2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Interesting look at Saxon England prior to the Conquest,
This review is from: A Hollow Crown (Paperback)
"A wife of two kings and mother of two more" and thus begins the long and complicated tale story of Emma of Normandy, sent at the age of 13 to marry Aethelred of England who earned the well deserved nickname The Unready, and they have two sons Edward (The Confessor) and Alfred. England is constantly being bedeviled by the Danish Vikings, who come once a year to wreak havoc and demand money, and finally due to Aethelred's incompetence the Danish conquer England and Emma and her family flees in exile to Normandy. After Aethelred dies, Emma makes the choice to remain Queen of England and marries the Danish conqueror, Cnut, which turns out to be a much more successful marriage than the first one.
Although I quite enjoyed this tale of a strong Queen who was determined to hold onto her crown at all costs, I felt that it tended to bog down and drag at times, and while this was an entertaining read, it doesn't quite come up to a five star read. I very much appreciated the author's notes at the end where she quotes her sources and points out what is known and what she has surmised, etc. Still, if you are interested in learning more about pre-conquest Saxon England, this is a very good start, along with the sequel, Harold the King which I plan on reading in the near future. Side note, the book info page states the page count at 500+ pages, it is actually 864 pages.