on 8 February 2010
I have a keen interest early medieval history. Good historical novels set in this period are few and far between. This one is one of my favourites. Helen Hollick does a superb job painting a picture of pre-Norman England, its intrigues and its personalities, in particular Emma of Normandy, Aethelred and Cnut. It's not a book full of battles, it's not Bernard Cornwell. But the portrayal of the period and the range of different and believable characters are excellent. Don't let the size of the book put you off either. By the time I got to the end, I wanted more, and delved straight into Helen Hollick's other book of this peroid, `Harold the King' (just as good).
on 7 December 2009
A compelling book, Helen Hollick has written an absolutely superb portrait of Queen Emma. You see, feel and smell how it was like to live in her era. Obviously it is her own interpretation of the events as there are few manuscripts left but her perception of the human factor in each persona is so believable that it makes this book one to reckon with if you are interested in England before the norman invasion. Great sense of humour too! And if you are a fan of Sharon Penman's books you shall not be disappointed either.