28. 'The Chosen Queen' by Joanna Courtney

Wednesday 9 September 2015

1066: A date that changed the course of history; a date that changed her life forever.

A while back I was sent 'The Chosen Queen', and I devoured it over the course of a few days. It's taken me longer than anticipated to get it posted, but I'm so pleased to announce that today is the day!
I have always been interested in the Saxons, but have never delved too far into their history apart from what I learnt in school about the Battle of Hastings, and William the Conqueror. 
I knew of Edyth (in whichever form you think of her as) thanks to spontaneous googling one night instead of completing a looming deadline at university (time better spent in my opinion!).

I found Edyth to be likable, and believable, driven by her passions during an incredibly turbulent time, where nothing was certain. Inspired after witnessing the hand-fasting wedding of Harold and Svanna, Edyth is determined to marry for nothing less than that kind of magical love. The relationship between Edyth and Griffin is enjoyable to follow, through the ups and downs as they experience their first true loves. She is a character very much driven by love - her love for Griffin, her love for Harold, and above all her love and respect for Svanna. 

I was drawn to Harold and Svanna's love, and how Svanna knew her limitations and selflessly allowed Harold to make the steps they knew he had to take. She is a strong, quite modern thinking character for the time she is living in. Svanna isn't one for pretenses and the intrigues of court, preferring to keep to her own lands. 

I also enjoyed Harold's portrayal of the reluctant heir, shouldering the weight of the Kingdom's expectations on his shoulder, despite his desires for a peaceful life.
Thus, Joanna Courtney weaves a spellbinding tale, that certainly puts her right up there with Philippa Gregory and my persional favourites, Ann O'Brien and Emma Campion in the way she brings Edyth's story to life. I couldn't put this book down, even when I was hesitating towards the end, as we all know what happened if we listened in our history lessons! She pulled at my heartstrings with every page I turned. I became very attached to all of the characters, and can say with certainty that I will be revisiting this book in the near future. It was a real joy to read. 

The Chosen Queen is now available in paperback from 10th September 2015. You can purchase it here.
Let me know if you decided to give this book a try, I'd love to know your thoughts. If you know anything about Saxon history please do educate me further!

Rating: 5/5


  1. OH, The Battle of Hastings - that's all I know about the Saxons, too. I honestly didn't enjoy those classes at school, but I think the present me would! :) Wonderful review, it sounds like a brilliant story! I'm sure I already have it on my Goodreads TBR, if not, it will be there soon ;)

    1. I really enjoyed it, and felt that despite not knowing a huge amount of the period it was understandable, and the characters surprisingly relatable. If you do read it let me know what you think :)


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