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Shadow on the Crown: A Novel Audiobook, by Patricia Bracewell Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Patricia Bracewell Narrator: Katie Firth Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Emma of Normandy Series Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9781101605271
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (635 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A rich tale of power and forbidden love revolving around a young medieval queen

In 1002, fifteen­-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son.

Determined to outmaneuver her adversaries, Emma forges alliances with influential men at court and wins the affection of the English people. But her growing love for a man who is not her husband and the imminent threat of a Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life.

Based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Shadow on the Crown introduces readers to a fascinating, overlooked period of history and an unforgettable heroine whose quest to find her place in the world will resonate with modern readers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Deftly and elegantly written.”

    Diana Gabaldon, New York Times bestselling author

  • Bracewell delivers a highly entertaining addition to the historical fiction genre. Publisher’s Weekly
  • The familiar themes of political rivalry, court scandal, and disputed lineage so often explored in historical fiction get a new cast of schemers and scoundrels set in a less familiar but no less dramatic period of English history. Readers of historical sagas and romances will embrace this rich narrative. Library Journal
  • What a great book!  A fascinating, little-known period of history, a tense, exciting story, and characters who spring as naturally from their own time as mushrooms from the forest floor. Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series
  • Who could have known that the court of Aethelred the Unready was as full of intrigue, passion, and danger as anything in Tudor times?  A well-wrought journey back to those little known times, this novel entertains while it educates. Margaret George, author of Elizabeth I: A Novel
  • A stellar achievement. Adrienne McDonnell, author of The Doctor and The Diva
  • A woman whose spirit will not be vanquished, Emma of Normandy will live in your heart long after you finish the last page. Ella March Chase, author of Three Maids for a Crown
  • From the moment I picked up the book it captivated me, calling me back and back again until I abandoned everything to finish it in a breathless rush. Brava! Emma Campion, author of The King’s Mistress
  • Shadow on the Crown drew me in from the first page and held me in its grip...  a vivid and compelling tale. Gillian Bagwell, author of The September Queen
  • Using the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as her marker, Patricia Bracewell has produced a magnificent work of historical fiction, evoking time and place in a remarkable way, and engaging the reader firmly in her story. The Daily Mail (UK)
  • Bracewell’s portrayal of Emma… is a real tour de force. A five star debut! Historical Novels Review
  • “Enthralling…Bracewell delivers a highly entertaining addition to the historical fiction genre.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gail | 1/4/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book and am very much looking forward to the next two in the series. Filled with rich historical detail "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danni | 1/2/2014

    " I didn't like this book. It seemed to have a lot of sexual violence in it. The men were just cruel, maybe that was what it was like in old England. I am not sure. It made me feel very uncomfortable. I don't think that I would recommend it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ray | 12/21/2013

    " This is not a bad book. It was just not to my taste. Seemed too much like a romance novel for me. I didn't finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea | 12/10/2013

    " I was hooked from the beginning and powered through this quickly. This was one of the better historical novels I've read lately. It was very thoroughly researched. A pleasure to read. I cannot wait for the sequel! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kayla | 12/5/2013

    " Strong debut - review to come "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 11/27/2013

    " This book is the first in a trilogy about Emma of Normandy. It was a great read. Set in 1000 AD, the characters are well developed and believable about a time in history that I know little about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kayla | 11/26/2013

    " Great for Philippa Gregory fans. I actually liked this author's style better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacqueline | 7/9/2013

    " Engaging and fast paced. Not as deep and juicy as SKP, but there is no one else who can write like Sharon. I didn"t know anything about this era (1000) and it has sparked my interest. This book is the 1st of a trilogy and I will await the next to discover more about Emma. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audrey | 5/7/2013

    " Loved it! Emma is a completely likeable heroine, married to a cruel pig of a man, but you even have to feel a little sorry for him on a few occasions. It's also nice to be reminded every so often how lucky we are to be born now instead of 1000 years ago! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 1/30/2013

    " I really enjoyed this novel of the little known Queen Emma. The history retold in this tale was fascinating. Fans of historical and royal fiction will enjoy this one! "

About the Author

Patricia Bracewell is a native of California, where she taught literature and composition before embarking upon her writing career. She is the author of Shadow on the Crown and lives in northern California with her husband.

About the Narrator

Katie Firth is a qualified and highly experienced voice coach and actress. She has a background in theater, psychology, and applied linguistics and is thus uniquely placed to work with the complexities of human communication as expressed through the word, body, and voice. For more than fifteen years she has coached individuals and groups in a variety of professional environments in theater, film, politics, the NHS, and the corporate sector.