The Chosen Queen



A Date That Changed The Course Of History A Date That Changed Her Life ForeverLove Should Be Free That Is What Edyth Alfgarsdottir Has Always Believed As A Young Girl She Witnessed Earl Harold Standing Barefoot In His Handfast Marriage To The Beautiful Lady Svana And Has Yearned For Her Own Love Match Ever SinceAmongst England S Royal Court, Marriages Are Not Often Chosen For Love And Political Matches Are Rife While King Edward Is Still Without An Heir When Her Family Are Exiled To The Wild Welsh Court, Edyth Unexpectedly Finds Herself Falling For The Charismatic Griffin First King Of All Of Wales Becoming His Queen Catapults Edyth Onto The Opposing Side Of A Bitter Feud Between England And Wales She Has To Grow Up Fast But Has The Support And Encouragement Of Her Closest Friend, Lady SvanaYears Later, Edyth Is In Line To Take The Crown Of England This Time The Lines Of Love And Duty Are Far Blurred As Dawns, Edyth And Svana Will Be Asked To Make An Even Greater Sacrifice, Perhaps The Greatest Of All In The Midst Of War, Can Love And Freedom SurviveThe Chosen Queen

My first literary accolade was a creative writing prize at primary school and from that point on I wanted to be a novelist I was always reading as a child and often made up stories for my brother and sister on long car journeys I was also a huge Enid Blyton fan and by ten I was writing my own doubtless terrible boarding school novels Perhaps inevitably, I took my degree in English literature and it was at Cambridge, specialising in medieval literature, that I first discovered what has become a true passion for ancient history I took a sidestep after university to work in a wonderful textiles factory in Lancashire a move that led me to my lovely husband, but didn t satisfy my yearning to write Married and living in Derbyshire, however, I took up my pen again in the sparse hours available between raising my two stepchildren and twoof my own At that hectic time, I primarily wrote shorter fiction and I ve had well over 200 stories and serials published in women s magazines Now though, with the older two leaving home and the younger two at secondary school, my time has opened up and it s been a joy to fill it with my historical trilogy The Queens of the Conquest I find the Saxons, Vikings and Normans absolutely fascinating TheI research their world, theI realise how cruel the term dark ages is, as these people had hugely sophisticated clothing, jewellery, art, poetry, economics and judicial systems They were also just people, as we are people and I firmly believe that they must have largely felt much the same as we do Amusement, embarrassment, grief, hatred and perhaps above all love are not modern inventions and I have loved creating a cast of, hopefully, believable characters to help readers experience this fantastic era for themselves My trilogy is about the amazing stories of the three women vying to be Queen of England in 1066 Edyth of Mercia, wife of King Harold Elizaveta of Kiev wife of Harald Hardrada and Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror I am thrilled it is being published by PanMacmillan and very much hope that readers enjoy the first novel The Chosen Queen out in May 2015.

➵ The Chosen Queen Read ➼ Author Joanna Courtney – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 393 pages
  • The Chosen Queen
  • Joanna Courtney
  • English
  • 02 May 2017
  • 144728190X

10 thoughts on “The Chosen Queen

  1. says:

    I remember reading about Edyth as a kid in Morgan Llewelyn s Wing From Hastings I was really young and so only remember vague impressions, like remembering that Harold was a big bully and her brothers were toads It was a real treat to re visit this era and these people specifically to get another look at them.For a debut novel, this author has done a fantastic job She took a lot of time in her world building and research of details The reader gets a real sense for the sights, sounds, and sme I remember reading about Edyth as a kid in Morgan Llewelyn s Wing From Hastings I was really young and so only remember vague impressions, like remembering that Harold was a big bully and her brothers were toads It was a real treat to re visit this era and these people specifically to get another look at them.For a debut novel, this author has done a fantastic job She took a lot of time in her world building and research of details The reader gets a real sense for the sights, sounds, and smells of late Anglo Saxon England and wild Wales The intense political situation the characters found themselves in was thoroughly explored and made for suspenseful reading I also was very fascinated by all the details on hand fasting vs traditional Roman religious weddings and the differences thereof.All the characters and their various relationships made for enthralling reading To see Edyth, Harold, and all the others come alive again was a real treat The author gives them real depth of emotion, personality, and understanding I especially liked Edyth and her understanding of the various political situations and her place in them Being married to two men who are enemies and the particular situation with Harold Svana showed her maturity and clear thinking I also liked how real she felt in her sensual nature and curiosity, like any other girl woman her age.Altogether, I feel that this is a robust start of Joanna Courtney s new trilogy and total career She tells a great story, gets the historical details right, and makes her characters and their relationships breathe with depth and realism I definitely look forward toworks by her I feel she s going to be among the greats for me

  2. says:

