Title: The Northern Queen
Author: Kelly Evans
St. Brice’s Day, England, Anno 1002. At the order of King Aethelred, thousands of Danes are murdered in a frenzy of ethnic cleansing. Outraged, the Danish king, Sweyn Forkbeard, swears he will take Aethelred’s head, and his crown.
But Sweyn needs allies. Chief amongst his supporters is Aelfgifu, an English noblewoman and head of a once great family. She has her own reasons to hate Aethelred and as a pagan, she is sympathetic to the Danish cause. When Aelfgifu marries Sweyn’s son, Canute, war is inevitable.
But if Aethelred is weak, Emma, his Norman queen, is not. And she will stop at nothing to destroy the woman at the heart of the Viking army.
Love, ambition and revenge combine in an epic struggle for justice during the most turbulent period in England’s history.
There is nothing I love better than a well-researched historical fiction, and Kelly Evans’ novel is just that. Her writing was flawless, and she managed to make even the most gruesome events come off as artistic. She also did a fantastic job at explaining events to the reader that the reader might not otherwise have understood, and she did so without sounding like a textbook. Her novel sprung to life within the first few pages, and those pages are the ones that I use first and foremost to judge the rest of the novel.
The Northern Queen is a rich tapestry of historical events that involve the Vikings and the conflict that came between Paganism and Christianity. This religious feud led to a lot of bloodshed and fear, and Evans did a magnificent job of portraying both of those conflicts. Her novel surrounded family and war, and she intertwined both beautifully. The Vikings were a fascinating people, and Evans did them more than justice. I have not found a fiction that portrays them as accurately as Evans did, and I cannot praise her work enough. The editing was flawless, and her voice was effortless. She is clearly a literary prodigy, and her novel deserves so much more recognition than it has received.
If you are interested in learning more about the Vikings in a completely factual, but fictional way, then The Northern Queen is the perfect book to pick up.
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