Tuesday 16 November 2010

Review: The Forever Queen - Helen Hollick

Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 622
Published: November 2010 Sourcebooks Landmark

Married to a king incompetent both on the throne and in bed, Emma does not love her husband. But she does love England. Even as her husband fails, Emma vows to protect her people-no matter what. For five decades, through love and loss, prosperity and exile, Emma fights for England, becoming the only woman to have been anointed, crowned, and reigning queen to two different kings, the mother of two more, and the great aunt of William the Conqueror.

Emma of Normany married King Aethelred when she was 13. One son would become Edward the Confessor. But the Swein Forkbeard of Denmark invaded together with his son Cnut, and all was lost. But Emma was one strong woman who after her husband's death married Cnut, and once again reigned as queen of England.

My thoughts:
I loved it, the story was so rich in history and details, and it was exactly like a good historical novel should be like. Following the facts, but still inventing and creating a book utterly wonderful.

Emma was a truly fascinating woman. Mother to two kings, wife to two kings, stepmother to kings, because yes England saw a lot of kings during her time there. I was enchanted by the story. The first part was about her horrible marriage to Aetheldred, not fit to be king, seeing her distancing herself from her kids was heartbreaking. The second part was about her other marriage and I do hope that it was true that they had a loving marriage. That she finally found joy with Cnut. It was certainly more romantic.

This book is filled with history, what else to expect, the book spans 40 years of her life. And I could even start to tell about all the things that happened. There are vikings raiding,  there is fighting over the crowns, a lot of times. Treachery, jealousy, kings dying, fighting between English earls, you get the point. There is never a dull moment. Because something is always happening, and when nothing is happening it is just nice to relax and enjoy her life for a bit.

Awww, I do love good historical fiction. It just warms me right up. So fun to google later too and discovering more.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
I am giving this book 4,25 because I could not put it down, even though this was one big book! I would with all my heart recommend it to lovers of historical fiction, and to the rest of you, this is a woman worth reading about. It had everything, but mostly it had her, and I do wonder why not more books are written about her. She certainly deserves a spotlight for her interesting life. The book itself was well written, and was never cluttered with facts or dull. It was a joy to read.

Reason for reading:
Long ago I read a book by a Swedish author and that was the first time I met Queen Emma, I never forgot her and I even wrote a paper about her in uni, so when I heard about this book I jumped at the chance to read about her again.

Cover thoughts: Ok

The book was previously published under the name: A Hollow Crown: The Story of Emma, Queen of Saxon England

I received the book from the publisher


  1. Oh, this does sound like one that I would enjoy! Thanks for the review.

  2. Sounds great, just the sort of historical novel I would enjoy. I'll put it on my wishlist.

  3. Historical fiction is not my kind of read... even so, you make this book sound intriguing :)

  4. I'm a fan of historical fiction and this title just went on my list. Great review!!

  5. JoJo
    I am sure you would like it, it was just so good!

    Do that :)

    Hihi, you know you should just give it a go *hint hint*

    Thanks, it sure was, still thinking about it.

    Yay, I do hope you get it

  6. Sold! I want to read this now! Sounds perfect for a winter time read!

  7. Glad to hear you liked this! Big book but hard to put down. And I cried when Edmund died... Haven't read any other books about her which is a shame!

    I love this new cover! It's pretty!

  8. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never even heard of Emma. I do think this sounds like a great historical fiction, I really like HF even though I don't read it very often. Excellent review, B. You're making my wish list grow longer.

    Ladybug of Escape In A Book.

  9. Now this really sounds like a historical read for me! I'm going to have to put this one on my wishlist. I love stories about strong women like this. Thanks for the review!

  10. I like this author and this does sound like a good historical to sink your teeth into.

  11. Thanks for a wonderful review. I think I'd like this very much.,

  12. Yes, yes, this is the book I want to read and I want to read it now!!!

    Ok just joking a bit but it is on my TBR list. Pernamently. The cover could have been more regal with such a heroine.

  13. Amused
    That it certainly is, and it will last for some time too

    I felt sad when poor Alfred died, he just wanted to be king and see his mum :(

    You really should read it, and you know Norway is mentioned a lot ;)

  14. Melissa
    Yay, please do, I enjoyed it so much. And if you want strong then she sure becomes one

    I am sure happy to have read it

    I am sure you would :)

    So true, it could have been more, but still it's ok. it's kind of, dunno really, something about it.
    But yes liked the book a lot

  15. I've heard Hollick is a fabulous author, so I'm not surprised to see you loved this.

  16. Excellent review and I love this one too!! Can't wait for the next book to come out now!

  17. Hey honey! Popping in to see how you are doing and hoping you had a great weekend! A great Monday and a wonderful Tuesday! And I hope you have an amazing Wednesday! Friday is almost here.. Yayay!
    Hugs to you honey!!

  18. I really hadn't given much thought to reading this book until I read your review. If you couldn't put it down, it must be a good one! I'll keep it in mind.

  19. Bermuda
    The story was just so incredibly good

    *waves back*

    Too bad Emma will not be there, but I am sure it will be one interesting book since I read a book about the woman he married, and it was so good

  20. Cecile
    Awww Friday, yay, going to an engagement party then :) I hope you are having a wonderful week too

    One hard book to put down, you will be engrossed in the history

  21. thank you for so many fabulous comments - I have so enjoyed this blog tour and I'm blushing like crazy from all the nice things that have been said about me and my book!

  22. Thank you for stopping by Helen :D



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