1066. Three Queens. One Crown.As a young woman in England's royal court, Edyth, granddaughter of Lady Godiva, dreams of marrying for love. But political matches are rife while King Edward is still without an heir and the future of England is uncertain.When Edyth's family are exiled to the wild Welsh court, she falls in love with the charismatic King of Wales - but their romance comes at a price and she is catapulted onto the opposing side of a bitter feud with England. Edyth's only allies are Earl Harold Godwinson and his handfasted wife, Lady Svana.As the years pass, Edyth finds herself elevated to a position beyond even her greatest expectations. She enjoys both power and wealth but as her star rises the lines of love and duty become more blurred than she could ever have imagined. As 1066 dawns, Edyth is asked to make an impossible choice.Her decision is one that has the power to change the future of England forever . . .
The Chosen Queen by Joanna Courtney is published by Pan Macmillan on 7 May 2015.
I am thrilled to welcome my friend Josie who blogs at Jaffa Reads Too today. Josie is a huge fan of The Chosen Queen for Random Things. Please do go and visit her and Jaffa at their fabulous blog - you'll find some really great reviews and probably add even more to your 'to be read' lists!
historical fiction and has kindly written a guest review of
Here's Josie's thoughts on The Chosen Queen:
The dark ages of our past is so often shrouded in mystery, myth and legend.
In The Chosen Queen, Joanna Courtney brings to vivid life the story of Edyth Alfgarsdottir, daughter of Alfgar, Earl of Mercia and granddaughter of the infamous Lady Godiva.
The story opens in 1055, with a fascinating introduction into what life was like for Edyth as she grows to maturity in an English royal court where intrigue and suspicion walk hand in hand with danger. Often at the mercy of capricious forces, Edyth watches as her father falls from grace and the need to start afresh, in the wilds of Wales, so far away from the English court ,will open the possibility of love and a whole new way of life for Edyth.
The lead up to the battle of Hastings and the latter years of Edward the Confessor’s reign, seem to belong to a forgotten period in history, and yet in The Chosen Queen, the author succeeds in bringing to life the danger of a time which was all too often consumed by conspiracy, counter plot and malice.
Beautifully written, with a fine eye for detail, the author allows a tantalising glimpse into a time when strong and decisive men found their match with beautiful and impulsive women, and yet, underneath the bravado there was a vulnerability which only emphasises the fleeting nature of their lives.
Edyth is a feisty protagonist; she lives and loves with a glorious pragmatism, which is as exciting as it is endearing. I enjoyed the descriptions of life at the Welsh court and Edyth’s passionate marriage to Griffin, the Welsh king, is filled with the ever present threat of danger.
However, it is in Edyth’s relationship with Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex and later King of England, where the story really starts to come alive and where the shadow of history sits comfortably alongside a story of sacrifice, duty and passionate love.
I really enjoyed this novel and am delighted to learn that it is the start of a trilogy which will bring to life the significant lives of the Saxon, Viking and Norman queens who were involved in the battle to become Queen of England during this decisive time in our history.
My thanks to Anne for the invitation to guest review this book and to Macmillan for the opportunity to read The Chosen Queen in advance of its publication in May 2015.
My thanks to Josie for this lovely review, and to Katie from Pan Macmillan who sent the copy for review.
Joanna Courtney has wanted to be a writer ever since she could read. As a child she was rarely to be seen without her head in a book and she was also quick to pick up a pen. After spending endless hours entertaining her siblings with made up stories, it was no surprise when Joanna pursued her passion for books during her time at Cambridge University - where she combined her love of English and History by specialising in Medieval Literature.
Joanna continued to write through her first years of work and then, married and living in Derbyshire, in the spares hours available between raising four children. She has written over 200 stories and serials published in women's magazines, some of which have been broadcast on BBC radio.
Joanna has also won several fiction prizes and written and directed an award-winning play. She teaches creative writing across the country and for the Open University.
Joanna is fascinated by defining moments in history, of which the Battle of Hastings is certainly one. The outcome of that momentous day is one of the big 'what-ifs?' of England's past and she has loved being able to immerse herself in the world of the Anglo-Saxons, Normans and Vikings whilst writing The Queens of the Conquest trilogy.
For more information about Joanna and her writing, visit her website www.joannabarnden.co.uk
Follow her on Twitter @joannacourtney1