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  • Shadow on the Crown

  • The Emma of Normandy, Book 1
  • By: Patricia Bracewell
  • Narrated by: Maggie Mash
  • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Shadow on the Crown

By: Patricia Bracewell
Narrated by: Maggie Mash
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Summary

Set in England when Vikings are on the brink of invasion, this is an epic tale of seduction, war, and unrequited love from an outstanding new voice in historical fiction.

In AD 1002 Emma, a young Norman girl, must take her place as bride to England's King Æthelred, a ruler who is looking for nothing more than a political pawn to protect his shores and bear his next child.

But Emma soon realises that her new role comes with danger: the seductive Elgiva, mistress to the King, will stop at nothing in her battle for the circlet of gold.

Amidst the turmoil of a kingdom under threat and a forbidden love, both women will fight for the King's attention, a king whose haunted past is as dark as the portent in the night's sky. And the one who rises will become the most powerful woman in the kingdom.

©2015 Patricia Bracewell (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"A magnificent work of historical fiction, evoking time and place in a remarkable way." (Daily Mail)
"This is one of the most enthralling and captivating novels I've ever read. It truly is an epic novel. I can't wait to read the next book by this author." (Karen Maitland)
"A meticulously researched, lyrically written tale which shines a sensuous light into the murkier depths of the Dark Ages." (Robert Low)
"A highly entertaining addition to the historical fiction genre." (Publishers Weekly)
"Readers of historical sagas and romances will embrace this rich narrative." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about Shadow on the Crown

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyable historical fiction

good narration good story enjoyed this book and will be reading the next in the series

4 people found this helpful

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Historic Fantasy at its best!

Loved the story and the fact that factual history was so well moulded with the fictional elements of the authors imagination. I can't wait to read the rest of the story of Queen Emma.

2 people found this helpful

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Gripping

A superb tale. I had to force myself not to hinge listen. It was so hard not to keep promising myself " just 15 more minutes". The main character Emma was so real and the characters came alive under the narrator.
I know that the characters were based on true historical figures which was even more fascinating and I appreciated the descriptions of the places and how the people lived.
I will definitely listen to this again and know I will enjoy it again as much. I look forward to more from this author

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Good story if over acting from narrator

Interesting story and time in history though not historically accurate. I prefer fictional stories to be built into fictional characters and not mess around with facts. Enjoyable. But why why why Maggie Nash decided all men speak like some staggered, slow, aging, evil Disney cartoon character beats me. Her terrible over acting almost ruins the whole story and I nearly gave up several times because it was so OTT. Will avoid any books she is narrating.

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A beginner's introduction to Queen Emma

I knew nothing of the period or the protagonists and this book introduces each of the main players well. The narrator gives everyone their very own accent and mode of speech each enables one to pick them out. A good first book in the series. I will continue to the next in the trilogy.

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Shame about the narrator

It feels so mean to focus on this, but the voice is so important. And this reader’s rasping tones for the characterization of old crones and cruel men was so hard to listen to.

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Charming page turner

So glad to have discovered this talented writer. Patricia Bracewell has created a most engaging enjoyable story based in true history. Sufficient historical detail to make the reader (listener) feel immersed in the times. Not too much gratuitous bodice ripping, but enough romantic interest to flavour (the less the better as far as my taste in literature goes).

The narrator Maggie Mash is not the best and reads at such a slow pace I can’t understand why words and sentences are so drawn out. I find with audio books, that a good narrator can add enormously to the enjoyment and can make an ok book really enjoyable and quite good. Fortunately this book did not need support by a great narrator, and the book is fantastic in spite of the not so great narration. Nevertheless, I would still download a book with this narrator.

A really great entertaining story and I will download the second book directly.