    Set in the last years of Anglo Saxon rule before the Norman conquest of 1066, this could have been an interesting look at a slightly less well known historical era but it s tainted by re writing history as a Mills Boon romance, and offers no sense of time and place.Very much in the Philippa Gregory strain of writing, there s a lot of flouncy descriptions of dresses, jewellery and heaving milk white breasts while everyone thinks, speaks and understands the world through modern ideas and con Set in the last years of Anglo Saxon rule before the Norman conquest of 1066, this could have been an interesting look at a slightly less well known historical era but it s tainted by re writing history as a Mills Boon romance, and offers no sense of time and place.Very much in the Philippa Gregory strain of writing, there s a lot of flouncy descriptions of dresses, jewellery and heaving milk white breasts while everyone thinks, speaks and understands the world through modern ideas and concepts.So everyone wants to marry for true love rather than political alliance, our heroine Edyth asserts that she isthan happy to be queen but it does not define me , her husband Gruffydd known as Griffin in the book tells her that she could do anything if I set my mind to it and women count their wrinkles when they re meet after a time apart from their friends.I particularly enjoyed this dialogue when the Viking marauders come calling Edyth You have travelled far Viking leader Indeed I have been overseeing some business around the Irish seas.Travelled far Indeed Overseeing some business Dialogue which wouldn t be out of place in a genteel Victorian drawing room or Jane Austen novel seems singularly inappropriate for 11th century Wales.This is certainly readable though I really wish a strict editor had taken a red pencil to the over abundance of unnecessary similes , but I would have enjoyed itif it had been less silly and girlie in places and offered a truer sense of what the thought world of Anglo Saxon Britain was like

  3. says:

    I m not usually a fan of Historical Fiction I read the odd one here and there with The Chosen Queen by Joanna Courtney I had been following along the authors story from concept to publication and so of course I HAD to read it and see the end result for myself What I found was a beautifully written multi layered tale with a tremendously authentic sense of place and time and some characters that I fell heartily in love with.Seriously the historical flavour in this novel is magnificent you si I m not usually a fan of Historical Fiction I read the odd one here and there with The Chosen Queen by Joanna Courtney I had been following along the authors story from concept to publication and so of course I HAD to read it and see the end result for myself What I found was a beautifully written multi layered tale with a tremendously authentic sense of place and time and some characters that I fell heartily in love with.Seriously the historical flavour in this novel is magnificent you sink into it and really feel it then of course on top of that you have Edyth anchoring the story and giving it a focus I loved Edyth, her passion for life and for Griffin, the Welsh King, not only that but perhaps my favourite part of the tale, her relationship with Harold Earl of Wessex The characters come to life within the historical setting and it is truly a real page turner.A bit of an epic feel to the whole thing and some gorgeous prose just add to the ambience and overall I thought this was really terrific Although I m not likely to become a closet fan of Historical Fiction I AM likely to become a huge fan of Joanna Courtney and therefore am now awaiting the next novel rather avidly.Highly RecommendedHappy Reading Folks

  4. says:

    Really enjoyed this book The author is a fan of writers such as Elizabeth Chadwick and Phillipa Gregory, and I think she can take her place among those authors for page turning historical novels The pace, the setting as well as the characters made this a book that was hard to put down.A fair amount of artistic licence is taken with the characters real historical figures but as far back as the Battle of Hastings, which was almost a 1,000 years ago, who kept a day to day journal P What the w Really enjoyed this book The author is a fan of writers such as Elizabeth Chadwick and Phillipa Gregory, and I think she can take her place among those authors for page turning historical novels The pace, the setting as well as the characters made this a book that was hard to put down.A fair amount of artistic licence is taken with the characters real historical figures but as far back as the Battle of Hastings, which was almost a 1,000 years ago, who kept a day to day journal P What the writer has done is fleshed out the story in her own words to make a highly readable novel Edyth, who is the central character of the story, is a strong and resilient woman as best as she is able to be in the times she lived in She became queen not only of Wales, but England through two marriages There is also a strong friendship with Svana, Harold s handfasted wife, who was not recognised as his real wife as the marriage had not been done through the Catholic faith Although the women were close in the book, it is doubtful they were friends in reality, but it gives a nice feel of feminine solidarity in a time when women were basically powerless in the face of men s demands.Will be looking out for future works by this author

  5. says:

    I received a copy through Goodreads First Reads.Three and a half starsA fascinating story and one I wasn t familiar with I was worried, as I always am with female centric historical fiction, that this would be too chick lit for my taste but only in the saggy middle section did this suffer from what I call Philippa Gregory Syndrome It s unavoidable really, when you re writing about a time when there was such a divide in the genders, and you have one main character, to get bogged down in the I received a copy through Goodreads First Reads.Three and a half starsA fascinating story and one I wasn t familiar with I was worried, as I always am with female centric historical fiction, that this would be too chick lit for my taste but only in the saggy middle section did this suffer from what I call Philippa Gregory Syndrome It s unavoidable really, when you re writing about a time when there was such a divide in the genders, and you have one main character, to get bogged down in the trappings of that gender It s the reason I don t particularly enjoy male centric historical fiction either nothing but sweaty battles, horses, armour, wenches, and taverns I prefer a solid mix of everything and only one author I ve discovered as yet has managed it perfectly Sharon Penman, since you asked Anyway, tangent over.On a related note, one reason I tend not to enjoy male centric historical fiction is extended battle sequences, because no matter how well written they are I just sometimes struggle to visualise action scenes This book had nice, short battle scenes that held my attention vividly Very well done Harold s death scene in particular was very evocative.The plot maybe plodding at times but by far the strongest element at work here is characterisation Edyth, from the first page, is a fully formed, sympathetic protagonist The supporting and minor characters were also very well done too, in particular Svana and Gryffin.One other minor gripe is the over enthusiasm with which the author has changed historical names I can understand the occasional change in spelling to make archaic names a little easier for modern readers patronising as it seems and I can certainly understand that it was necessary to change certain characters names so that we didn t have two main characters named Edyth But when you get to the authors notes and read some of these character s real names, one can t help but regret that she didn t use them Leofwine, Aelfgifu, Gunnhild, Burgheard Hard to spell but so muchevocative than Lane, Emma, Hannah and Brodie, which by comparison sound like characters from 90210.I can understand it, and it s not a big deal, I m just not a fan of that sort of thing.Overall, quite well done and I look forward to seeing what this author does next

