I AM THE CHOSEN KINGThe Lost Kingdom 1066
by Helen Hollick
$16.99, 592 pages
Synopsis from Sourcebooks
England, 1044. Harold Godwineson, a young, respected Earl, falls in love with an ordinary but beautiful woman. He marries Edyth despite her lack of pedigree, pitting him against his turbulent family and his selfish King, Edward. In France, William, the bastard son of a duke, falls in love with power. Brutal and dangerously smart, William sets his sights on England, finding ambition a difficult lust to conquer.
In 1066, with the old King Edward dying, England falls vulnerable to the winds of fate—and the stubborn will of these two powerful men. In this beautifully crafted tale, Helen Hollick sets aside the propaganda of the Norman Conquest and brings to life the English version of the story of the last Saxon King, revealing his tender love, determination, and proud loyalty, all shattered by the unforgiving needs of a Kingdom. Forced to give up his wife and risk his life for England, the chosen King led his army into the great Battle of Hastings in October 1066 with all the honor and dignity that history remembers of its fallen heroes. ~Sourcebooks
I am honored to be a part of Helen Hollick’s 2011 Blog Tour. Last year I was introduced to this author’s writing when I read The Forever Queen. I was so impressed with the quality and enchantment of her writing. When I was given the opportunity to preview I Am the Chosen King, and participate in this promotion of her second book in her trilogy about the Battle of Hastings, I couldn’t resist. Helen Hollick has captured my attention with much enthusiasm once again.
Harold Godwinesson, the chosen king, is a romantically compelling character, in fact, a woman’s dream: charming, loving, handsome, supportive and brave. At times his character is almost too good to be real. Where is this man, the loving father who is deeply in love with his first love, Edith, a woman who can never be queen, nor accepted as anything but his concubine, yet they will have many children? It has the elements of a star-crossed relationship, with a prescient and foreboding future. However, he deeply loves and adores her. They share this unique and rare heart match. He is determined to have a life with her.
When King Edward dies without an heir, Harold is selected by the council to become England’s King. At this time he is compelled to chose a woman to be his Queen, solidifying an alliance for the future of England, his kingdom. However, this also means he must face severing his relationship with Edith.
Ms. Hollick presents her version of this famous day in history and the events that lead up to October 14, 1066. With precise clarity she gives the reader what is necessary to imagine the setting and characters who lived during this time. Her keen eye has puzzled the threads from 11th century tapestries she uncovered in her research to evoke the ambiance that is presented in I Am the Chosen King. The battles are vividly brutal, the gore inescapable. The serious scenes of this nobel fight for power turn quickly from the bright glitter of sharpened metal and anticipation, to the dull red bloodbath of defeat known as The Battle of Hastings.
Helen Hollick has unwoven the dusty threads of the past to assemble a unique visionary interpretation of the history that surrounded two men Harold, King of England and William, “The Bastard” Duke of Normandy and their lust for one crown in this powerful historical fiction novel.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my honest unbiased opinion.
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