Having previously read and thoroughly enjoyed, I Am the Chosen King, I was looking forward to reading more of Hollick's early England. I was not disappointed.
Hollick's Emma is brilliant. She leaps off the pages. I cheered for her. I cried for her. I just about got down on bended knee and offered to be one of her maids or housecarls.
I love when an author creates a character you love to hate. This book featured two. At the novel's opening there was the horrid Lady Godegifa (Known to the world as Lady Godiva). I was just sitting around waiting for Emma to gain her bearing and banish that woman to the Channel. Later in the novel, we are introduced to Aelfgifu who made Godegifa look like a kitten in comparison. What a mother won't do for her sons.
The only problems I had with this book were the parts where Emma would go missing for pages at a time. Hollick's Edward and Alfred did not make for compelling reading. I found myself skipping over those pages just so I could get back to Emma's story. At least Edward's character is consistent from this novel to the next.
"But women, she knew, were often kindred spirits to a kennel full of snarling bitches."
"You know, Erik, I am beginning to see the point of a monk's celibacy. It leads for a quieter life in several directions."