  6. says:

    4.5 Stars Really enjoyed this book, now to hunt down the other 2 books in the trilogy. thanks to Tracey at Carpe Librum for gifting this book in one of our meet up mystery swaps and for me being clever enough to pick it..

  7. says:

    I really enjoyed Eadyths story Amazing that she has been the only queen of Wales and also England And can t believe that I had to be told that it was the battle of Hastings duh Lol.Great characters that did feel real and not too contrived.

  8. says:

    0.5 stars How can anyone even like this book A girl barely 16, about to give birth to her second child and that too with a husband who s 44 years old What in hell is this shit DNF

  9. says:

    It s 1055 and fourteen year old Edyth is already quite mature for her age She s curious about love and Harold and Svana are her great examples She s impressed by their relationship and their faith that love will survive everything They aren t officially married, but they have something muchspecial Edyth wants to have a similar experience, she d like to get married for love and not because of connections There s a lot of political unrest in England and Edyth s father is exiled He trav It s 1055 and fourteen year old Edyth is already quite mature for her age She s curious about love and Harold and Svana are her great examples She s impressed by their relationship and their faith that love will survive everything They aren t officially married, but they have something muchspecial Edyth wants to have a similar experience, she d like to get married for love and not because of connections There s a lot of political unrest in England and Edyth s father is exiled He travels to Wales together with his family There Edyth meets Griffin, the king of Wales Even though he s much older Edyth feels they have a connection The king asks her to marry him which will make Edyth the queen of Wales Griffin lives with the expectation that every day could be his last, because of that he enjoys whatever he can as much as possible His dream is to unite Wales, but that s a difficult task After much political unrest Edyth has to go back to England The only good thing about that is that she can be with her best friend Svana onceShe finds herself in the middle of a difficult matter King Edward is old and there is no heir, who will become the next king There s a tough decision Edyth has to make One that has consequences for the future of the kingdom The Chosen Queen overwhelmed me when I first started reading it There were a lot of characters and the fourteen year old Edyth was muchadvanced than a girl her age often is That is part of her character though She fights for what she believes in and love is the most important thing there is for this strong, fierce and determined woman I greatly admired Edyth and enjoyed reading her story very much When Edyth grows older the story becomesmature as well Edyth s life isn t easy Even though this isn t an actual retelling of her history I thought it was great to read a story about this woman She s certainly interesting and the author has done a wonderful job creating such a gripping and thrilling story The battles had me on the edge of my seat every time I loved the story and the development of Edyth s character The beginning of the book might be a bit chaotic, but the rest of the story is absolutely fantastic and I didn t want it to end

  10. says:

    The Chosen Queen of the title is Edyth and the year is 1055, a decade before the Norman invasion of England in 1066, and yes, William the Conqueror.Edyth is the granddaughter of Lady Godiva and dreams of marrying for love, but times were different 950 years ago andoften than not, women were married for political and monetary gain.Edyth s father is close to King Edward now known as Edward the Confessor , but after an angry outburst the family is exiled to Wales and the novel really takes o The Chosen Queen of the title is Edyth and the year is 1055, a decade before the Norman invasion of England in 1066, and yes, William the Conqueror.Edyth is the granddaughter of Lady Godiva and dreams of marrying for love, but times were different 950 years ago andoften than not, women were married for political and monetary gain.Edyth s father is close to King Edward now known as Edward the Confessor , but after an angry outburst the family is exiled to Wales and the novel really takes off.I read The Chosen Queen quite soon after the latest Philippa Gregory novel and I was a little worried this might pale in comparison, but I m pleased to say it wasn t the case Joanna Courtney manages to guide the reader through a turbulent time in the history of Wales and England with a tight, fast paced plot and a hint of romance throughout.Similar to Gregory, Courtney has chosen see what I did there a strong female character from history in Edyth as her protagonist, and we are privy to her inner thoughts during her rise in power and influence Lady Svana is Edyth s closest friend however their friendship is complicated and at one point they even find themselves on opposing sides The loss of human life in battle after battle is deeply felt by the two women and Courtney has captured the times very well The Chosen Queen is a standalone but also the first in The Queens of the Conquest trilogy, and I recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction by Philippa Gregory, Elizabeth Chadwick or Jean Plaidy Copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia

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