Book review: The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick

The Forever Queen (The Saxon Series, #1)The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Forever Queen” is the first book of two about Emma of Normandy, who married Aethelred of England (known as the Unready) and slowly transforms from a shy and timid girl into a woman of confidence and self-assurance who knows what she wants. And what she wants is to be Queen of England and to do the best she can for her adoptive country. Book #1 is the transformation of Emma with secondary characters including her first husband, her stepsons Aethelstan and Edmund Ironside, her sons Edward, Alfred, and Hardecanute, and her second husband, Cnut. Also starring in a prominent role is Earl Godwin, a stalwart ally and friend.
The events covered in this book are not well known–most know British history starting with William the Conqueror. The book is well-researched, and the author does not shy away from the violence of the time (although it is never gratuitous, it is often graphic).
In some ways, Cnut is the most fascinating character in this book, as he evolves from a Danish savage to a strong and respected English king. But the book is Emma’s story and her single-minded devotion to the well-being of England. I highly recommend this fascinating read!

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