The Price of Blood (The Emma of Normandy)
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Menaced by Vikings and enemies at court, Queen Emma defends her children and her crown in a riveting medieval adventure Readers first met Emma of Normandy in Patricia Bracewell's gripping debut novel, Shadow on the Crown. Unwillingly thrust into marriage to England's King AEthelred, Emma has given the king a son and heir, but theirs has never been a happy marriage. In The Price of Blood, Bracewell returns to 1006 when a beleaguered AEthelred, still haunted by his brother's ghost, governs with an iron fist and a royal policy that embraces murder. As tensions escalate and enmities solidify, Emma forges alliances to protect her young son from ambitious men--even from the man she loves. In the north there is treachery brewing, and when Viking armies ravage England, loyalties are shattered and no one is safe from the sword. Rich with intrigue, compelling personalities, and fascinating detail about a little-known period in history, The Price of Blood will captivate fans of both historical fiction and fantasy novels such as George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones series.
for the disaster that it was. She looked to Edmund, whose face still gave nothing away, although his glance moved uncertainly now between her and the abbess. “How bad is it?” she asked. Perhaps he would reveal the rest of it, now that his sister was gone. “Please tell me.” He hauled in a breath, running a hand through his hair in a way that reminded her of Athelstan. “It is bad enough,” he replied, addressing the abbess now. “The Danes have pushed south into Kent and Sussex. They’ve burned
committed at Canterbury, her instinct was to gather her children and flee. But that was the instinct of a mother, and she must think first as a queen. She had been urged to flee before this—to go where she would be safe. But she was bound to the king and to this kingdom by solemn vows, by the demands of duty, even by political expediency. What message would it send to the people of England who were struggling against invasion, famine, and disease if she were to abandon them? She clasped
the brothers were at odds and this one perhaps less guarded about revealing whatever he may know or guess about the actions of the other? He did not lift his gaze from the river, but murmured to Edmund, “I’m told that when Athelstan set out from London last night, he went north. Did he tell you where he was going?” Now he chanced a quick look at his son, seeing the dark brows furrow and the eyes narrow as Edmund squinted into the sunshine. “He will meet us at Sandwich, my lord,” Edmund
reactions. Their allegiances would come into play now, and it would take all his skill to persuade them to work together. For years he had nursed their petty rivalries to keep them from banding against him. Now, though, he needed them to act with one purpose. When Uhtred had finished, Eadric spoke into the silence. “I am not willing to place my levies beside those of Lindsey,” he said, “unless Godwine can assure me that his men will stand firm and not slink away the moment they see the Danes
complement of Danes who were garbed in mail and armed with shields and blunted swords. Ten of them had paired off to hack at each other under the watchful eye of their war leader while their companions shouted encouragement or abuse. The din they were making brought back evil memories. She had only ever heard the sound of real battle once, on a summer’s day in Exeter that had been filled with howls of rage and screams of terror—and with sights she would never be able to forget. It had seemed to