Shadow on the Crown

England, A.D. 1002

In a world lit by fire and ruled by the sword, a fifteen-year-old girl kneels to receive an English crown – an act that will echo down the ages. Within that circlet of gold the ambitions of four powerful men are about to collide, for this young queen is the key to all that they desire. To a calculating Norman duke she is a blood tie to the wealthiest monarchy in Europe. To a haunted English king she is a guarantee of allies against a fierce and brutal enemy. To Denmark’s Viking ruler she is a prize worth ten times her weight in silver. To a young ætheling of England she is a temptation to forbidden passion. Her name is Emma…and she will change the course of history.


Reviews of Shadow on the Crown:

“Striking a quivering bull’s eye with the first book of a planned trilogy, Bracewell’s enthralling debut begins with Emma of Normandy crossing the “Narrow Sea” in 1002 C.E. to marry the much older King Aethelred…Determined and savvy, Emma is a strong character that refuses to be cowed by her circumstances. With a light touch, Bracewell delivers a highly entertaining addition to the historical fiction genre.” Publishers Weekly

“Bracewell’s sweeping first novel is richly researched and creates a fully realized eleventh-century world of violence, power, intrigue, and superstition.” Booklist

“The familiar themes of political rivalry, court scandal, and disputed lineage so often explored in historical fiction get a new cast of schemers and scoundrels set in a less familiar but no less dramatic period of English history. Readers of historical sagas and romances will embrace this rich narrative.” Library Journal

“Using the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles as her marker, Patricia Bracewell has produced a magnificent work of historical fiction, evoking time and place in a remarkable way, and engaging the reader firmly in her story.” Kathy Stevenson, London’s Daily Mail

“Bracewell gives us a beautifully embroidered tale of a volatile, troubled king and his young, inexperienced but resilient and resourceful bride…Her writing is lively, the plot fast paced, tense, romantic and laced with intrigue…a rip roaring read…” Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post

“With everything from war and betrayal to forbidden love and sweet romance, Shadow on the Crown is a stellar historical fiction novel. Emma, a character lost to history, is a heroine everyone can admire and love. Author Patricia Bracewell writes with passion and gorgeous prose.” Teri Harman,

“Author Patricia Bracewell’s words have a life of their own in Shadow on the Crown making for a stunning, well-researched, historical fiction debut….” Tara Creel, The Deseret News

“Bracewell’s storytelling skills are to be admired. She employs all the machinations and drama normally found in the plays of Shakespeare to present this story, and her cast of characters are equally fascinating and well-bodied. The story is woven together like a rich tapestry…Shadow On The Crown does the unimaginable — makes what could be stale history from another millennium sparkle and appeal to today’s readers.” Sharon Galligar Chance, Times Record News

“What a great book! A fascinating, little-known period of history, a tense, exciting story, and characters who spring as naturally from their own time as mushrooms from the forest floor.” Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series

“A meticulously researched, lyrically written tale which shines a sensuous light into the murkier depths of the Dark Ages.” Robert Low, author of the Oathsworn series

“This novel sparked far more interest in English history than I ever thought possible.”

“Bracewell’s enthusiasm for Emma and her world shines through every beautifully wrought sentence of this masterful debut.”

“Shadow on the Crown gets my unqualified recommendation, and it’s clear by the end that Emma’s story has only begun. Even knowing the basics of the history, I can’t wait to see how these four characters’ entangled stories will play out.”

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