SYNOPSIS: The forgotten story of England’s last Saxon King.
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. With Edward old and 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.
Review: I feel like whenever I read a book by Helen Hollick I feel the need to preface it by saying she has quickly become one of the my favorite historical fiction authors. I was first introduced to her writings with her Pendragon's Banner series. Now, we are taken to 1044 England. I will admit right off the bat I am not well versed in this period of history so I really can't comment on history accuracies but I can say this, with Hollick's amazing ability to tell a story and weave the key characters I felt like I was there. I loved Harold's hand-fast wife, Edyth. I could feel Emma's disgrace of her son King Edward and feel the need to dine with Godwine. The gritty, dark period of this time with so much political upheaval, changes from the Church and a country in turmoil, makes "I Am The Chosen King" a highly engaging and readable tour through this period of English history. One thing I find as a positive about a good historical fiction, it should make the reader WANT to know more about the key characters and the time period and major events. I spent many late nights reading up on King Harold, William The Bastard, Emma of Normandy, and many more. I feel the need to research more!
I definitely recommend reading this book, maybe even twice and be prepared to be sucked back about a thousand years and feel like you are sitting under a thatched roof and supping with the people of the time.
Available March 1st at your favorite bookseller
disclaimer: This ARC was received from the publisher for review. The receipt of this book doesn't affect my ability to remain impartial to my opinion.