiting. Even Ethelred refused to confront the Danes when both armies were face to face. All major characters spend the majority of the book refusing to take any action whatsoever. So the Danes are pillaging but refusing to seize control of all England. Ethelred is hiding out both from the Danes and his ghosts while Aethelstan is ordered to remain in London. Even Emma moves around rarely. This definitely does not capture the mind and imagination of the reader. It is helpful that I researched Ethelred to see what will actually happen during his muddled reign. Another author has written a single book about Emma which I hope will be more dynamic than this. I’m not sure I can bear to buy and read the third tome in this series.
5.0 out of 5 starsAnother brilliant read! Can't wait for book 3.
Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2015
The Price of Blood by Patricia Bracewell is the second book in Bracewell's trilogy about Queen Emma of England. This novel is another excellently researched, gripping read that chronicles the upheavals of early 11th century England.
All of the characters are well written especially King Aethelred and Queen Emma. I really liked how the author chose to write the character of the king and why his personality is the way it is and why he acts the way he acts. Without giving anything away, the king is greatly troubled and beset from his own inner demons, the unrest of his northern nobles, and the invasions from various groups of Vikings. A fantastic, heavily imbued with detail story line, this book is not to be missed.
If one would like to take a journey back in time to the turbulent 11th century then read this book and series. A fantastic tale by a highly talented author.
This is the first book I have read by this author. The use of early English and Danish names and terms make it more authentic feeling from the beginning. I felt characters were fleshed out enough to become engaged (or disgusted) by their behaviors and found myself lost in the story. It is amazing how cruel rulers could be to their own people but again this story rings true to how it was in these times. I enjoyed the book.
I have enjoyed this book, as well as the first book in this trilogy. I would very much like to read the third, but it doesn’t seem to be out. I thought this series completed because of how long it had been since the publication date of the first. Wouldn’t have started it if I had known otherwise. Having said that, I have enjoyed reading some of the actual history, as well as the authors imaginings on how some things could have been. Good job and I do recommend.
I loved the first two books, so much so that I regularly check here to see if the third one has been released. There are so many of us waiting and hoping our beloved author has not given up on this character. Reading someone else's fictional account will not satisfy here. If I knew I would not get my heartbroken, and that the third installment was coming, I would just reread the first two.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent sequel to "Shadow of the Crown"
Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2015
I can't say enough good things about this novel. I loved the 1st book in this historical trilogy "Shadow of the Crown". This 2nd book continues the story of Emma, queen of England in the 11th century (before William the Conqueror). Bracewell does a nice job of not only making her characters real and lively, but portrays how challenging life might have been for women of the court. Like other historic fiction about England's queens, Bracewell is convincing in her portrayal of those women as pawns in the game of kings, yet struggling to empower themselves and their children. Too bad the kings were invariably such stubborn, prideful meatheads.
5.0 out of 5 starsSuperb writing, riveting plot, overall excellent writing with a realistic story. Highly recommended !
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2015
Once again, Ms. Bracewell has written a stunning account of Emma and her years as Queen of the court. I could not put it down, really, and have recommended it to many friends who also love a well-researched and riveting story that is true for the main characters. I cannot imagine the research that has gone into this book. History novels can be interesting, but the richness of the characters, their dialogue, the settings all feel as though I were riding along with them, no small task to accomplish. I can hardly wait for her next book, but it will be worth it!
5.0 out of 5 starsA Priceless Entertaining Sequel!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 1, 2016
This very fine novel is the 2nd volume of the Emma of Normandy trilogy. Once more the author has managed, although real documentation about this period of history is hard to find, a thorough research by using again the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Storytelling is of an absolute wonderful quality, and so the story itself is again written in a very elegant kind of style, so much so that it keeps you spellbound through-out. This volume continues where part 1 left off, and that's now from the year AD 1006 until AD 1012, and it tells again the story about the life of Emma of Normandy, who's the sister of Richard II and Robert of Normandy, as well as the great-aunt of William "The Conqueror" of Normandy. The story itself is about Emma and her elderly husband King AEtheltred of England, who find themselves beleaguered by on the one side the Viking armies and on the other side by people within the court, whether they are councillors, sons or the ghost of the King's dead brother. Also someone who will play a devious part towards the Royal couple within this tale is the beautiful and ambitious Elgiva, who's married to King AEthelred's greatest adversary, by casting her lot with that of the Viking army. When the Vikings do attack, it is Athelstan, the King's eldest son and the man who's in love with Emma, who will stand up and fight them, although it is against his father's command, and by doing so the family ties are starting to break and chaos is starting to develop in a crumbling Kingdom. It is finally Queen Emma who steps into the void, but still the question remains and only time will tell, will her actions save her and her son for the immediate future? This historical story of Emma of Normandy is brought to us in a convincing way and in a splendid style, for it pictures vividly life at court with all the dangers, treachery and death. This lady has provided another stunning book, one that I would like to recommend to anyone, and one that I want to call "A Priceless Entertaining Sequel"!
4.0 out of 5 starsgood, though didn't enjoy quite as much as the first one
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2018
This is the second book in the author's projected trilogy of novels covering the colourful and dramatic life of Emma of Normandy, queen to both the Saxon king of England, Ethelred II the Unready and the Danish conqueror king Canute. This novel covers the crucial years as England is ravaged by successive waves of Viking invasions, only finally driven away by the payment of enormous bribes, for example 48,000 pounds of silver. There are many interesting characters on both the Saxon and Danish sides, and some shocking and horrific incidents. I didn't enjoy this quite as much as the first book, as I got a little tired of Ethelred's bloody-mindedness (if he was really like this, he was not just ill-advised, but completely lacking in judgement and what we would now call people management skills), and his being haunted by the spirit of his murdered step brother, king Edward the Martyr. I wonder how much of Emma's life is to be covered by this trilogy, as she has another 40 years of life left to be potentially covered in book three.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2015
I am not one of those reviewers who types out half the story only to end it by saying it was good,awful or brilliant. This is obviously book two and like book one I just couldn't put it down. I am intrigued by Queen Emma and tend to forget how young she was when this story began and now I want to read her biography, if there is one. I love the history of Anglo Saxon Britain how brutal the Times were and how the English fought almost daily to free themselves from the Danes. I am Scottish but it fascinates me nonetheless. This book, like book one, took me right into the heart of these times and I enjoyed every hair raising minute! For those of you Interested in this time period I highly recommend these books, off to get book 3 now!
5.0 out of 5 starsA story of a strong Queen caught up in the middle of fueds in a turbalent times
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 17, 2015
A lovely book to read about that time in Englands history. Emma was sold in some ways to be Englands Queen at the turn of the first millenium. I found it personally interesting because where I come from is the grave of King Athelstone in our Abbey Church. King Henry was a tormented soul who in some ways didn't trust his sons like he should have done and trusted advisors out for their own gain. This time the vikings and Norway's King Swein is being paid gold to stay away. This book is very interesting reading and as it progresses Queen Emma becomes a stalwart to uphold the rights of her son and make sure stepsons and children were given their rights.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe price of blood. Patricia Bracewell.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2015
I enjoyed this book about a long lost queen. So little is known about Emma but this book has obviously been well researched. It is great to turn a page and not know what will happen. I knew bare basic s about Emma so I cannot wait for the next book to tell the reader whatever became of her, her children and if she found any happiness with her second husband, Cnut. I can't wait to find out what happened to the ramblings and Emma and Cnut's children. An excellent read. Well done Miss.Blackwell. Here's hoping for many more