Monday, October 7

Book Review: The Forever Queen

Author: Helen Hollick
Title: The Forever Queen (Saxon Series #1)
Genre: Drama, Action, Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: August 2004
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Amazon)

"Aged only thirteen, Emma, daughter of the Duke of Normandy, is married in a strategic alliance to King Aethelred of England. Inept and arrogant, Aethelred is loathed by his young wife, whom he punishes for his many failings as a ruler. Their first son, Edward, is born through an act of violence that is little more than rape. England is invaded by the Viking King Swein Forkbeard and his son Cnut. After a bitter struggle, Aethelred loses his kingdom and his wife. Emma, now dowager queen, holds London against the invader Cnut. When he demands she surrender or suffer the consequences, Emma stakes everything on a dangerous gamble, but troubles and tragedy still await the indomitable queen as she struggles for power and for survival... "

My goodness! This too FOREVER for me to read...gah!!!! Not because it was a horrid book or anything, it was rather long, but that's no excuse either. I had so many other books and things on my plate that would arrive and I would have to put this book on the backburner and get those done. Especially when school came into the picture. I'm taking two classes that involve reading like a crazy person. Sighs.


This was a great book! I never heard of Queen Emma before and now I'm ashamed of this fact, because she certainly is the epitome of a strong woman. Her life was rather tragic at places, but through it all she arose and conquered all. She never lost her spirit even when her first husband, Aethelred, abused her and raped her many times, because he could. He was a crappy king and since she was weaker, physically, he could put all his frustrations on her. 

I'm so glad that Cnut came into the picture and conquered England. That's SO horrible to say, but England needed a strong force to dominate. So with Emma at his side, England could have the strength they needed to build a strong country. If the vikings never conquered, I bet England wouldn't be what they are today. The earls acted like children and the kings were weak-minded and didn't care for the peasants. So yes, I'm glad Cnut took the reigns. I also really hope that Emma and Cnut had a true love, because she really deserved to be loved. One can only assume, because true love back then didn't matter and it was never recorded. 

I have a couple issues with this book. One, there were SO many POVS! It was hard to follow sometimes on who was talking/thinking, that I would have to go back a little bit and re-read. Again, I would love to have some sort of mention on when the POV was changing. Second, I skimmed a wee bit. Some parts were just dragging so much, that I skimmed. 

Other then those two things I really adored this book. The story was fun and the plot was interesting. I really enjoyed how Helen Hollick could suck me into the story. I felt like I was there and that is really needed when you read a Historical Fiction. You need to feel like you are there. See the world, smell the world, taste the world (weird, but you know what I mean), and feel the world. Helen Hollick did a great job with this. I would recommend this to those that love Historical Fiction or just a good story. I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

 Favorite Character(s): Emma (of course), Pallig, Cnut (even though he was a snot at the beginning), and Thorkell
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Aethelred and Swein Forkbeard (meh)


Blodeuedd said...

I Liked this one too :D Cos I like Emma ever since I read a Swedish book about her ages ago

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Carole Rae said...

:D I liked Emma, I should research more on her.