If you are looking for some historical romance, step right up this is your novel. Susan Fraser King gives us all history we can handle with a side order of romance, or is it vice versa, in Queen Hereafter. I am going to do things a little backward in this post, so please forgive me and just indulge me a little if you will. I want to go with the author’s biographical information first and I think that will better help explain the novel and its plotline. Here it is:
” SUSAN FRASER KING is a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author and a former art history lecturer. She holds a B.A. in art and an M.A. and most of a Ph.D. in art history, with postgraduate work in medieval studies. Her books are widely praised for historical detail and a lyrical writing style, and she has won multiple honors and awards for her novels w/a Susan King and Sarah Gabriel. Lady Macbeth: A Novel (Crown Publishing, February 2008) is her first hardcover mainstream novel. Susan visits Scotland as often as possible for research and relaxation, and lives in Maryland with her family.”
The link to her website: http://www.susanfraserking.com
Now here is the inside stuff on Queen Hereafter and I think you can understand why I have done what I have done: ”Refugee. Queen. Saint. In eleventh-century Scotland, a young woman strives to fulfill her destiny despite the risks . . .
Shipwrecked on the Scottish coast, a young Saxon princess and her family—including the outlawed Edgar of England—ask sanctuary of the warrior-king, Malcolm Canmore, who shrewdly sees the political advantage. He promises to aid Edgar and the Saxon cause in return for the hand of Edgar’s sister, Margaret, in marriage.
A foreign queen in a strange land, Margaret adapts to life among the barbarian Scots, bears princes, and shapes the fierce warrior Malcolm into a sophisticated ruler. Yet even as the king and queen build a passionate and tempestuous partnership, the Scots distrust her. When her husband brings Eva, a Celtic bard, to court as a hostage for the good behavior of the formidable Lady Macbeth, Margaret expects trouble. Instead, an unlikely friendship grows between the queen and her bard, though one has a wild Celtic nature and the other follows the demanding path of obligation.
Torn between old and new loyalties, Eva is bound by a vow to betray the king and his Saxon queen. Soon imprisoned and charged with witchcraft and treason, Eva learns that Queen Margaret—counseled by the furious king and his powerful priests—will decide her fate and that of her kinswoman Lady Macbeth. But can the proud queen forgive such deep treachery?
Impeccably researched, a dramatic page-turner, Queen Hereafter is an unforgettable story of shifting alliances and the tension between fear and trust as a young woman finds her way in a dangerous world.”
Serious stuff for a novel that is filled with romance, fulfilling one’s destiny seemed to be a tall order in this story. I enjoyed the history, the action, the tension, the pacing. Susan Fraser King’s ability to describe the land and the people is what ultimately stood tall for me, as she put in a place and time in which I generally have had no interest. She changed my mind on that and had me totally engrossed in the characters and what was ultimately going to happen to them. That was the linchpin in this novel for me. I, for some reason, have been enjoying the historical romances quite a bit, as I have guessed you have noticed. It doesn’t take long to notice the time the author has spent in her research and the manner and ease that she brings it to the page.
Romantic Wednesday is really starting to grow on me. When I decided to start this I didn’t know what direction it may go, but I have begun to see diversity and incredible skill levels among its authors that I really didn’t know was there. I know that reads a bit ignorant, and for that I am sorry, but call me repentant, and let’s call it a day. Holding this novel in my hands I thought it to possibly be a subject and plotline that was not in my wheelhouse. Susan Fraser King has won me over with her incredible style and ability. I tip my hat to her, five stars, no question.
Here is something direct from the author:
For additional news, perhaps you could add that I'm part of a group blog of bestselling historical fiction authors at Word Wenches www.wordwenches.com .
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